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Old October 11th, 2014, 08:38 AM   #721
Hegemonic
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Doesn't all these measures pretty much validate peoples' fears about maglev? I can't imagine it will be well received when Japan tries to export the idea.
It may be for some people, but everything we do in life has risks, a car with out brakes is an unacceptable risk, so we engineer cars with brakes, mitigating/eliminating the risk making it safe or safer.

A modern aircraft without a pressurized cabin is another example, riding a motor bike without leathers and a helmet is another.

I guess that's why some people have a fear of flying and doing other various things in life.

If I'm not mistaken, the MR is contained within the guide way only when the vehicle is present and the only time people have the potential to be exposed to it is when crossing the platform into the carriage, hence the need for the draw bridge.

At the end of the day all electronic divices emit electromagnetic radiation, even the phone you carry around in your pocket.

However, I'm sure when competing on the open market for projects, competitors of maglev technology will play on peoples fears.

At the end of the day, a proven track record of operation should prevail and convince people otherwise.

Hazard Control Triangle, start with the top and work down.
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Old October 11th, 2014, 12:15 PM   #722
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If I were to add anything it would be government regulations and health authority guideline on limits of electromagnetic radiation exposure in any certain given amount of time which this system clears in flying colors.

If a person can take a MRI test which are far more closer proximity then the boarding gates then I would say it is fine.
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Old October 11th, 2014, 04:43 PM   #723
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As an American who has investigated all forms of maglev, slow- and high-speed, over the past 25+ years, the superconducting maglev may have higher electromagnetic field signatures than, say, the German Transrapid, but the measures that have been taken to minimize the harmful effects are more than adequate to protect travellers, in my opinion.
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Old October 13th, 2014, 01:18 AM   #724
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61.5 billion euros is pretty expensive do they know in how many years it will take for a return on investment (ROI) ?
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Old October 13th, 2014, 01:26 AM   #725
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So the average cost will be more than 300 million $ per km?
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Old October 13th, 2014, 04:16 AM   #726
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So the average cost will be more than 300 million $ per km?
Most of the cost is due to tunneling since 70~80% of the structure is going through tunnels.
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Old October 13th, 2014, 09:02 AM   #727
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I don't think you will ever recoup the cost of construction through fares alone. However, you have to evaluate the project on the merits of its contribution as a whole. This line will pretty much be able to replace all air traffic between Tokyo and Osaka. That's a game changer.

How will this change the economy, advance culture, and change patterns across the country.
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Old October 14th, 2014, 11:34 AM   #728
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I don't think you will ever recoup the cost of construction through fares alone. However, you have to evaluate the project on the merits of its contribution as a whole. This line will pretty much be able to replace all air traffic between Tokyo and Osaka. That's a game changer.

How will this change the economy, advance culture, and change patterns across the country.
Then why does JR Central want to do this with 100% of their own money? They could care less about how it would advance Japan's reputation or improve the economy at large. At the end of the day they just need enough demand to make it profitable after however many years (and provided interest rates don't go bonkers)

I too am very skeptical about whether this will actually ever turn a profit but I have to imagine (and hope) that their calculations are correct and that it will succeed
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Old October 14th, 2014, 01:35 PM   #729
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I suspect that even if the line never turns a profit (highly unlikely) they'll earn more than they are spending when they export the technology.

It's worth pointing out that this line will largely parallel JR Central's Tokaido Shinkansen line - I'm sure someone has done the math and found that by switching some current passengers and attracting new passengers onto the maglev they can eek out more profit / services from the congested Shinkansen line (currently carrying about 145 million passengers a year..)
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Old October 14th, 2014, 05:07 PM   #730
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They could care less
*couldn't

Sorry
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Old October 14th, 2014, 06:07 PM   #731
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Most of the cost is due to tunneling since 70~80% of the structure is going through tunnels.
I don't think tunneling is that expensive. Think about it, it is ten times more than "regular" high speed rail. Putting in another perspective, each km is worth a A380 airliner! That is really expensive. You can also look it as 1.25% of Japan's GDP. I am still for it though
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Old October 14th, 2014, 07:17 PM   #732
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Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
I don't think tunneling is that expensive. Think about it, it is ten times more than "regular" high speed rail. Putting in another perspective, each km is worth a A380 airliner! That is really expensive. You can also look it as 1.25% of Japan's GDP. I am still for it though
Tunnelling is phenomenally expensive when you consider the disposal of that amount of earth. In fact, that has been one of the biggest criticisms - what do they do with all of the excavated earth as it is such a significant amount.

Besides, it's JR Central that is funding this, not a government, so it would surprise me if it is just a prestige project. They have shareholders to please and profits to make.
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Old October 14th, 2014, 07:26 PM   #733
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JR Central states that it hopes to turn a profit from 2026 onwards. If they increase their profit on the parallel Shinkansen line then they'll be laughing to the bank. I saw the regular HS line is to get an extra station or two meaning more pax
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Old October 14th, 2014, 10:13 PM   #734
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While JR Central is technically a private company, you have to realize that the government wouldn't let this fail. They would no doubt step in to help find it if JR Central was faced with Additionally, The Tokaido line brings in the Lion's share of profits. Money is practically interest free in Japan and so borrowing money makes total sense. Also, if they run into problems, partnering with an airline would be a mutually beneficial arrangement as well. The Chuo line has the potential to almost eliminate Tokyo to Osaka flights.

