China Slows Its Bullet Trains

Aug 30th, 2011 | Posted by

In the aftermath of the Wenzhou crash, where two Chinese high speed trains collided after a lighting strike caused a signal to fail, the Chinese high speed rail system has been coming under intense domestic scrutiny for its perceived safety lapses. In response to public pressure, the Chinese government this week announced it is dropping speeds on most of its HSR routes:

According to the new schedule issued by the Ministry of Railways, high-speed lines with a designed speed of 350 km/h will be allowed to run at 300 km/h from Sunday.

Lines operating at 250 km/h will now run at 200 km/h, and passenger trains that used to run at 200 km/h on older lines will operate at 160 km/h.

Other schedule changes will affect the overall system, but these are to be matched with a 5% drop in ticket prices. Whether that is enough to stem growing criticism in China of the bullet trains’ safety record is another question entirely.

The move to reduce speeds may wind up validating criticisms that the Chinese Ministry of Railways was operating its trains too fast. The chairman of JR Central was one of those who argued that China was too close to maximum safe speeds. That was seen at the time as the words of a rival, but the events of the summer of 2011 have certainly caused a big black eye to China’s flagship infrastructure project.

On the other hand, lowering speeds and fares is a smart move to rebuild public confidence in the system. We’ll see how this plays out in the months to come. China has bet heavily on high speed rail, and it’s a bet they are still likely to win.

  1. joe
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 00:56
    #1

    Given the US market is at 0.0 and our independent safety standards, it might make sense for China to invest in the CAHSR project and learn & demonstrate, via passing our certification processes, that their technology is safe.

    We can have Chinese designed trains power by Japanese designed nuclear reactors.

    JJJ Reply:

    I think most politicians will be as eager to let China into the HSR project as they would be ready to start importing “enhanced” chinese milk.

    Useless Reply:

    @ JJJ

    Joe was being sarcastic.

    To the defense of Japanese, Fukushima reactors weren’t of Japanese design; they were GE reactors sold to Japan.

    joe Reply:

    Partially sarcastc.

    If I ran China, I’d invest my trade surplus money demonstrating my rail systems worked and were safe.

    That would require an independent partner to verify my technology and implementation.

    Offering to bankroll the CAHSR system and agreeing to independent oversight and V&V testing would accomplish three goals.

    1) investment
    2) foot in the door for US HSR
    3) remove doubt about my product and capability – and fill gaps in safety assurance and policy when they are found.

    CA gets a HSR system.

    Useless Reply:

    @ joe

    > If I ran China, I’d invest my trade surplus money demonstrating my rail systems worked and were safe.

    China already failed that task spectacularly. Going by German ICE example, it would take at least 10 years of spotless operations before Chinese are given a chance again. So no, nobody wants Chinese bullet trains now assuming they are legal(They are not).

    > CA gets a HSR system.

    Whichever system California gets, it won’t be a Chinese system. You can be assured of that.

    VBobier Reply:

    Yeah agreed, I doubt Chinese HSR would be anything to run to, Just to run from…

    joe Reply:

    “Whichever system California gets, it won’t be a Chinese system. You can be assured of that.”

    Probably a safe bet since there are multiple choices with established skill.

    Which proves my point, if China wants to export their technology, they’ll have to pay to do it and we’re the place where that funding would let them is California. They’ll have to make an generous offer which again is exactly wat would get California to listen.

    Peter Reply:

    And not only were they GE reactors, they were GE reactors designed and built in the 1960s. We’ve come quite far since then in terms of reactor design.

    Useless Reply:

    @ Peter

    But the damage is done. Former Prime Minister Kan Naoto declared that Japan was phasing out nuclear power. I don’t know if his policy would be reversed under the new Prime Minister, but the Boiling Water Reactors(Which Japan specializes in) are done for. It will be only Pressurized Water Reactors that will be built for the next 30 years or so.

    It will be a while before Japanese could come up with a Pressurized Water Reactor design that could compete with mature French and Korean PWR designs.

