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


Spartan95

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

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One day after the catastrophic high-speed railway collision, party propaganda papers like the Renmin Daily, Economic Daily and Guangming Daily appeared almost oblivious to the incident, as evident by their almost identical front page covers trumpeting the recent promotion ceremony conducted by the Central Military Commission and other exploits of the CCP. Most other city dailies, however, featured the incident as their front page cover story.
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:

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Chinese media tone down rail crash coverage
Posted: 01 August 2011 1750 hrs

BEIJING : China's state-run media on Monday complied with a ban on negative coverage of a high-speed rail crash that killed 40 people, after more than a week of unusually critical reporting.

China's worst ever high-speed train accident on July 23 dominated front pages last week, with even The People's Daily -- the Communist Party mouthpiece -- saying the country needed development but did not need "blood-smeared GDP".

Internet users vented their anger on popular micro-blogging sites as Beijing struggled to contain an anti-government backlash over the collision near the eastern city of Wenzhou that killed 40 people and injured nearly 200.

But the coverage changed markedly after Chinese propaganda authorities issued a directive late Friday banning everything "except positive news or information released by the authorities".

An editorial in The China Daily said while it was necessary to "plug any loopholes" in the development of high-speed rail, "over-interpretation that questions the quality of all technology made in China... is going too far".

"While the accident might have been caused by loopholes in the management system or a problem with the signalling system, unforgivable as these are, they are growing pains that will be rectified," it said.

The People's Daily on Monday quoted an unnamed rail official as saying that the faulty signalling system blamed for the accident had been fixed.

Some newspapers reportedly scrapped their pages after Friday's directive was issued, to comply with the order.

Chinese-language weekly The Economic Observer, however, defied the directive, printing an eight-page report headlined "No miracles in Wenzhou" and a front-page photo of the wrecked carriages with the railway ministry logo imposed over the top.

Underneath the black and white photo was a damning commentary written as a letter to Xiang Weiyi, a two-year-old girl who was discovered alive in the train wreckage 21 hours after the accident that killed her parents.

The piece titled "Yiyi, when you grow up" attacked the government over its handling of the disaster and accused it of lacking transparency and attempting to cover up evidence.

Propaganda officials, who typically move swiftly to limit coverage of major disasters that could embarrass the government, had issued an order the day after the accident telling journalists not to question the official line, but the directive was widely ignored.

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

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China train crash signal designer apologises
Posted: 28 July 2011 1003 hrs

SHANGHAI: The Chinese company that designed the signaling equipment blamed for a deadly train crash in eastern China apologised on Thursday over the accident, which has stirred up fierce public anger.

Two express trains collided Saturday on the outskirts of the eastern city of Wenzhou, killing at least 39 people in China's deadliest rail disaster since 2008 and the worst yet on the country's young high-speed rail network.

"(We) express deepest condolences to the dead and a most sincere apology to the injured and families of the dead," the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Company said in a statement.

Earlier, the official Xinhua news agency quoted a Shanghai railway official as blaming the signaling equipment for the crash.

The signaling system "failed to turn the green light into red" after a lightning strike, it quoted An Lusheng, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau, as telling an investigators' meeting.

The equipment had been operating since September 2009, Xinhua said.

The institute, part of the state-owned China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation, also pledged to work with investigators, take responsibility and face any penalties deemed appropriate.

"(We) will move swiftly to carry out an overhaul with all resources to ensure our products are safe and reliable," the statement said.

The apology came as Internet users, relatives of victims and state media turned increasingly critical of the way authorities handled the accident and its aftermath, accusing them of "arrogance" amid suspicions of a cover-up.

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday ordered the results of the investigation into a deadly high-speed train crash be made public, amid a growing outcry over official handling of the accident.

Premier Wen Jiabao travelled to the scene of the crash on Thursday amid the public fury and growing concerns over not just the country's rapidly expanding high-speed network but the country's overall breakneck speed of development.

- AFP/cc
 

bladerunner

Banned Idiot
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #213
Chinese bullet train maker orders recall

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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.
 

Red___Sword

Junior Member
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.
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.
 

Spartan95

Junior Member
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.
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:

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World's longest, fastest railway goes online in China
16:08, July 01, 2010

The Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway, the longest and fastest inter-city high-speed railway with the highest standards in the world, started operation at 8 a.m. today.

China currently has nearly 7,000 kilometers of high-speed railways. Its high-speed railway has the longest operational mileage, the highest speed and largest scale in the world.

The Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway covers a distance of 301 kilometers with 21 stations and a top speed of 350 kilometers per hour. It links eight cities around the Yangzte River Delta and has become a powerful engine for modernization in that region, said Wang Yongping, spokesman of China's Ministry of Railways.

