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RE: china high speed rail

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On a more positive note they are constructing railways not highways.

I recollect a few years back the railway technical society of Australasia
(RTSA) mentioning in their monthly newsletter that politicians gain greater
status for opening a 1km stretch of local road, than they do for opening
several hundred kilometres of railway which has the same cost. All kinds of
arguments which favour rail over road, especially for heavy transport and
mass transit systems: and plenty of opposing arguments as well.

Also railways were important to western history, railways opened up the
interiors of large continental nations. As for history of rail in Britain,
it moved from building canals to get coal to industry to building railways,
and in turn the railways brought people from rural communities into the
factory towns. Whilst the Romans built roads where ever they went, the
British built railways. If have a massive country like China, then have
great distances to travel, and really want to keep commuter travel times
below 1 hour, so high speed rail potentially better than say small local
airports. Also consider that there has been criticism of China's growth in
use of cars and the consequent air pollution. So development programmes for
construction of railways and mass transit systems, should may be given a
more positive light.

Geographically early civilisations were built along the banks of rivers,
firstly because water is the source of life, secondly because rivers are
greater for transportation. The reach of the transportation network being
extended by canals, then as mentioned extended still further by railway. Not
just important for transportation, but also for communication. And just as
towns are built along the banks of rivers and canals, such development also
occurs along the sides of railways, as it does roads.

Yes some political posturing. But by constructing railways, they are opening
the country up, and providing opportunity for people to move around the
country, and move from the rural community into the industrial cities. The
tickets maybe expensive, but likely to be more affordable and practical than
say an over night stay, and return the next day by slower trains.

It as also been suggested that if we put as much effort into developing
locomotives as we have into developing the car, then we wouldn't be so
dependent on the car and fossil fuels, and our cities would be more
efficiently laid out. Also better to travel through the landscape and
associated communities than by aircraft over it and miss it.

So I think it is better that they are posturing about trains and railways,
rather than some new car plant and highway.




Regards
Conrad Harrison
B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust
mailto:sch.tectonic(--nospam--at)bigpond.com
Adelaide
South Australia















































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