    Peter Reply:

    Hell, no reason to even have to go with any water reactors in a few years. There will be a number of alternative designs that can’t melt down available soon.

    Useless Reply:

    @ Peter

    > no reason to even have to go with any water reactors in a few years.

    There are nuclear power plant projects still on track overseas. Japanese bidders are done for in those projects, so is GE.

    > There will be a number of alternative designs that can’t melt down available soon.

    Latest PWR reactors won’t melt down for at least 3 days with a complete power/pumping loss due to their greater water volume. Hopely, 3 days are enough to restore pumping.

    With BWRs, you have only hours to restore power or the meltdown begins.

    Peter Reply:

    I think you missed my point. These upcoming designs can’t physically melt down. You don’t even need active cooling to prevent a meltdown.

    joe Reply:

    I say Bullshit. I’ve read Gore’s book and even he acknowledges the fissionable material available for use is not enough to replace oil.

    As a species we are incapable of managing the outlier risks and 100K year consequences of nuclear power – we are too short term a species and too optimistic.

    At this moment paid guards watch over nuclear waste in standard facilities since we cannot find a safe place to dispose of the material. No Yucca isn’t suitable.

    Peter Reply:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

    Paulus Magnus Reply:

    I say Bullshit. I’ve read Gore’s book and even he acknowledges the fissionable material available for use is not enough to replace oil.

    And he would be totally and utterly wrong.

    As a species we are incapable of managing the outlier risks and 100K year consequences of nuclear power – we are too short term a species and too optimistic.

    Breeder reactors followed by subduction zones if you have that little faith in humanity.

    At this moment paid guards watch over nuclear waste in standard facilities since we cannot find a safe place to dispose of the material. No Yucca isn’t suitable.

    Yucca is perfectly fine.

    William Reply:

    Ah, French and Korean again. Please read this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESBWR this is a passive safe BWR design from GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

    Useless Reply:

    @ joe

    > via passing our certification processes, that their technology is safe.

    Chinese can’t pass the FRA certification process. The communist party newspaper admitted that China doesn’t know how to engineer a bullet train from scratch(To the shock of the observers), thus it is impossible for Chinese to come up with a design that could pass the US FRA regulations.

    Chinese high speed trains won’t be rolling in the US for the next 10 years, and certainly has nothing to do with the California project.

    joe Reply:

    I don’t think China is incapable of learning.

    If they agree to finance the CA project with the condition Chinese rail experts have involvement in the project, they can “learn on the job.”

    If China can earn their way, they can buy it.

    Useless Reply:

    @ joe

    > I don’t think China is incapable of learning.

    Chinese are certainly incapable of innovating. Once again, it’s the Chinese culture that kills creativity at the earliest stage.

    > If they agree to finance the CA project with the condition Chinese rail experts have involvement in the project, they can “learn on the job.”

    Who wants to hire “experts” who are trying to “learn on the job”, when there are half dozen other experts who know their trade. Especially for a $43 billion+ project.

    Peter Reply:

    Shouldn’t they have already “learned on the job” from their own HSR network that they fucked up royally?

    Useless Reply:

    @ Peter

    > Shouldn’t they have already “learned on the job” from their own HSR network

    If Chinese were capable of learning on the job, then Chinese milk would be safe and drinkable.
    To the contrary, there are still truckloads of melamine-tainted milk and even an evolved version called “leather milk”.

    Peter Reply:

    I’m really not sure what your argument is trying to prove.

    a) It doesn’t respond to my question (which was rhetorical, anyway).

    b) It makes no sense. Yes, the same type of that corrupt officials let milk producers to make toxic milk also looked the other way when the contractors were building shoddy HSR infrastructure. WHat does melanine-tainted milk have to do with engineers being able to learn on the job?

    joe Reply:

    I agree that a US review and independent analysis and inspection of the project – jointly but independent – could demonstrate the design and controls (software) work. The construction is US of A workers and laws – not Chinese.

    wu ming Reply:

    Chinese are certainly incapable of innovating. Once again, it’s the Chinese culture that kills creativity at the earliest stage.

    and that’s why there are so few ethnic chinese scientists and engineers, worldwide.

    they used to say that about the japanese too, you know. and, for that matter, the koreans and taiwanese.

