How China’s HSR System Became A Success

Sep 27th, 2015 | Posted by

During the Great Recession, China chose to stimulate its economy through massive infrastructure projects – including building out a national high speed rail system. But after a few years, criticism began to mount amidst growing problems.

Suzhou train station, China

The Wenzhou disaster in 2011 showed China had serious problems in terms of managing the rapid growth of the system. That same year, American news outlets like the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal described the system as overburdened with debt, lacking riders, and facing financial ruin.

Many people stopped paying attention at that point. China’s HSR project was seen as unsafe and unsuccessful, what more was there to know? But as it turns out, the story did not end in 2011. Four years later, Chinese high speed rail is a stunning success and a model for the rest of the globe which will have to catch up or be left behind.

Over at the European Tribune, DoDo has taken a fresh look at China’s HSR system and finds it is doing quite well:

The history of high-speed rail is full of projects that, due to this or that planning deficiency, failed to meet initial expectations, only to become a roaring success a few years later. CRH went through an extreme version of this: while in 2011, some feared (and US anti-rail propagandists hoped) that China will be crushed financially by a trillion-dollar debt for lines that, rejected by the public, will never turn a profit, now the renminbis are flowing and China is the only country where there has been a pro-high-speed rail riot(!). It’s worth to look at how three specific lines performed.

The biggest success now is the most important and most expensive part of the network, the Beijing–Shanghai line. In 2014 (its third full year of operation), it carried more than 100 million passengers, and turned a profit a couple of years ahead of schedule. For scale, this is already two-thirds of the peak of the world’s busiest high-speed line (the Tōkaidō Shinkansen), and pretty close to the design capacity of 120 million passengers/year! Hence:

…over 250 trains are running on the tracks every day, and even this cannot meet the need of passengers,” said chairman Cai Qinghua. “We are about to build the second Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway if it continues developing this way.”

Before that, the newly planned lines from Beijing to Hefei would provide relief.

The second case study is the Wuhan–Guangzhou line, which was one of the first to open. It was a big gamble as the first near-1,000 km line in the world, it provided for negative news with unmet initial ridership expectations, and its losses were of real significance due to its sheer size. However, it reached 50 million passengers in 2013, or 2½ times its initial year ridership, or about break-even level. A big factor was the opening of connecting lines (in particular its extensions to Beijing and Shenzhen), another the opening of urban rail connections to several of its stations.

It’s become quite clear now that China’s ambitious HSR project is paying off quite well. The finances work out, and ridership is soaring. This year will be the peak construction of the system, with a dozen more routes likely to be completed by the end of 2015. DoDo expects the entire system to be pretty much done by the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which would be less than 15 years from start to finish.

DoDo also points out that HSR construction has helped to spur construction of more metro rail lines in China’s fast-growing cities, which would be something Californians would certainly welcome.

What happened between 2011 and 2015? Nothing, really. The problem was that in 2011 the system was too young to judge whether it was a success or a failure. In 2009, DoDo himself explained that there is a five-year curve in any new HSR line, that there is a ramp-up period that builders and governments just have to ride out rather than panic and make bad decisions that would compromise the effectiveness of the system. Basically, ridership on a new HSR line will take about 5 years to reach its full potential, and governments have to be willing to let that process unfold naturally, rather than panicking in the face of bad press in the second or third year.

DoDo developed that basic analysis after looking at the expansion of Spain’s AVE network in the 2000s and the early years of the French TGV in the 1980s, but the story of China HSR proves the concept quite well.

So now that China is entering the North American HSR picture with its deal to help build XpressWest to Las Vegas, it’s worth keeping in mind that China actually does know how to build a successful HSR system.

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  1. Roland
    Sep 27th, 2015 at 10:48
    #1

    How about some healthy competition for a change?
    http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news/content?id=20150927000003&cid=1102

    keith saggers Reply:

    “Amid public concerns over a cost of US$68 billion for the LA-Las Vegas project, the US is expected to give precedence to the price put forward by the bidders”

    The writer seems to be confusing CHSR with XpressWest to Las Vegas

  2. Travis D
    Sep 27th, 2015 at 15:35
    #2

    I wonder how long until more construction gets underway in Fresno? Or with the second construction segment.

    Zorro Reply:

    Some construction is already happening in Fresno, on SR-99 houses are being acquired and demolished to straighten SR-99, utilities are dealt with, then Caltrans gives up the old curved part of SR-99 to the CHSRA for it’s construction, once the new straight section of SR-99 is built that is. Look under Sept 8th(Finance and Audit Committee Meeting), there is CP-1 and CP-2/3 monthly reports there in pdf format.

    Roland Reply:

    They are building a really nice new restaurant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS-7Qg44nXI

  3. JimInPollockPines
    Sep 27th, 2015 at 16:27
    #3

    lots people want to go lots of places quickly and comfortably, so of course it’s a success. It will be a success in california too.

    Aarond Reply:

    True. It’s a success almost everywhere. Hell, even existing long-haul Amtrak trains would be successful if the feds invested in capital upgrades. Even All Aboard Florida will probably be a success once it’s built.

    The only issue is cultural. It goes without saying that Americans, especially older ones, love their cars.

    Jerry Reply:

    A lot of old timers love their trains also.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    define older, if youre 20 older is 45, if your 40 75 is older. old people remember trains glory days, boomers remember auto glory days ( gen x-ers remember what concerts theyve been to)

    Andy M Reply:

    There are people of all generations who have positive thoughts about trains.

    That is not necessarily a contradiction to also having positive memories of your favorite model of car, or favorite music.