I don't know how feasible this is, but an extension of the maglev to Haneda or even, if tunnelled, Narita... Would change intra-country travel. Just think, a Shinkansen to Narita? Say it ain't so!

JR Central does have one major risk, however. Population decline. They will still need passengers in 2035. But that's a bigger issue in Japan and probably overblown.
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Old October 14th, 2014, 10:16 PM   #735
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Btw turning a profit in 2026 does not mean "capital outlay is paid off". It just means operating revenue will exceed operating cost and debt servicing (which is calculated at today's interest rate of ~0%)

Paying off the capital cost of the project will take considerably longer.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 12:50 AM   #736
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Money is practically interest free in Japan and so borrowing money makes total sense.
That's a good point.
However, and I'm just working through this in my head, wouldn't that also mean inflation is also much higher than would otherwise be the case?
Or is it still at a rate whereby the low interest rates still result in [overall] lower borrowing costs?
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Old October 15th, 2014, 02:53 AM   #737
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That's a good point.
However, and I'm just working through this in my head, wouldn't that also mean inflation is also much higher than would otherwise be the case?
Or is it still at a rate whereby the low interest rates still result in [overall] lower borrowing costs?
No, not really. Inflation is essentially just the cost of goods going up. Japan has been a long spiral of recession for almost two decades. Housing collapsed and is relatively undervalued (some would call it cheap). Goods have come down in price since the entry of China as a manufacturing powerhouse and the collective loss of the life savings of a lot of Japanese who were overinvested during the bubble.

Making money cheaper (aka printing more money) makes debt easier to pay off, but imports are more expensive as your currency devalues. I'm not an economics master, but essentially reducing the borrowing rate is a way to try to stimulate an economy (when the economy is based on consumption). We have seen the same thing happen in the USA and Canada. The USA collapsed in 2008 and people stopped borrowing as much. Canada is headed for a collapse.

OT, but Japan's debt problems are actually mostly internal. The old people have all the money, but you can't increase taxes (to transfer wealth to the next generation) because they're a large majority (and old people are more likely to vote). Unlike many nations, most of the government's debt is own by the Japanese themselves ( gov't bonds, etc ).

I don't know how (or if) this affects the ability of the Japanese to do massive projects like the Chuo Shinkansen line, but it does mean that Japanese companies generally have to convince Japanese shareholders of the validity of a project, as opposed to foreign investors, which are more likely to look purely at financial feasibility.

If anyone who has a background in economics wants to step in and correct any of this or add to it, feel free.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:22 AM   #738
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...Making money cheaper (aka printing more money) makes debt easier to pay off, but imports are more expensive as your currency devalues.
Yes, but I think this has inflationary pressure, if I'm not mistaken. That's why I was also asking for clarification, because I wasn't sure.

It's why the Fed is tapering QE, because unemployment and inflation are diametrically opposed: higher inflation usually occurs alongside low unemployment (and vice versa), unless you're experiencing stagflation (which Japan is).

In short, I'm just curious if inflation isn't eating much (if not all) of the savings to be had from low interest rates. Maybe large capital projects like this are an exception, but it would seem like many corporations would be borrowing like crazy if it was the case.

Anyways, don't want to get off topic, but I think it's really important to talk about the financing of these kinds of projects, because it's (1) rarely spoken about in these forums and (2) important for gauging just how likely the system is to be accepted in other contexts.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 01:10 AM   #739
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Yes, but I think this has inflationary pressure, if I'm not mistaken. That's why I was also asking for clarification, because I wasn't sure.

It's why the Fed is tapering QE, because unemployment and inflation are diametrically opposed: higher inflation usually occurs alongside low unemployment (and vice versa), unless you're experiencing stagflation (which Japan is).
You can find inflation numbers on Japan on the internet quite easily if you're more interested.

Here's one resource:
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/japan/inflation-cpi

If you select from 1990 to present, you'll see Japan has had several negative inflation rates since then.

Compare that to the USA:
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/unit.../inflation-cpi

All about the bubble that burst in 1990.
http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/bubble.htm
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Old October 17th, 2014, 11:21 AM   #740
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Tokyo-Nagoya maglev line is a go, government tells JR Tokai

The government on Friday approved an application by Central Japan Railway Co. to build an ultrahigh-speed magnetic levitation railway line linking Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027.

JR Tokai plans to extend the line to Osaka by 2045, shortening the trip between the two metropolises from the current 138 minutes by shinkansen to 67 minutes by maglev.

...

It is expected to start construction possibly later this month, aiming to complete the line in 2027. When it does, it will reduce the 88-minute shinkansen travel time to only 40 minutes by maglev.

...

Engineering will involve significant obstacles. About 86 percent of the 286 km between Tokyo and Nagoya line is expected to be tunnels. In some urban areas, trains will pass more than 40 meters below ground.

JR Tokai intends to shoulder the entire cost of constructing the line to Osaka. The Tokyo-Nagoya section is estimated at ¥5.52 trillion.

...
The Japan Times

ANN News report:

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