    Useless Reply:

    @ wu ming

    > they used to say that about the japanese too, you know. and, for that matter, the koreans and taiwanese.

    The big difference being that Japanese and Koreans live in free societies, while Chinese don’t.

    In China, you do not have the freedom of speech and thoughts; you are allowed to think only within the narrow boundary as permitted by the communist party. The moment you cross the boundary, you become a “trouble maker” and you know what the communist party does to dissidents.

    This is the reason why nothing innovative ever comes from China, because Chinese aren’t allowed to think freely.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You’re perfectly describing South Korea circa 1985 right now. People were not allowed to think freely or speak freely; the government would massacre protesters.

    Useless Reply:

    @ Alon Levy

    > You’re perfectly describing South Korea circa 1985 right now

    And those people got their freedom back 7 years later.

    > the government would massacre protesters.

    There were no massacre during the 80s protest. Lots of tear gas and police baton, but no bullets. The protesters weren’t going to the streets fearing for their lives, because fatalities were rare mishaps like improperly exploding tear gas canister. Even those military dictators knew where to draw the line and this is why less than 10 people died from 7 years of continuous protest, mostly from accidents.

    Looking at Chinese suppression at Tienanmen, Tibet and Turkestan, there is no line drawn by the CCP leadership and the police are allowed to go “all the way” so people can’t protest on the street everyday.

    Chinese certainly aren’t getting their freedom back 7 years from now, and this is why I write Chinese threats off. China cannot sustain their economic growth on cheap labor alone and must transition to a innovation-driven value-creating economy, but there is no innovation in China due to the political structure in China. You already see China taking a different path of growth than Japanese Koreans did back in the 60s and 80s.

  2. TomW
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 07:15
    #2

    This isn’t a rolling stock issue. This is a signalling issue.

    China’s HSR trains were produced to western companies’ designs, and the photos I’ve seen showed they performed well in the crash. The problem was cuased by whatever signalling system, allowed them to collide in the first place.

    Moral: don’t buy Chinese signalling systems.

    joe Reply:

    Moral: test and verify.

    Useless Reply:

    @ TomW

    > This isn’t a rolling stock issue. This is a signalling issue.

    The very same business culture that produced those defective signaling system also produced rolling stocks. There is a good reason why almost all Chinese-corporation produced goods are of poor quality; it’s is the business culture of China that produces unsafe and poor-quality goods.

    > the photos I’ve seen showed they performed well in the crash.

    The photos reveal Shinkansen’s weakness in crashes. Basically, Shikansens fly off the track upon impact due to their light weight. Accordingly, rolling stocks for California HSR system should be of locomotive-pulled types which can keep the train set on the rail and transfer impact momentum forward instead of flying off the track like Shinkansen E2 did at Wenzhou.

    Peter Reply:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Stop making shit up. What train isn’t going to derail when it rear-ends another?

    Useless Reply:

    @ Peter

    > What train isn’t going to derail when it rear-ends another?

    TGV types. Heavy locomotive transfers the momentum forward(so that the forward train set would accelerate), and the Jacobs bogies keep the train set on the rail.

    Considering the mixed traffic condition of CA HSR system, Shinkansen types are out of question. Only the locomotive-pulled types are safe.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Remind me how many deaths the Mini-Shinkansen trains have had? Stop making things up.

    Useless Reply:

    @ Alon Levy

    Why do you assume Mini-Shinkansen train sets would fare better than Shinkansen E2 under the same circumstances? Japan has no railway crash regulations(Shocking, but true) and Mini-Shinkansen’s ability to run on legacy corridor has to do with voltage, PTC signa compatibility, and loading gauge, not crash performance.