    People aren’t as totally one-dimensional as the people who invent these categories would have us believe.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Oh, there are always exceptions. But it’s really true that the Baby Boomers have less affection for trains *on average* than the generations before *or* after them. Probably because they grew up with really nice, uncrowded roads AND really nice airplanes,… AND with particularly crappy train service during the period when the private railroads were trying to chase customers away.

    Scramjett Reply:

    Bingo. I’m a Gen Xer with boomer parents and I’m pretty sure I’ve taken the train more times in the last few months than my parents have in their entire life.

    Yes, that is anecdotal, but I have observed from various sources (not just people I know) that boomer sentiment is decidedly pro-auto and anti-train.

    Jerry Reply:

    “define older”
    Opposite of younger.
    :)

    J. Wong Reply:

    The real problem is that “old timers” some how feel that building HSR and leaving the debt to their grandchildren is bad while not building HSR and leaving it to their grandchildren to both build the train for a greater cost and going into debt to build it is good thing.

    Leaving debt to your grandchildren when said debt was incurred in constructive investment is always a good thing.

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed, it’s like building infrastructure to some is bad(when it’s not, to not do so is insane), like for HSR, roads, water, power, Hospitals, Police, Fire, all of it could be considered Socialism, since everyone has the capability to use what is jointly owned and except for power & hospitals, which have some public ownership, most everything else is publicly owned. And the US Constitution since day one has a provision in Article 1, Section 8 that says “Provide for the General Welfare”. I’ve even encountered some who think that ‘Taxes are Theft’, which is blatantly false.

    And this is only a section of Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution:

    Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
    Section 8 – Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and General Welfare of the United

    States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

    Jerry Reply:

    Fix the standard of weights and measures by adopting the metric system.

    Jerry Reply:

    Use the metric system for CAHSR.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I’m just old enough to remember learning the Metric System in elementary school, just before Ronald Reagan (the worst thing which had happened to the US in at least 70 years) repealed the Metric Conversion Law.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    No to mention that with interest rates as low as they are now, we’re talking about paying off bonds 20 years from now for virtually the same price as today’s costs. It’s practically criminal that we’re not building all sorts of infrastructure left and right in this country, right now; we may never have favorable interest costs like this again in our lifetime.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s actually a big problem for the project right now.

    What makes government bonds attractive for both sides are lower interests than you can get through other lending. However with the Federal Reserve making commercial paper and other debt instruments so cheap through zero interest rates…bonds look too safe for the risk takers (hence the huge amount of investing in the stock market) and for the conservative investor, bonds also look like a worse deal because of the falling revenue trajectories of many states and local governments. The chance that California would allow pension funds to be paid first in a bankruptcy, by the way, also doesn’t help.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    I don’t buy the car culture argument – and I’m someone who was born and raised in Southern California. People like their cars, yes, but they hate being stuck in traffic. They hate airport security lines and cramped coach seats on planes. Driving from LA to SF on the 101 is gorgeous but takes as much as 50% more time than driving on I-5, which is rightly seen as an incredibly ugly and boring drive (at least north of the Grapevine).

    So yes, there is such a thing as California car culture, but the things that comprise that culture won’t get in the way of passenger rail being a success. After all, existing rail lines in California – including the LA area – are quite successful.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    what is comes down to is “the right tool for the job” Thats why we need a comprehensive and thoughtful and coordinated approach to state transportation. With 40 50 60 (shudder) people in california, hsr will be full no matter what but we also have to have good roads, waterways and airports, truck ways and improved freight movement to provide a solid base for our economy.

    The argument for hsr was never made properly. ITs neither a pie in the sky end all be all for transportation woes nor is it a communist plot to force everyone out of their cars. Its just gives californians another option – not perfect for every trip – but useful for enough people enough of the time.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    So I agree, all due respect and praise to Robert and his efforts, that the messaging for many of the “Straight Outta Sacramento” uber projects fall flat. Even now, with Brown in office for a second term…his adult supervision schtick is wearing thin.

    Realignment (which fits in well with HSR by the way) is still a mystery to the common man. The U. S. Senate race has zero substance, the Legislature is deeply divided, and with the signature threshold for ballot measures so low for the 2016 election…you best grab something and hold on…there’s nothing but political whitewater ahead until the 2018 gubernatorial race is over…

    Scramjett Reply:

    Here is the thing – do people hate being stuck in traffic? Yes. Do they hate airport security lines and cramped coach seats? Yes & yes. However, younger folks are a bit more world “aware” and know about the HSR trains abroad while older folks (older than boomers) remember the halcyon days of trains and train rides! Boomers have neither. Their solution is to build more roads, wider roads, bigger airports and airplanes.* In their minds, anything else is a waste of money (which they increasingly view as being theft by da gummit). So your argument is pointless since nothing anyone (you, me, everyone on this forum) can say will change their mind. And they’re the ones largely in power right now. I think they will forever reshape this country in a very very bad way. Moreover, even though HSR is on the move, I still don’t hold out much hope that it will be completed within my lifetime.

    *My approach would be more planes that are smaller, faster, lighter and are sonic for transcontinental and supersonic for intercontinental flights. They’d also have roomier cabins for the “unwashed masses” and ditch first class all together. Regional flights would be replaced with HSR. I’d hope that the decrease in the number of flights would reduce the need for the draconian security.

