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re: china high speed rail

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NON-structural engineering post warning:

Now, I am a big proponent of mass transit and high speed rail, and
personally love train travel. The technological aspects of it are
exciting and interesting, and I support the initiative conceptually.
It works well in areas of Europe and Japan, and hopefully one day we
can get a few lines going here. But something about this does not sit
right with me, probably because it is China.

The whole thing, especially the press release, reaks of communist
posturing, just like the entire Beijing Olympics. It also seems
familiar: North Korea's rocket and nuclear program, Pakistan and India
having nuclear weapons, and Iran's whole nuclear deal. These are poor
countries with huge social problems that are putting their carts
before their horses in an attempt to launch themselves into the 21st
century. Meanwhile, the vast majority of people in these countries
live on a few bucks a day in abject poverty.

High speed rail seems like an anti-communism move, almost hypocritical
from a socialist perspective. It can be extremely expensive and likely
only affordable by the rich and tourists. I have to think that a
country with China's population and huge social, economic, and
environmental issues would be better off for the whole to solve more
common problems than cutting edge high speed rail technology. Why not
just drive around the countryside of China in a Porsche with the top
down with a big china flag on the hood, flipping the bird to all of
the sustenance farmers in the rice paddies... Let them eat cake?

(Yes, the US has lots of problems which I am aware of, but the article
was about China. Not picking on China, just their government's
decision making... Which ours needs picking on too!)

Andrew Kester, PE

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