    Granted Shinkansen trains had zero crash in Japan thanks to Japanese PTC and a complete grade segregation, but what happens when Shinkansen trains had to use non-Japanese PTC and share tracks with other heavier trains?

    bleh Reply:

    [i]TGV types. Heavy locomotive transfers the momentum forward(so that the forward train set would accelerate), and the Jacobs bogies keep the train set on the rail.[/i]

    Shouldn’t you slowly start to deemphasize locos and focus on the magic unicorn bogies? The next Korean train’s gonna be an EMU and then you’ll have to change your spiel. Always be prepared.

    [i]Granted Shinkansen trains had zero crash in Japan thanks to Japanese PTC and a complete grade segregation[/i]

    Mini Shinkansen lines aren’t grade separated.

    [i]but what happens when Shinkansen trains had to use non-Japanese PTC and share tracks with other heavier trains?[/i]

    By the time the CaHSR system reaches the bay area ETCS2’s gonna be a highly mature system. And if they don’t use either the Japanese ATC or ETRMS in Cali they should be shot.

    And you could replace every train a Shinkansen has crashed into with a 4mi long heavy freight train and you’d still have zero fatalities because there were no crashes. Not to mention that CalTrain’s gonna switch to lightweight EMUs as soon as possible for economic reasons.

    Useless Reply:

    @ bleh

    > Shouldn’t you slowly start to deemphasize locos and focus on the magic unicorn bogies?

    No, because this is the safest train configruation.

    > The next Korean train’s gonna be an EMU and then you’ll have to change your spiel.

    HEMU-400X isn’t really suited for mixed traffic like KTX-II is. HEMU-400X is being made possible because Korea is building a new separate underground track into Seoul and will stop sharing tracks with legacy traffic in 10 years.

    > Mini Shinkansen lines aren’t grade separated.

    And Mini-Shinkansens did have crashes with cars and trucks before.

    > you could replace every train a Shinkansen has crashed into with a 4mi long heavy freight train and you’d still have zero fatalities because there were no crashes.

    Japanese operating conditions are different from California’s operating conditions.

    > Not to mention that CalTrain’s gonna switch to lightweight EMUs as soon as possible for economic reasons.

    You still have Metrolink trains to share tracks with.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    How many rail passengers died in said crashes?

    Andre Peretti Reply:

    The safety advantage of TGV-type trains entails a loss of economic flexibility. You can’t easily split trains as is routinely done with Siemens rolling stock. In fact, a TGV train is treated by SNCF as one vehicle, and not as a collection of separate cars. Maintenance facilities take up a lot of space as they must have hydraulic ramps able to lift whole 200m-trains. There are only two maintenance facilities for the 480 TGV trains the SNCF owns.
    The SNCF now considers treating each train as one vehicle has not only proved safer but also economically viable. The fact that all cars in a train have the same history (same wear, same maintenance record, etc…) greatly reduces the occurrence of disruptive (and costly) incidents between scheduled maintenance operations.
    Fixed-length trains also have consequences on the way the TGV is managed. To keep them full at all times, airline-type yield management is unavoidable.
    Thus, opting for one or other type of rolling stock is not only a technical decision. It will determine the way the company is run. For instance, if CHSRA intends to shorten or lengthen trains according to ridership demand, or if it wants to create several medium-sized maintenance centers in order to create local jobs, then TGV-type rolling stock wouldn’t be a good choice.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Shinkansen rolling stock is equally difficult to split or recombine. The trains have standard bogies, but can’t be lengthened or shortened in revenue service: the leading and trailing cars have to be streamlined, and the current practice is for them to be non-motorized in order to make braking easier, which means that removing too many intermediate cars would hurt performance. The sets therefore remain fixed – there’s no splitting and recombination of cars as happens on the subway in New York or in other systems with perfectly interchangeable cars.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Pretty much all modern passenger trains come in and are maintained as fixed units, US railfan 1950s nostalgia for “flexibility” notwithstanding.

    Want a longer train? Glue two or more together. Same deal for 350kmh as for 80kmh design speed.