  4. keith saggers
    Sep 27th, 2015 at 20:09
    #4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWqVrnHKITc

    keith saggers Reply:

    Transbay Transit Center

    Clem Reply:

    Follow construction of the Salesforce Tower here with near daily updates from the skyscraper nerds, who are evidently as passionate as the train nerds. This tower is immediately adjacent to the TTC, with the phrase ‘immediately adjacent to the TTC’ understood to mean the exact opposite of the phrase ‘San Jose Diridon’.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I would like to see the park extended to moscone via an elevated way like the high line in new york.

    JB in PA Reply:

    SF Highline on Mission St. or…Market St or?
    If they create a Highline then it should extend to connect more parks and bulldings. People would be free to walk a number of blocks with less impact to traffic at crosswalks.

    It could connect to YB Gardens, Civic Center, Union Sq, and Embarcadero. The catenaries could be mounted to the underside of the structure. If only carrying foot traffic maybe the structure can be slim to maintain sightlines at street level. Opposite of brutalist.

    As far as the panhandle?

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    mission. has 8 miles of enclosed walkways if they can do that, ( and apparently there are several cities who have this in place) then why not sf…

    J. Wong Reply:

    Okay, I can see Minneapolis doing this (because hey, the weather), but there’s not much of a reason for San Francisco to do so. Also, the High Line in NYC already existed. There’s nothing equivalent in San Francisco. (Damn! I knew we shouldn’t have tore down the Embarcadero freeway :-)

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Even without severe weather (still obviously awesome for pedestrians in the rain), grade-separated pedestrian networks and spaces are really nice for pedestrians, presuming they’re actually designed well and with pedestrians in mind…

    I think a key point is that they not be excessively separated from stuff around them, e.g. they should be well-integrated with retail, businesses, transportation, and make it easier to get between them not harder.

    Many such networks seem to the result of gradually connecting existing businesses/buildings and shopping areas underground or above ground, in which case, you naturally tend to get good peripheral connections, but something created from an isolated corridor might not be so good in that respect…

    Eric Reply:

    Um… this is not clear at all.

    When grade separating a pedestrian crossing is the alternative to at-grade pedestrian crossings, it is bad for pedestrian convenience/enjoyment and bad for safety. Pedestrians don’t like to climb, and the cars will drive faster.

    When there is a grade-separated pedestrian network, there are a number of dangers. On one hand, it can kill pedestrian traffic and liveliness at street level. On the other, it can be lightly used, with parts of it becoming a crime hazard.

    I think the main justification for these networks is weather, like in Minneapolis or maybe Atlanta or Dallas (in the summer). But the last two have been quite unsuccessful and controversial.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @Eric
    It isn’t conjecture, I’m basing what I said on extensive experience with such places (which are all over in the Tokyo region, typically as organic outgrowths of rail stations).

    When grade separating a pedestrian crossing is the alternative to at-grade pedestrian crossings, it is bad for pedestrian convenience/enjoyment and bad for safety. Pedestrians don’t like to climb, and the cars will drive faster

    I’m not talking about “grade separated pedestrian crossings,” I’m talking about extensive pedestrian networks—entirely separate layers of pedestrian routes and shopping areas, where one typically spends a significant amount of time in them shopping etc.

    Because they tend to be highly integrated with transportation and retail areas, there’s typically no penalty for using them. For instance, when an elevated layer hits a shopping area, it will use a second-floor entrance, not force people to down to the first floor; similarly an underground layer will be connected to a basement level of the shopping area (which will then of course have a lot of retail). In many cases the pedestrian-connected entrance will essentially be the main entrance.

    On one hand, it can kill pedestrian traffic and liveliness at street level. On the other, it can be lightly used, with parts of it becoming a crime hazard.

    These types of networks tend not to arise at all in sparsely-populated areas, so typically they don’t have such effects—there’s enough pedestrian traffic to easily support multiple layers of activity without penalty. Indeed, the extra capacity serves more to relieve over-crowding.

    Another (more unfortunate) case is where the street level has already been completely ruined by excessive auto-oriented development. An example of this is the area to the east of Yokohama station, which has been destroyed by a ridiculous gauntlet of enormous roads and twisting elevated highways; it is extremely pedestrian-hostile. Luckily for pedestrians, there are multiple (elevated and underground) pedestrian-only layers which are both extensive and lively, with enormous quantities of retail, that have essentially taken over the “city” role from the surface. [The underground level continues underneath the station to the west side, where it is similarly very active, and co-exists happily with the surface.]

    When you have enormous pedestrian volumes in a relatively small area, and additionally constrain pedestrians with excessive auto-oriented infrastructure, then at-grade-only solutions often just aren’t sufficient…

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Second try, stupid blog software (Robert, please add edit / preview functionality, for god’s sake!):

    @Eric
    It isn’t conjecture, I’m basing what I said on extensive experience with such places (which are all over in the Tokyo region, typically as organic outgrowths of rail stations).

    When grade separating a pedestrian crossing is the alternative to at-grade pedestrian crossings, it is bad for pedestrian convenience/enjoyment and bad for safety. Pedestrians don’t like to climb, and the cars will drive faster

    I’m not talking about “grade separated pedestrian crossings,” I’m talking about extensive pedestrian networks—entirely separate layers of pedestrian routes and shopping areas, where one typically spends a significant amount of time in them shopping etc.

    Because they tend to be highly integrated with transportation and retail areas, there’s typically no penalty for using them. For instance, when an elevated layer hits a shopping area, it will use a second-floor entrance, not force people to down to the first floor; similarly an underground layer will be connected to a basement level of the shopping area (which will then of course have a lot of retail). In many cases the pedestrian-connected entrance will essentially be the main entrance.

