High-Speed Rail Poised to Alter China; U.S. Left In The Dust

by Ben Hoffman

Just as building the interstate highway system a half-century ago made modern, national commerce more feasible in the United States, China’s ambitious rail rollout is helping integrate the economy of this sprawling, populous nation — though on a much faster construction timetable and at significantly higher travel speeds than anything envisioned by the Eisenhower administration.

Work crews of as many as 100,000 people per line have built about half of the 10,000-mile network in just six years, in many cases ahead of schedule — including the Beijing-to-Shanghai line that was not originally expected to open until next year. The entire system is on course to be completed by 2020. Read more…

America lags all other industrialized nations in high-speed rain transportation because conservatives don’t want to invest in our own country.

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6 Comments to “High-Speed Rail Poised to Alter China; U.S. Left In The Dust”

  1. Mr. Hoffman ,

    Here is an article on the high speed rail situation in China .

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-01/12/content_11831362.htm

  2. Mr. Hoffman ,

    If you read into the article they lay out some of the difficulties of Chinese high speed rail in integrating with low speed cheaper rail . My point is that you present high speed rail as this magical answer to a lot of what ails the American economy . You say that China is leaping ahead of us , partly because of it’s willingness to spend enormous sums on this infrastructure . I think it is not as simple as you believe and China’s investment may not pay off .

    It is a lot of money if a country gets it wrong . China is also a more densely populated nation than us, which favors rail . Even if China is right , it still does not mean it will work here .

  3. Without effective public transportation in the connected communities, high speed rail will not work. Getting to the city is only half the problem, getting around the city is the other half. People won’t use it if they can’t get around once they arrive at their destination and will still drive instead.

    • Sacha: This is entirely correct. The inner city electric tramways were all over the USA in the 1930s. The carmaggedon lobby destroyed them all (except San Francisco?) well, that should have given Bushama an opportunity to create jobs. Instead, he is cutting jobs, and cutting and cuttting jobs. For example the defense budget is grotesquely inflated (above 800 billion), but cutting jobs there will be depressing on the economy, and has to be compensated with trams. European cities have been building electric public transport, as they fight the cars in city centers… Even New York is building a subway. To serve Wall Street, of course…
      PA

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