China develops high-speed train that is compatible with rail guages between countries. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15129324
A train that can work on multiple railway systems is a good idea for their international railroad project.

Last time I was able to ask, China's domestic railroad system was mostly a huge success (which bodes well for the international system) but in trying to recoup the costs for such a large project, it was usually cheaper to buy a plane ticket, which seemed to be a running joke.
#15129481
Wulfschilde wrote:A train that can work on multiple railway systems is a good idea for their international railroad project.

Last time I was able to ask, China's domestic railroad system was mostly a huge success (which bodes well for the international system) but in trying to recoup the costs for such a large project, it was usually cheaper to buy a plane ticket, which seemed to be a running joke.


The costs of such a running system are imo absorbed by the boosts in development around the railway stations/hubs. So they can always run at a loss, if the benefits a few steps removed are felt so much. Similarly the various tube/metro systems of china's cities which are rapidly expanding are hardly profitable. But they facilitate the movement of millions every day. That benefit is so great it is hard to calculate. Imagine those millions instead having to rely on cars or buses. Hell no. Even the short maglev track in shanghai which loses about $1 billion every month, has helped further cement shanghai as a tourist hub of china. It also helped spur development of a more realistic maglev inter-city system that is under construction as a direct result of the shanghai test bed. How many billions do those extra tourists bring in every month? How many benefits will the inter-city maglevs bring long term? Hard to calculate because the implications are as big as the scale of the infrastructure itself.

The beauty of government funded infrastructure at this pace and scale is just that. Rewards and benefits beyond the immediate.
#15129544
Igor Antunov wrote:The costs of such a running system are imo absorbed by the boosts in development around the railway stations/hubs. So they can always run at a loss, if the benefits a few steps removed are felt so much. Similarly the various tube/metro systems of china's cities which are rapidly expanding are hardly profitable. But they facilitate the movement of millions every day. That benefit is so great it is hard to calculate. Imagine those millions instead having to rely on cars or buses. Hell no. Even the short maglev track in shanghai which loses about $1 billion every month, has helped further cement shanghai as a tourist hub of china. It also helped spur development of a more realistic maglev inter-city system that is under construction as a direct result of the shanghai test bed. How many billions do those extra tourists bring in every month? How many benefits will the inter-city maglevs bring long term? Hard to calculate because the implications are as big as the scale of the infrastructure itself.

The beauty of government funded infrastructure at this pace and scale is just that. Rewards and benefits beyond the immediate.

Yeah, I am sure that in the long term it will be a huge net benefit. It was just a funny anecdote that in the short term it's cheaper to do something less efficient. It nice though that China can actually finish construction projects, including huge ones, even if there are bumps on the road. In America they usually can't complete similar, smaller projects but they do consistently disappear the money allocated for them.

Specifically, I had the pleasure of going on China's railway network or the Hong Kong-Zhuhai bridge at certain points in my life, yet California had significantly more money allocated for a single train track up and down the state, had to cancel the project after decades and has been fighting not to return federal loans for the project because orange man.
#15130034
Interestingly, China and the two Koreas are the only countries in that region to employ European / American standard gauge for most of its railway infrastructure.

Japan's national railway uses Cape gauge (1067mm), although with its extensive private railway network there is a wide variety, and their high-speed rail do use standard guage.

South-east Asia is mainly metre gauge.

India and Pakistan use a unique wide guage, while Russia / Afghanistan / Kazakhstan / Mongolia use another.

Which means China has much more incentive to develop cross-gauge rail technology than Europe and the United States.
#15130084
European countries developed railways with unique gauges in order to slow potential invasions from neighbouring armies. Spain's railways aren't compatible with France's for example.
#15130088
Igor Antunov wrote:
The costs of such a running system are imo absorbed by the boosts in development around the railway stations/hubs. So they can always run at a loss, if the benefits a few steps removed are felt so much. Similarly the various tube/metro systems of china's cities which are rapidly expanding are hardly profitable. But they facilitate the movement of millions every day. That benefit is so great it is hard to calculate. Imagine those millions instead having to rely on cars or buses. Hell no. Even the short maglev track in shanghai which loses about $1 billion every month, has helped further cement shanghai as a tourist hub of china. It also helped spur development of a more realistic maglev inter-city system that is under construction as a direct result of the shanghai test bed. How many billions do those extra tourists bring in every month? How many benefits will the inter-city maglevs bring long term? Hard to calculate because the implications are as big as the scale of the infrastructure itself.

The beauty of government funded infrastructure at this pace and scale is just that. Rewards and benefits beyond the immediate.



Great post, especially for Americans, who generally can't see beyond their noses.
#15130160
In the 19th century, unified Germany became a major global power by physically connecting its regions with a railway network and by building the steel industry necessary for the railway. The nation boot-strapped into a major industrial power by building a national infrastructure and by promoting domestic industry.

It is ironic that 21st century Europe should have ignored that lesson while the Chinese profited from it. The EU had the technical head-start and the economic means to build such a network for the EU and beyond 20 to 30 years ago. Yet, neoliberal thinking prevented the necessary support for domestic industries. Political leaders where worshipping at the altar of neoliberal thinking while Beijing went on a relentless race to promote domestic industries. As recently as 2 years ago, the anti-monopoly commissioner prevented a rail merger between Siemens and Alstom that could have competed with the Chinese. Parts of Alstom were instead sold off to the Americans to be cannibalized.

We can only hope that the neoliberal dogma will be overcome with the departure of the British. It'll be too late for the European railway industry, but there are other sectors were the creation of European champions will save high-tech jobs.
#15130162
Atlantis wrote:
As recently as 2 years ago, the anti-monopoly commissioner prevented a rail merger between Siemens and Alstom that could have competed with the Chinese. Parts of Alstom were instead sold off to the Americans to be cannibalized.



You'd rather have 'Great Power'-type nationalist, and even *imperialist*, monopolies? You'd rather have World War III as a result of all the developed nations making their own, competing, nationalist monopolies -- ?


Atlantis wrote:
We can only hope that the neoliberal dogma will be overcome with the departure of the British. It'll be too late for the European railway industry, but there are other sectors were the creation of European champions will save high-tech jobs.



Neoliberal dogma is *supply-side* -- it implements austerity, cutting social services to redirect funds to the private sector. It's not just going to *go away* -- it's a *political* thing that has to be *forced out* of government policy by mass anti-austerity movements from below.

We don't need to *look* to the private sector, and champion it, for the sake of job-creation -- the *government* can always create jobs if it ever has the impetus to do so.
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