    On one hand, it can kill pedestrian traffic and liveliness at street level. On the other, it can be lightly used, with parts of it becoming a crime hazard.

    These types of networks tend not to arise at all in sparsely-populated areas, so typically they don’t have such effects—there’s enough pedestrian traffic to easily support multiple layers of activity without penalty. Indeed, the extra capacity serves more to relieve over-crowding.

    Another (more unfortunate) case is where the street level has already been completely ruined by excessive auto-oriented development. An example of this is the area to the east of Yokohama station, which has been destroyed by a ridiculous gauntlet of enormous roads and twisting elevated highways; it is extremely pedestrian-hostile. Luckily for pedestrians, there are multiple (elevated and underground) pedestrian-only layers which are both extensive and lively, with enormous quantities of retail, that have essentially taken over the “city” role from the surface. [The underground level continues underneath the station to the west side, where it is similarly very active, and co-exists happily with the surface.]

    When you have enormous pedestrian volumes in a relatively small area, and additionally constrain pedestrians with excessive auto-oriented infrastructure, then at-grade-only solutions often just aren’t sufficient….

    swing hanger Reply:

    @Miles
    Agree that the east side of the station could have been done better (just walked it earlier this week to get to the DIY store at MM21), but it must be said the area was not very appealing from the beginning, before the elevated highways pre-1970’s- a hodgepodge of industrial buildings, waterfront, and railyards fronting the Tokaido Road- the pedestrian traffic and retail businesses have always been concentrated on the west exit side.

    flowmotion Reply:

    SF has a little of that around the Embarcadero Center.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Yeah, I have a friend who lives in the area, and can do a fair bit of shopping and commute to work (on BART) without ever touching the street… apparently it’s a bit happenstance, though, e.g., there’s no rain protection for much of it….

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/morning_call/2015/09/price-for-transbay-transit-center-leaps-again.html

    keith saggers Reply:

    As construction on the $4.5 billion Transbay Transit Center picks up speed, developers are forging ahead with huge office and housing projects in a neighborhood that is quickly becoming the commercial and transportation heart of San Francisco.
    The roughly 40 acres encompassing the Transbay District has 35 new developments and renovations in various stages of planning and construction, including more than 6 million square feet of office space, 4,400 units of housing — 35 percent of which are required to be affordable — 100,000 square feet of retail space and 11 acres of open space.
    “This will be the densest new neighborhood on the West Coast with a lot of activity both day and night,” said Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the agency overseeing the Transbay Transit Center.
    Funding for the new transit center is coming in part from the proceeds from the sale of surrounding state-owned vacant lots to developers.
    bizjournals

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Will there be nightlife in this transbay neighborhood or will it be a ghost town after 9pm?

    J. Wong Reply:

    There’should already nitelife in the neighborhood.

    Roland Reply:

    See Keith’s post above: “4,400 units of housing — 35 percent of which are required to be affordable”.
    SOMA already rocks way past midnight and so will Transbay (24/7) when it is complete (160,000 SF retail food, beverage and entertainment) http://transbaycenter.org/media-gallery/video-gallery.

    Roland Reply:

    – In July 2013, the TJPA Board approved a revised Phase 1 budget of $1.899 billion, an increase of $310.4 million over the May 2010 baseline.
    – On July 9, 2015, TJPA staff briefed its Board on an additional Phase 1 budget increase of $246.92 million.
    – At its September 9 Programming and Allocations Committee meeting, MTC staff presented preliminary findings for the Phase 1 cost review, including several strategies for cost containment and a recommendation to increase the budget by $48-$250 million above the estimated $247 million increase proposed by TJPA staff.

  5. Emmanuel
    Sep 27th, 2015 at 20:26
    #5

    They also had a lot of cheap labor and very little NIMBY resistance relatively speaking. Last but not least, instead of trying to do it their own way, they consulted with foreign HSR systems that are already in place and just copied their success models. Any issues were bruteforced by pumping more money into it. Last but not least, it does help if you have a single party system. I know I know, California might defacto be a single party state, too. But, not all Democrats are behind HSR.

    Remains a mystery to me why we can’t begin or undergo construction of multiple segments simultaneously, you know… to finish the job earlier.

    Aarond Reply:

    Money, basically. But if I read CHRA’s website correctly then the Bay-to-Basin and Bakersfield-Burbank segments will all be worked on simultaneously. Construction, if I read it right, should start around 2017-18.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Also completion of environmental clearance and engineering. Some segments are taking a lot longer to finish those than others. The mountain crossings were more work in engineering & environmental so they weren’t as ready as the Central Valley segment when the ARRA money showed upl

  6. Ted Judah
    Sep 27th, 2015 at 22:26
    #6

    I share Robert’s basic attitude that projects or big programs that have growing pains ultimately prove successful in the end. Even when resistance is purely political, like the Affordable Care Act, over time there’s few examples where the hold-outs end up victorious.

    But to hint, as Mr. Cruickshank has, that the sort of “happy ending” result in China makes it a no-brainer partner for California’s HSR project overlooks many salient issues that have to be addressed.

    The one I didn’t see mentioned yet, but I think would be the most challenging, is the lawsuit that Japanese firms would file to stop China from exporting its technology to the US. Given the track-record of lawsuit trying to derail CAHSR, you might think it’s an idle threat. But those were in state courts, and over relatively small stakes.

