All is not what it seems within China's High Speed Rail development.

Discussion in 'Members' Club Room' started by bladerunner, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. bladerunner
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    bladerunner Banned Idiot

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  2. Spartan95
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    Spartan95 Junior Member

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    Found this comparison of the media coverage in PRC on the train crash the morning after it happened:

    Media coverage of the Wenzhou train crash: Party mouthpieces VS city dailies - Shanghaiist

    Perhaps this is 1 of the factors that fuelled public anger over official handling of the crash?

    A more recent article talked about PRC media toning down on their coverage of the crash:

    Chinese media tone down rail crash coverage - Channel NewsAsia

    With regard to the cause of this tragic accident, there has already been an official apology by the designer of the signaling system:

    China train crash signal designer apologises - Channel NewsAsia

     
  3. bladerunner
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    bladerunner Banned Idiot

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    Chinese bullet train maker orders recall

    Chinese bullet train maker orders recall - Yahoo! News

    BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese bullet train manufacturer recalled 54 trains Friday in a new embarrassment for a problem-plagued prestige project following a July crash that killed 40 people.

    The recall adds to signs Beijing is scaling back ambitious expansion plans for a high-speed rail network that once enjoyed a level of political prestige comparable to China's manned space program. A moratorium was imposed on new rail projects this week and the railway minister announced a reduction in train speeds.

    The recall applies to model CRH380BL trains used on the Beijing-Shanghai line, which has suffered repeated delays blamed on equipment failures, state-owned China North Locomotive and Rolling Stock Ltd. said. There was no indication it was linked to the July 23 crash on a separate line in southern China.

    Experts will examine sensors that might be faulty or too sensitive and cause trains to stop unnecessarily, said a CNR spokesman, Tan Xiaofeng. He said that might happen if a door is ajar or a passenger violates rules and lights a cigarette in a restroom.

    The Beijing-Shanghai line has suffered "frequent quality problems" with components provided by U.S., European and Chinese suppliers, Tan said. He declined to identify the suppliers.

    "When problems occur, we don't wish to hide them," he said. "We put life before everything else."

    Beijing launched an overhaul of the multibillion-dollar bullet train network after the July crash triggered an avalanche of public complaints about the human cost of recklessly fast development.

    The bullet train was meant to showcase China's technological advancement and support possible exports. Chinese companies have sold high-speed rail cars to Malaysia and are working on projects in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

    The disaster has prompted policymakers to decide China needs to "rectify the excesses" of its system and slow an unsustainably fast expansion, said Ren Xianfang, senior China economist for IHS Global Insight.

    She likened its impact to Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, which turned the Japanese public against nuclear power.

    "It is quite clear now that stepping on the brake is the only viable policy option," Ren said in a report.

    State media have begun reporting on the cost and excesses of the bullet train in a sign official support for the system is eroding.

    On Friday, state broadcaster China Central Television showed scenes of an apartment complex in the eastern province of Anhui over which a bullet train viaduct was built on huge concrete pillars. Residents were shown complaining about the noise of passing trains and damage to property values.

    CNR announced a temporary halt to production of CRH380BL trains this week.

    The Xinhua News Agency said this week trains "abnormally stopped" three times due to faulty sensors. The newspaper Shanghai Daily said there were more than 40 breakdowns since late July but did not say how many involved CNR trains.

    Even before the July crash, the bullet train was a target of critics who said it was dangerously fast and too expensive for a society where the poor majority need more low-cost transportation, not record-setting speeds.

    China has the world's biggest train network, with 56,000 miles (91,000 kilometers) of passenger rail. But trains are overloaded with passengers and cargo, and critics say the money would be better spent expanding slower routes.

    Critics have expected changes since the bullet train lost its biggest official booster when the former railway minister was dismissed in February amid a graft probe.

    China has 13 high-speed railways in operation in the country, with 26 under construction and 23 more planned.

    Earlier plans called for expanding the network to 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) of track by 2020. Authorities have announced no changes but the railway ministry says it is spending less than planned this year on the high-speed system.

    Authorities blamed the July crash on a lightning strike that caused one train to stall and a sensor failure that allowed a second train to keep moving on the same track and slam into it. That caused train cars to fall from a viaduct near the southern city of Wenzhou.
     
  4. Red___Sword
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    Red___Sword Junior Member

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    Yeah how many eastern + western people killed by cars that flawed? And car-recall is not "embarrassment for a problem-plagued economical conduct"?

    No offence, all the meadia lords just uses victims for their own toy to undermine whatever they trys to undermine, period.
     
  5. Spartan95
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    Spartan95 Junior Member

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    The difference is that no country hypes cars as a national project that will transform the country and its people's lives. In contrast, PRC's high speed rail has been trumpeted so many times. A quick search turns out this:

    World's longest, fastest railway goes online in China - People's Daily Online

    After so much trumpeting by PRC's media, it is any wonder now that the hype is being criticised?

    Also, there is now a concern about the construction of the railway itself:

    China admits rail link flaws - Channel NewsAsia

    In hindsight, it seems that the central government was aware of potential issues in the high speed rail project that led to:

    1. the reduced budget for high speed rail this year
    2. the order to reduce the maximum speed of the train
    3. the removal of the railway ministry's top leadership earlier this year.
     
  6. solarz
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    solarz Brigadier

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    Wrong again.

    Interstate History: origin and creation of the American highway — Infoplease.com

     
  7. Spartan95
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    Spartan95 Junior Member

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    Lol!

    Do you know the difference between hyping the highway and hyping the car?

    That's like hyping the railway (without the train) and hyping the high-speed train!

    :rofl:
     
  8. solarz
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    solarz Brigadier

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    First, America *did* hype the car. Remember Ford?

    Second, both the highway system and the HSR system are infrastructures for a national transportation network. They are, in fact, quite comparable.

    And trying to split hairs with train vs car and rail vs road is rather superficial. While some high-speed trains run on traditional rails, they would not be able to go very fast on those rails. The HSR development is as much about the rail system as it is about the train technology.

    BTW, China doesn't measure its HSR development by the number of trains produced, but by the length of tracks laid.
     
  9. Spartan95
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    Spartan95 Junior Member

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    Ford was a car manufacturer. Doesn't Geely, Wuling, Chery, etc get hyped in PRC as well?

    1. On a highway, people drive their own cars. They are not driven by employees trained to do so by a ministry.
    2. Accidents on highways can be caused by factors ranging from speeding, drink-driving, falling asleep at the wheel, lose control over vehicle, etc. Railways are designed to prevent/minimise these.

    Superficial? See the 2 points above.

    The level of technology and length of tracks isn't going to be the key measure from now onwards. It will be measured by safety record.
     
  10. solarz
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    solarz Brigadier

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    Minimize, not completely prevent.

    People might get to drive their own cars on highways, but more people die on American highways than in Chinese high-speed trains.

    China's HSR safety record is just fine. The latest accident is just being exploited by western media vultures in order to attack China
     
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