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Firms Ride High on China's Huge Rail Upgrade

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1171591913...ON=wsjie/6month

By 2010:

* Add 10,540 miles of new track, increasing national network to more than 55,800 miles.

* Dedicate 4,340 miles of new track solely to high-speed passenger trains, some with top speeds exceeding 200 MPH.

* Upgrade 8,000 miles of existing track to handle high-speed passenger trains.

* Electrify 9,300 miles of track to accomodate electric as well as diesel trains.

* Increase maximum speed of freight trains on all lines to 75 MPH.

By 2020:

* Increase national track network to 62,000 miles.

* Increase dedicated high-speed passenger lines to 7,400 miles.

Article information: "Firms Ride High on China's Huge Rail Upgrade, By BRUCE STANLEY, February 16, 2007; Page A4, Wall Street Journal"

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And in that same time period, the U.S rail system will not have changed at all. We'll still be using old diesel designs and limiting freight to speeds of around 40-60mph while passenger rail, if it exists at all, will be horribly inconvenient and hardly adequate.

We are just begging for China to become the next world super power.

Good for them, though. THey know where strong investments are needed to prosper.

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Can anybody see the article through the hyperlink, by the way? I'm a Wall Street Journal subscriber, but the links may be for members-only sometimes.

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And in that same time period, the U.S rail system will not have changed at all. We'll still be using old diesel designs and limiting freight to speeds of around 40-60mph while passenger rail, if it exists at all, will be horribly inconvenient and hardly adequate.

We are just begging for China to become the next world super power.

Good for them, though. THey know where strong investments are needed to prosper.

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China screaming ahead also benefits from the power of momentum. A country that is growing very fast has more money to spend on infrastructure as revenue starts to climb faster than pre-existing expenses.

As soon as this levels out, however, things will drastically change.

I don't know about adding freight only lines. That would not be a good idea. If they are updating tracks to go 70mph on freight, those same tracks can hold a passenger train going much faster by default, so there really is no "freight only" design at that level of quality.

Here in the U.S., there are some rail lines that trains can only travel at 10-20mph on because if they went faster the train would derail. Now that is negligence.

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I may have explained my thoughts on the freight lines poorly. I think most of the new lines will be initially laid out for use getting raw materials from the hinterlands of China to the manufacturing facilites. I would guess that is a priority for them.

Sure, they'd be an occasional passenger train, but the bulk of the traffic would be frieght. Eventually the percentage of passenger trains would increase.

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Today, China's first high-speed train began revenue sevice.....the train moves at 250 kph (155 mph).....sigh....why oh why does the US let us get left behind?

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