    But given the fact that Japan has a lot to lose internationally if China starts exporting the type of products (cars, etc…) that Japan relies upon for trade, (yes, I realize this already is happening) at some point this type of lawsuit is inevitable. And HSR is the perfect test case for it. I’m sure Judge Koh would be more happy to hear the case in federal court and really push the drama factor through the TransBay Terminal’s roof…

    Now, this isn’t to imply China may not be the best partner for CAHSR. It just to say litigation like this is almost certain if they are chosen, and has to be part of the calculation moving forward.

    Zorro Reply:

    That’s a possibility, but the Crystal Ball is broke, as is the racist bigoted GOP in Congress, so since speculation is cheap and that will only be a possibility until filed, until then it doesn’t exist as a real problem.

    Useless Reply:

    Ted Judah

    Japan faces even greater legal challenges than the Chinese in California High Speed Rail, because of possible lawsuits from American survivors who were forced to work at Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, and Imperial Japanese Army’s railway construction sites. Chinese by comparison will only face intellectual property rights lawsuits by the Japanese even if they are allowed to bid.

    Technically, both Japanese and Chinese are out of CHSRA rolling stock and equipment races, and this is why they are seeking privately funded projects in Las Vegas and Texas to bring in their own equipment unmodified.

    Eric M Reply:

    Technically, both Japanese and Chinese are out of CHSRA rolling stock and equipment races

    Enough already of that BS nonsense.

    Are you seriously just a chest pumping Korean teenager with your blinders on to rest of the world?

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Ex-POW wants apology from Japanese firms seeking U.S. rail contracts

    LOS ANGLES (Kyodo) — As Japanese companies ready themselves to bid on California’s high-speed rail project this year, one man is asking them to pause and remember the past.

    Lester Tenney, 90, is using the occasion to renew his call for an apology from Japanese companies that used him and other prisoners of war as forced laborers more than 65 years ago.

    “We are not opposed to the Japanese companies winning the high-speed rail. But only after they acknowledge that they treated us exactly like slaves,” Tenney told Kyodo News in a phone interview.

    http://www.us-japandialogueonpows.org/Kyodoonhighspeedrail.htm

    Japan got a lot bigger legal problems in the US than Chinese bidders, especially since Kawasaki used forced American laborers and never compensated for it.

    TomA Reply:

    How is this a legal issue.

    Useless Reply:

    Bidders for Californian high-speed rail may have their past raked over /b>

    According to people close to the state’s rail project, Japanese railway executives are especially worried that the law will damage their prospects. Although firms’ records cannot be used to bar them from bidding for contracts or winning them, they fear that the disclosures could create a stigma and prompt public lobbying against them.

    http://www.economist.com/node/16541661

    Seriously, China’s legal problems are nothing compared to Japan’s legal and publicity problems.

    Aarond Reply:

    No offense, but it’s not going to be a problem. At most, they’ll be asked to give an official apology. If anything, every person of Japanese ancestry in the US should write to (among others) UPRR and BNSF for apologies for assisting California with Japanese relocation and internment. Siemens too has been criticized for helping murder Jews, and yet they supply Israeli Railways with all their rolling stock.

    Point is, this is a non issue. There’s no legal basis against choosing vendors that have done ethnically questionable things in the past. Stigmawise, regular Americans are more suspicious of anything Chinese related than Japanese related. This happens because Japan is a US ally, and China is not. China is also starting a pissing match in the SCS while Japan lets us station troops in their country. If “social stigma” was an issue, Kawasaki and Toyota wouldn’t be selling dirtbikes and pickups to Americans.

    Useless Reply:

    Aarond

    If anything, every person of Japanese ancestry in the US should write to (among others) UPRR and BNSF for apologies for assisting California with Japanese relocation and internment.

    No need, since Reagan issued an official US apology along with compensations, so US businesses are indemnified from any further lawsuits. Japan has yet to issue an official apology to the US POWs. Mitsubishi have to small number of US POWs, but Kawasaki has not.

    China is also starting a pissing match in the SCS while Japan lets us station troops in their country.

    Japan doesn’t let the US troops stay in their country, they let the US troops stay in Okinawa, an occupied country by Japan and Okinawans are furious as hell that Japan crammed 75% of US bases in their islands because Japanese didn’t want Americans on their soil. The conditions are so terrible that Okinawan governor is protesting the Okinawan human rights violations at the hands of Japanese and US governments at the UN Human Rights Commission.

    Siemens too has been criticized for helping murder Jews, and yet they supply Israeli Railways with all their rolling stock.

    Germans have apologized to Israelis enough and has received Jewish forgiveness.

    Stigmawise, regular Americans are more suspicious of anything Chinese related than Japanese related.

    Not in California with a high migrant population.

    If “social stigma” was an issue, Kawasaki and Toyota wouldn’t be selling dirtbikes and pickups to Americans.

    While Kawasaki is a war criminal corporation having used forced US POW labor, Toyota is not.

    Aarond Reply:

    ok then, but my point that there’s no legal basis for an actual complaint remains. In case you didn’t notice, Americans have a bone to pick with China. The Tea Party feeds off this fear, many of their ads (at least in my area) feature the “big bad Chinese takeover”. As for liberals, Japan’s past clearly isn’t a problem on the basis that Caltrain already uses Nippon-Shiryo cars, as does Metra in Chicago. Kawasaki also makes NYC’s subway cars. Mitsubishi wouldn’t be allowed to sell cars in CA if people were angry at them.

    The fact of the matter is, in the US and CA it is not a political issue. And if it were to become an issue, Kawasaki or JER would just issue an apology and be done with it.

    Useless Reply:

    Aarond

    Americans have a bone to pick with China.