    Andre Peretti Reply:

    Yet, Siemens insists on how easy and fast it is to uncouple individual cars and incorporate them in other trains. I suppose they wouldn’t even mention it if no company were interested.
    Regarding Jacobs bogies, their main advantage for the SNCF is that they allow to have seats on nearly the whole length of the car on the lower level (48 seats downstairs, 54 upstairs). With 2 bogies per car the usable space on the lower floor would be so reduced that the duplex formula would lose much of its commercial interest. Unless the whole floor is “over-wheel”, but then cars would be unacceptably tall for high-speed operation.
    To my knowledge, SNCF is the only company interested in double-decker high-speed trains.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Erm, not really, there are systems which do pull and add cars fairly often (I’m not talking daily, I’m talking over the course of months and years as demand waxes and wanes). What do you count as a fixed unit? I realize that married pairs, three-car units or multi-articulated units are often the “base units”, but there are certainly companies which adjust the number of units on a given train quite often. I mean, heck, you said the same thing — “Want a longer train? Glue two or more together.”

    Alon Levy Reply:

    JR East runs 10-car sets but on some lines it sometimes tacks on an extra 5-car set on the inner segment, to form a 15-car train.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    NYC subway doesn’t split and recombine cars on a regular basis, haven’t in decades. The newer sets are …. sets. I’m sure there are multiple threads over on Subchat that explain it in excruciating detail.

    Or in less detail

    http://www.nycsubway.org/cars/b-div-new-tech.html

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Well, the newer sets are two five-car sets glued together (or four-car sets, on the Eastern Division BMT). The 7 has two five-car sets plus a single car. Judging by the serial numbers on the cars, what gets coupled to what is not fixed. If I’m not mistaken, the older cars are married pairs, and again which married pairs get put together in one train varies.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And just because the numbers on the cars aren’t consecutive theres no reason to assume that they became unconsecutive last night. They could have been coupled in that configuration for months or years.

    Joey Reply:

    Even HSTs without Jacobs’ bogies are almost always operated as 200m sets, sometimes coupled into 400m sets. Separate traincars makes the set marginally easier to take apart and maintain at a facility but you won’t find them adding/removing cars.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    > TGV types…

    Don’t forget that the TGV power car is not “heavy”. The axle load limitations for high speed lines limit the weight to less than 70 metric tons. A fully loaded Velaro end car weighs that too.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I must say a combination of racism with technical ignorance and unsupportable assertion is really compelling.

    thatbruce Reply:

    The photos reveal Shinkansen’s weakness in crashes. Basically, Shikansens fly off the track upon impact due to their light weight.

    A little bit of research shows that everything from FRA dinosaurs to lightweight pointynose things ‘fly off the track’ when they impact a stationary object while traveling at high speed. Including those using MUBs. The weight of the train doesn’t matter. The moment of inertia does, and the faster you go, the more likely you will come off the track when you hit something that isn’t moving.

    Useless Reply:

    @ thatbruce

    > A little bit of research shows that everything from FRA dinosaurs to lightweight pointynose things ‘fly off the track’ when they impact a stationary object while traveling at high speed.

    Ok, let’s see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUF19acPBZA

    The loco was up in the air, but it didn’t fly off and protected the coach cars behind.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpcfZeokUI

    This looks like what happened to Shinkansen E2 at Wenzhou, the train car literally flying off the track.

    Latest TGV-type trains feature heavy locomotives with 6~ 6.2 MJ energy absorption, and this is why a TGV-type train would not have flown off the track like Shinkansen E2 did.

    William Reply:

    You are ignoring the fact heavier locomotives increases the risk for telescoping during collision, and TGV-derived trainsets do not have the Jacob bogie between the locomotive and the first passenger car.

    Aerodynamic nose crashed against aerodynamic nose would surely increase the rise of the moving train climbing over the stopped train. This can also caused by incompatible hitting height between the CRH2 and CRH1. The train with higher nose will always climb over the train with lower nose.

    Useless Reply:

    @ William

    > The train with higher nose will always climb over the train with lower nose.

    Shinkansen E2 had a lower nose than the Regina, yet it was the Shinkansen E2 that flew out of the track while the Regina stayed on track.