The railway line crosses the core area of the Yangtze River Delta, China's most dense urban circle group with the most advanced productivity and powerful economic growth. Statistics show that that region creates 22.1 percent of China's GDP, 24.5 percent of its fiscal revenue and 47.2 percent of total imports and exports though it only accounts for 2.2 percent of China's land area and 10.4 percent of population.

In 2009, GDP of the cities along the railway line, including Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi and Suzhou, amounted to 2.1 trillion yuan (around 306.72 U.S. dollars), accounting for 61 percent of the GDP in Jiangsu province.

The Shanghai-Nanjing railway line, completed in 1908, is one of the earliest major railway arteries in China. It is also one of the busiest railway arteries in China and the world. According to estimates, total traffic in the Yangtze River Delta will exceed 3 billion passengers in 2010, and traffic will reach 5.5 billion passengers in 2020.

China's State Council approved the plan for the inter-city transportation network in March 2005. The Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway, with investments by the Ministry of Railway, Jiangsu provincial government and Shanghai municipal government, started construction on July 1, 2008.

After its completion, there will be 120 pairs of high-speed trains arranged to join daily operation. In its initial period of operation, 92 pairs will be put into operation. It will take only 73 minutes from Shanghai to Nanjing. A one-hour urban circle between the two cities will be made.

The completion of the Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway meets the requirement of the Yangtze River Delta, taking a vital step in achieving full modernization in China. The railway, along with the Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway, will strongly improve the network level of regional urban systems and modernization. It is critical to speed up the cooperation, linkage and integration process in that region and offer a wider platform for the development of the Yangtze River Delta, said Shen Yufang, professor of the Yangtze Basin Development Institute at East China Normal University.

Yanli, mayor of Suzhou city told reporters that Suzhou's economy is dominated by industry and the service sector only accounts for 39.4 percent of the tertiary industry. After the Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway starts operation, it will be more convenient for Suzhou to absorb Shanghai's radiation effects, which will be vital to promote the service industry— especially for high-end and modern service sectors such as finance, consultation and media industries.

The total length of track for China's high-speed railway (including the newly-built high-speed railway and existing railway lines with speeds of over 200 kilometers per hour) will reach 6,920 kilometers after the Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed rail officially joins the operation. China will be the country with the most comprehensive high-speed railway system technology, strongest integrated capacity, longest operation mileage, highest operation speed and largest on-going construction scale of high-speed railways in the world.

By 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:

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China admits rail link flaws
Posted: 16 August 2011 1741 hrs

BEIJING: China's railways ministry has acknowledged flaws in the construction of its high-speed rail links, state media reported Tuesday, in another blow to its credibility after a deadly train crash.

The July 23 collision of two high-speed trains in eastern China, which killed at least 40 people and left nearly 200 injured, sparked public fury amid allegations authorities had prioritised development over safety.

According to the state-run People's Railway Daily newspaper, the ministry acknowledged earlier this week that "flaws exist in the management of construction of high-speed railways".

"Some units have not paid enough attention to key operations involving the safety of high-speed rail links," said the report, which was posted on the ministry's website.

The comments come at a time of crisis for China's high-speed rail network, which had been a major source of political pride for the government until the accident happened near the city of Wenzhou.

Last week, state media said investigations into the crash had determined it was "completely avoidable", adding that design defects had likely caused equipment failures and emergency plans were also deficient.

On Friday, a state-owned manufacturing company announced it was recalling 54 bullet trains on the newly opened high-speed link between Beijing and Shanghai for safety checks.

Also last week, the government said it was suspending approval of all new railway construction projects and ordered the maximum speed of trains on the newly-built lines to be lowered by as much as 20 percent.

China's government has said it will reduce its train fares by five percent, in a move believed to be aimed at attracting commuters back to the country's beleaguered rail system.

-AFP/wk
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.
 

solarz

Brigadier
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:
Wrong again.

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Eisenhower Makes It a Reality

Dwight Eisenhower had long realized the importance of highways, even before he became president in 1953. In 1919 as a young lieutenant colonel in the army he had accompanied the first transcontinental military motor convoy from Washington, DC, to San Francisco. Like most American motorists, the soldiers traveled on dirt roads and crumbling bridges; it took about two months for them to cross the country. And years later, during World War II, he observed the advantages of the German autobahn network, which made for safe and efficient mobility.

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 set aside $175 million for the construction of an interstate highway system. However, even more money was needed for the system that Eisenhower envisioned, and he continued to press for funds. Two years later, the expanded Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 authorized a budget of $25 billion, of which the federal share was to be 90%.
 

solarz

Brigadier
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:
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.
 

Spartan95

Junior Member
First, America *did* hype the car. Remember Ford?
Ford was a car manufacturer. Doesn't Geely, Wuling, Chery, etc get hyped in PRC as well?

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

And trying to split hairs with train vs car and rail vs road is rather superficial.
Superficial? See the 2 points above.

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.
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.
 

solarz

Brigadier
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.
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.

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.
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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