    But not Californians.

    As for liberals, Japan’s past clearly isn’t a problem on the basis that Caltrain already uses Nippon-Shiryo cars

    Within the scope of CHSRA vendor, being a Nazi collaborator or the user of US POW laborer under inhumane and abusive conditions is a big problem.

    And if it were to become an issue, Kawasaki or JER would just issue an apology and be done with it.

    Wrong, Kawasaki is under Japanese government’s orders to not apologize because of ongoing lawsuits over WW2 forced labor cases.

    Aarond Reply:

    >Within the scope of CHSRA vendor, being a Nazi collaborator or the user of US POW laborer under inhumane and abusive conditions is a big problem.

    And notice how that was 60+ years ago, and anyone who did care is mostly dead now. In particular, SK is the only country still butthurt about jap war crimes, which has more to do with nationalism than any legitimate basis for a complaint against a Japanese vendor. Texas Central is moving ahead and is run by Japanese companies, and the complaints against it don’t include war crimes. In my own personal experience on the Internet, 99% of complaints about Japanese war crimes come from SK posters who do it deliberately to troll Japanese posters, usually to great success. I’ve seen this on pretty much every image/discussion board that doesn’t rangeban asian IPs.

    Useless Reply:

    Aarond

    SK is the only country still butthurt about jap war crimes

    Korea is actually not the most anti-Japan country there is.

    In China, there are literally a hundred anti-Japan war dramas a year flooding the TV screens with the endless and repeated cycle of Japanese troops raping and massacring innocent Chinese civilians during the Sino-Japanese war, so that it is not possible to let a day go by without watching the Imperial Japanese troops bayonetting a Chinese mother with her little children. And it is the Chinese American community that has taken control of anti-Japan narratives in California, as witnessed by the recent passing of the comfort women monument bill at San Francisco City Council mostly driven by the Chinese community of SF. Koreans control the East Coast anti-Japan narratives, but Chinese control the narratives in California.

    And Taiwan is also awakening to this anti-Japanism under President Ma, who is erecting a number of anti-Japan museums/monument and is including lectures on the war crimes of Japan as a mandatory school curriculum.

    any legitimate basis for a complaint against a Japanese vendor.

    Since Kawasaki has not apologized and compensated to the victims of forced labor, it is still reliable for damages on its war crimes. In fact those war crimes damages lawsuits are still ongoing, and this is the reason why Japanese government instructed Kawasaki to not apologize, since an apology would be considered an admission of guilt and Kawasaki would lose the case.

    I’ve seen this on pretty much every image/discussion board that doesn’t rangeban asian IPs.

    While rangebanning here won’t stop me, it will stop a number of posters here.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Incidentally, don’t take Useless’s ravings as being indicative of South Koreans generally.

    I have long term, er, personal connections with SK, and pretty much all of the Koreans I’ve talked to have no problems with Japan, and think of the issue as being one for “old people” and right-wingers. [Which group Useless falls into, I dunno.]

    SK right-wingers are of course, completely nuts, as are the right-wingers in China and Japan, but unfortunately politicians get easy votes and money by pandering to them. The issue thus gets dragged on endlessly for the usual stupid reason: local politics.

    And Useless, Taiwan and Japan actually get on quite well, especially at a personal level.

    Nathanael Reply:

    In “international law” things go very loose and fast. There doesn’t need to be a formal “legal basis” for a complaint in order for it to wreck a deal.

    Eric Reply:

    The US has troops in Japan, at two bases at least. The 7th Fleet is out of Yokosuka (near Tokyo) and the Air Force has Misawa in northen Honshu.

    Eric Reply:

    And Sasebo Naval Base

    Miles Bader Reply:

    And Yokota Air Base…

    [Yokota and Yokosuka are probably familiar to anyone living in Tokyo.]

    Roland Reply:

    How about going back 110 years and having some real fun? http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B05E1D9103AE733A25752C3A96E9C946497D6CF

    Aarond Reply:

    Well, I personally doubt CHRA will go with a Chinese vendor when Siemens already has a massive factory in the state capitol. Moreover, the TPP looms and if it were to pass Chinese exports would be adversely effected compared to Japanese ones.

    Useless Reply:

    Aarond

    Japan’s industrial base is being hollowed out, and TPP will not save it.

    The biggest export booster was supposed to be weak yen, yet Japan is still suffering from a trade deficit even with both weak yen and dirt-cheap oil imports.

    Japan’s industrial competitiveness has fundamentally weakened and TPP will not shore it up.

    Eric M Reply:

    Being that the CA system is short money to finish the entire system, the Chinese (or other manufactures for that matter) could come up with a package that includes financing to finish the CA system. If Siemens (or others) don’t include an offer with cash incentives, the Chinese offer would look better than ever, regardless of the Siemens factory in Sacramento.

    All speculation at this point, until the requests for investment interest submitted to the authority are released. But money talks, especially when the CA system needs it to finish in an appropriate time frame (not construction lasting decades).

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Of course California HSRA can ask for financial investments from “qualified” bidders.

    Japanese and Chinese are not expected to make the cut due to their zero-experiences with high crashworthy bullet train models.

    Eric M Reply:

    Oh, here we go again. HSR systems are set up to be proactive with regards to crashes, not to built like tanks in case there is a crash. You fail to understand that concept. What else you fail to understand, which has been spelled out to you time and time again, the FRA has not set in stone yet what the “crash-worthiness” standards should be. It is not just buff strength.