    So lesson of the Wenzhou crash; lighter cars fly out upon a collision, so it is important to make head cars heavy-weight locomotives.

    swing hanger Reply:

    OK, we get it- California had better buy those Korean trainsets because they have the heavy front ends、or at least an Alstom unit, heaven forbid should the trains be from “Ilbon”- the “han” will be unbearable, and the Jinro will flow…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    At Zoufftgen, the freight train climbed the passenger train (which was running EMUs).

    Joey Reply:

    Metrolin’s 2008 crash suggests that you need more than a dead weight at the front of the train to protect passengers.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    … suggests you need more than a dead weight at the front … to protect passengers.

    As does AF447

    Nathanael Reply:

    Indeed, the Chinese trains are not the problem….

    The Chinese *signalling system* is the problem.

    I wouldn’t trust hardly anyone to build a new signalling system — that’s hard stuff. The “new system” designed for BART and the Washington Metro in the 1970s wasn’t failsafe. (BART patched it, Washington Metro had the recent crash.) I would take the Swiss system, as implemented by the Swiss, off the shelf — *them* I trust.

    And if the rumors coming out are true, the Chinese government had trouble with the signal system telling trains to stop, so they simply ordered the signalling system turned off. Crash followed. Oh my God.

    This reminds me of a Chinese hotel (brand new) which I stayed in in 1986 — they had everything right *except the electrical work*, which they had messed up….

    Anyway, you can build a train or even a track to relatively poor standards and it’ll work, but *signalling must be built to an extremely high standard*. A signalling failure gives you a catastrophic failure, while a track or train problem can be dealt with by throwing more maintenance at it.

    Moral of this story: use ERTMS/ETCS in the exact form used by the Swiss. Signalling design is *hard*, because it’s failsafe design. And Americans haven’t gotten it right since the 1930s.

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    Chinese high speed lines use ETCS.

    If I remember rightly, the theory is that either the signalling system was taken out by the lightning and the line controllers allowed trains to run without it, or the line controllers deliberately switched off the signalling so that they could clear the backlog of delayed trains by allowing more than one train in each signalling block. Plus, whatever happened, they managed to lose track of where their trains were.

  3. Alon Levy
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 10:31
    #3

    The slowdown reminds me of US freight practices: when the infrastructure is about to collapse, lower speeds instead of doing proper maintenance. Read the last few paragraphs of this story to see what I’m getting at.

    It goes without saying that the faster-than-300 record in France and soon to be Japan is spotless. And 360 was possible in Japan safely; JR East decided against it on grounds of capacity, noise, and catenary wear, but not of safety.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Very high speeds will require very high standards of manufacture and maintenance. Motors out of tolerance will fail faster at higher speeds. Remember BART’s experience with Garrett motors.

    It is a wise, if politically unpalatable, move. They have to deal with costs in order to keep the tickets priced low enough to pull in the masses.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, pricing is a more reasonable justification for lowering speeds. There are many good reasons to run trains at 300 rather than 350; it’s just that safety isn’t one of them, and you should be wary of anyone who sells them on safety grounds.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I doubt that anybody in the world 20 years from now will be scheduling trains for > 320kmh.

    Nathanael Reply:

    You never know. If it makes the takt work….

    Andre Peretti Reply:

    The optimal speed is the one that attracts the highest ridership at the smallest cost. When increasing speed doesn’t increase market share, the company is losing money. If France and Japan are obliged to phase out nuclear energy, the price of electricity will increase and speed might have to be reduced.
    The French socialists used to be pro-nuclear but as they can’t have a majority without Eurogreen votes, they promised to phase out nuclear energy in 30 years (France’s electricity is 80% nuclear and the cheapest in Europe).
    Europe Ecologie’s own platform includes freezing the construction of all planned HSR lines and making speeds over 200kmh illegal. This, as soon as they have a majority at the national assembly. Fortunately, that will never happen.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Eh, aggressive use of solar will mean the impact on electricity prices will not be significant.

