Global HSR News: China Moves Ahead, UK Pauses
A couple of items from around the globe:
- The Washington Post reports China is pulling ahead in the worldwide race for high speed rail – and it is very much a race, since the country that has the largest network gets not only a more affordable and sustainable transportation system, but also gets to develop an export industry that can provide economic growth for years, maybe even decades to come. China’s HSR spending has been very smart, providing short-term stimulus while building out long-term growth potential. Meanwhile the US remains locked in thrall to the obsolete models of the 20th century, spending billions to prop up automakers while dithering on long-term federal HSR funding.
- The change of government in Britain is having an impact on high speed rail plans. Labour’s HSR plans are being scrapped by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. However, that’s not because the coalition wants to kill HSR, but because they believe Labour’s specific plan was flawed and that they can do it better. The Conservatives are if anything more deeply committed to HSR than was Labour. And it’s not as if they have the option to not do HSR – the new coalition has scrapped plans for a third runway at Heathrow, meaning that HSR is now a necessity to move travelers around Britain.