    And by the way, here is a little reminder about the quality of product coming from your precious Hyundai Rotem:

    Flaws sideline MBTA’s new commuter rail locomotives

    The transit system spent $190 million for 75 new commuter rail passenger cars, which were delivered 30 months late by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai Rotem and so trouble-prone many of their parts have had to be replaced.

    Would hate to see how they build HSR train-sets which require far more precision.

    Eric M Reply:

    Oh wait, we do know how they build them already. Court ordered Hyundai Rotem to compensate Korail for KTX train detects

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    a compensation suit against a train manufacturer for defects in trains since Korail began the high-speed KTX operations in 2004.

    So the defects includes Alstom’s TGV-R models operational since 2004.

    Actually the KTX-II runs pretty much defect-free nowadays, hardly any news of troubles for two years.

    Domayv Reply:

    most likely because they listened from the defects of KTX-I and made a design that wouldn’t be riddled with defects.

    Eric M Reply:

    Uh, no:

    Earlier, Korail had imported French TGV and started its high speed train service with KTX-1. In 2010, it began operating 190 trains of the KTX-Sancheon (KTX-II), which was manufactured by Hyundai Rotem.

    However, during the period between March 2010 and January 2013, there were as many as 64 defect accidents, including halted train service, due to mechanical malfunctions.

    – See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/7948/train-defects-court-rules-hyundai-rotem-responsible-ktx-defects#sthash.6YSmcqLl.dpuf

    Eric M Reply:

    Majority of the defects are from the KTX-Sancheon (KTX-II), manufactured by Hyundai Rotem.

    during the period between March 2010 and January 2013, there were as many as 64 defect accidents, including halted train service, due to mechanical malfunctions

    Hyundai Rotem has proven time and time again, whether it is designing/manufacturing of slow commuter rail cars or high speed train-sets, the final product is garbage and plagued with problems. This is one company CA HSRA should seriously consider avoiding.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Majority of the defects are from the KTX-Sancheon (KTX-II), manufactured by Hyundai Rotem.

    And no problem since 2013.

    Rotem says TGV-R had more problems than the KTX-II did, and the KTX-II’s problems went away faster than TGV-R did.

    This is why it is so critical that CHSRA must not be the launch customer of any bullet train model, and has required that any model on offer must have been revenue service for at least 5 years.

    Both Chinese and Japanese models on offer do not meet this 5 year revenue service requirement and is disqualified.

    This is one company CA HSRA should seriously consider avoiding.

    After the spectacular crash performance demonstration at Oxnard, Rotem should be the front runner, because the KTX-II was designed to the toughest crash standard outside of the US.

    Useless Reply:

    After all, who else is better qualified to guarantee crash compatibility of its bullet trains with Rotem Metrolink cars than Rotem.

    Erin M Reply:

    @Useless,

    And the products they manufacture have proven to be unreliable and full of defects. Hell, they were 30 MONTHS LATE for making passenger cars which still turned out to be crap. Problems, problems and more problems with Hyundai Rotem!!

    joe Reply:

    And who else is better

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless,

    And the products they manufacture have proven to be unreliable and full of defects. Hell, they were 30 MONTHS LATE for making passenger cars which still turned out to be crap. Problems, problems and more problems with Hyundai Rotem!

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Eric M: Hmmm… that gets them about in the class of AnsaldoBreda (before Hitachi)…

    Nathanael Reply:

    It’s bizarre how many quality-control problems there have been in recent decades with train manufacturers — traditionally good ones. Soooo many different problems from so many manufacturers. Only Siemens still has a spotless record. I wonder if there’s something in the air.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The only manufacturer who is consistently worse than everyone else is Breda. Ansaldo signalling is fine, but Breda carbuilding has been terrible for every single buyer for decades now,

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    All those new and exciting parts they have been adding…

    Max Wyss Reply:

    It is not bizarre at all… The price and delivery time requirements are getting worse and worse, making it extremely difficult to make money on rolling stock. And add changes by customer and regulations, which the customer of course wants to have made for free.

    If the manufacturer is lucky, they can persuade the customer to accept an additional unit (or more) as compensation for the penalties.

    Aarond Reply:

    >Being that the CA system is short money to finish the entire system

    they got cap-and trade money though, and Siemens is the political favorite because they already have a factory in the state. I don’t see Chinese companies getting involved to build the rest of the system when CHRA will probably use their existing contractors and existing sources of money

    but, I will agree that it’s all just speculation

  7. jedi08
    Sep 27th, 2015 at 23:37
    #7

    New high-speed line for 2024, beginning work in 2018 :
    http://www.metronews.fr/toulouse/sncf-toulouse-a-3-heures-de-paris-en-2024/mmjw!BDSoOZvCbHkhk/

    synonymouse Reply:

    Opposition from bean-counters and enviros.

  8. joe
    Sep 28th, 2015 at 06:26
    #8


    [Bakersfield] HSR location fails to maximize economic development

    Most of the debate about Bakersfield’s high-speed rail has focused on the alignment, largely ignoring the long-term economic and transportation impacts of the station location. Dubbed “locally generated alignment” or LGA, the F Street-Golden State Avenue proposed station location is bad for our city.

    By all objective measures, the hybrid station alignment at U Street downtown is far more advantageous to our local economy and transportation system than the proposed LGA station at F Street and Golden State Avenue.

    Nathanael Reply:

    He’s right. Unfortunately Bakersfield politics has been dominated by a particularly stupid breed of NIMBYism, full of “trains will sour the milk at the school” hysteria. Hopefully someone will listen to him, but I’m not hopeful.