  4. Reality Check
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 15:38
    #4

    Kings Co. officials ask Gov. Brown to force HSR route re-think

    Nathanael Reply:

    As previously documented, these guys are idiots and have basically asked to be ignored: they were the ones who caused the current route to be chosen in the first place. Hanford specifically didn’t want the train route going through downtown, so it has to go through farmland. Make up your minds, guys.

    Peter Reply:

    They’re obsessing over moving the route to SR-99. They’re complaining to the wrong parties. UPRR is the main reason why HSR is not following SR-99 between Fresno and Bakersfield. Not the FRA, not any requirements by the Authority. UPRR.

  5. Michael Mahoney
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 18:09
    #5

    “Perceived safety lapses.” Very well put. We have a job for you in government.

  6. Reality Check
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 18:43
    #6

    PAMPA anti-HSR lawsuit attorney Brady: Letter: High-speed rail chief not happy with 2 tracks

    This is a complete betrayal and borders on deceit; the support given to SEG was premised on a minimally intrusive two-track system, yet the Peninsula stands to get the full package, which will wind up being the hated viaduct system, 60 feet up in the air (which is the cheapest method).

    All local politicians/council members who support the SEG proposal should now withdraw their support in light of these inexcusable tactics. If they do not, what does it say about them — that they knew the four-track system was coming but support it anyway, but couched their SEG support in a way that would make them look “protective” of Peninsula towns and cities?

    Furthermore, Sen. Simitian, Congresswoman Eshoo, and Assemblyman Gordon should now announce that, in light of California High-Speed Rail’s position, the SEG proposal is withdrawn.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sadly, but realistically I suggest that at some point soon PAMPA, et al will have to stop pussy-footing around with the CHSRA and take the needed steps to 86 it from the Peninsula. As Caltrain is a hapless eunuch. that means BART Ring-the-Bay. The only way to definitively kill the Embarcadero Freeway on rails is to dance with the devil and organize the groundswell. Cadres of BART supporters are already there.

    You gotta nuke ’em, PAMPA, before they nuke you.

    William Reply:

    blah blah blah…

    Tony d. Reply:

    Alzheimer’s kicking in?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’d lean more towards Tourette’s

    synonymouse Reply:

    Never “misunderestimate” the Empire of BART, which today got a new director for around $400k. The media are rumoring she was kicked out of Seattle. AT least not Nathaniel Ford.

    Hey, with Wunderman, MTC, the PG&E honcho et al on board BART’s hatchetmen are moving into place.

  7. Tony d.
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 19:44
    #7

    FYI,
    the whole world, California or Bay Area doesn’t revolve around what PAMPA wants (thankfully).

  8. Brandon from San Diego
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 19:50
    #8

    I just wanted to beach for a second… What the heck did Boehner do to Obama? It seems like he has turned him into a tussy.

    William Reply:

    Giving the Republican Majority in the House, President Obama has to give in more if he was to keep the nation running.

    We should make every people take both Macro and Micro economics, then people will understand that US borrowing as much money as the global market can take is not a bad thing, especially when the inflation rate is very low at less than 1%. And that a country’s debt doesn’t work like household debt.

    The economic data just published these few weeks shows that the economy was recovering at a good pace before the dept ceiling fight. It is very likely that the cut only solution to the country’s debt will severely dampen the pace of economy recovery, all thanks to Republicans.

    joe Reply:

    Agreed.

    His “winning the future ” slogan sounds like a line from Charlie Sheen’s TeeVee interview.

  9. schrodinger
    Aug 31st, 2011 at 21:37
    #9

    Planes crash. Cars crash. The Chinese simply need to investigate this and fix the problem.

    LA commuter trains have crashed at far lower speeds. The Chinese HSR system is huge, so any flaws will show up quickly.

    This isn’t unfixable and we don’t have to buy Chinese technology anyway.

    JBaloun Reply:

    The cost to fix significant errors grows by orders of magnitude as the project progresses from concept to full operation. It is better to avoid avoidable problems before the first shovel of dirt is turned. This is the present state of HSR in California and what drives Richard to distraction.

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