  9. Useless
    Sep 28th, 2015 at 10:22
    #9

    The key to Chinese success is that it is a centrally planned economy where $200 billion can be dumped on at the direction of one man(Railway Minister), and there are no NIMBY protesters. All land belongs to the government and can be taken back at will, with token compensation for relocation expenses. There are no endless waves of NIMBY lawsuits and partisan bickering to defund the project. There are no labor unions. This is one benefit of a state-directed economy.

    The US doesn’t and can’t have any of that, so Palmdale – Las Vegas is the closest to the working condition to Chinese contractors in the US, entirely funded by Chinese government and little resistance from people living in the desert.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Except there aren’t millions and millions of riders living along the route too poor to have a car.

    Once the Chinese regime builds out all the HSR’s conceivable they will turn to building mass quantities of freeways to keep the masses employed. And cranking out millions of cars.

    Labor in China will become more militant and demand richer compensation. That profitability will evaporate.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    Except there aren’t millions and millions of riders living along the route too poor to have a car.

    You would prefer to ride the train of decent service quality even if you had a car. This is the case in Northeast corridor routes, where rich people prefer to ride the train to work instead of driving.

    If public transportation was decent enough, people will prefer over driving. People only drive to work because of the absence of a quality public transportation system, as proven in New York, Europe, and major Asian cities.

    And Chinese public transportation in metro area is of sufficient quality that people would prefer riding public transportation to driving for decades to come.

    Labor in China will become more militant and demand richer compensation.

    You don’t have to worry about that. Any sign of social discontent is crushed with an iron fist in China.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Actually, there are multiple labor strikes on a pretty much daily basis in China. And the reaction currently is typically to crack down on the *management*, because the strikes are generally over illegal working conditions. The Chinese government has a lot of people who are very, very worried about social discontent, and who are smart enough to realize that they *cannot* suppress it just by cracking down. They still study history in Chinese elite schools.

    Nathanael Reply:

    What they do attempt to do is to suppress the media reports, so that we don’t hear about most of the strikes, and so people in other regions don’t start engaging in sympathy strikes.

    flowmotion Reply:

    China already started building freeways like crazy long before they built HSR.

    “Beijing’s xinhuanet.com reported on December 30 that 11,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) of new freeways (motorways) were built in 2012. This is equivalent to more than 150 percent of the freeway mileage in California.”

    http://www.newgeography.com/content/003378-china-freeways-continuing-expansion

    Useless Reply:

    flowmotion

    Indeed, China is the biggest auto market in the world.

    synonymouse Reply:

    China will have 300% of California’s freeway mileage, just to keep the concrete pouring.

    Eric Reply:

    They probably already do. Their population is 3000% of CA’s.

  10. Sierrajeff
    Sep 28th, 2015 at 12:20
    #10

    Glad to see this. I’m so tired of seeing the Wenzhou disaster trotted out every time HSR (let alone Chinese HSR) is mentioned. Yes, there was one large accident — across 1000s of km’s of rail, 100s of trips a day, over a period of several years! One ballyhooed accident does not sink the entire idea of HSR!

    Useless Reply:

    Sierrajeff

    Why buy from a vendor with the record of a major disaster where dozens died(true death toll unknown) only four years ago when others are willing to sell you a train package where no one ever died from accident?

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    A Boeing plane recently crashed. Will you now fly only Airbus? Oh wait… an Airbus plane recently crashed too. I guess you can always take a zeppelin; there hasn’t been a major accident with those in almost 80 years…

    a.k.a. – Congratulations on failing statistics and risk assessment. The important factor is not whether there was an accident in the past – or even several accidents. The important factor is the overall track record taking into account the entire system. (Even Malaysian Airlines is still, after two infamous incidents in the last couple years, safer than driving, by a level of magnitude.)

    Useless Reply:

    Sierrajeff

    Boeing/Airbus analogy doesn’t work because there are high speed train brands with zero fatality record.

    Eric M Reply:

    and you failed again to grasp what Sierrajeff said:

    The important factor is the overall track record taking into account the entire system.

    Joe Reply:

    Nice trolling.

    What train defect caused the fatalities in China ?
    From what I know, the trains themselves operated within specification.

    Anyway this trolling is going to get even more more ridiculous.

    Japan’s supplying trainsets for Texas system. It looks like China is going to supply them for Nevada.

    Useless Reply:

    Joe

    What train defect caused the fatalities in China ?

    1. Chinese PTC wasn’t lightening proof. So the lesson is don’t trust Chinese PTC and signaling system.
    2. The train that collided, the Shinkansen E2, crumbled like an empty beer can and fell off track upon impact.

    Japan’s supplying trainsets for Texas system. It looks like China is going to supply them for Nevada.

    But no Chinese or Japanese train sets for California.

    Domayv Reply:

    as mandated by the FRA since European train have a better chance at surviving crashes than their Japanese and Chinese counterparts

    Useless Reply:

    Domayv

    Exactly, no Japanese or Chinese bullet trains allowed for California.

    J. Wong Reply:

    How do either of you know this? As far as I know, FRA hasn’t specified any standards for CAHSR, but only described how they are going about proposing them.

    Joe Reply:

    Tell Xpresswest they have to stop their Chinese trains at the border.
    Better yet, have Mom call and tell them.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Tier III trains must co-exist Tier I trains sharing same track. In California HSR’s case, we are talking Rotem’s Metrolink trains. You know, the kind of beasts that a 90 mph head on collision hardly puts a dent on.

    Compare that to Shinkansen E2 which impacted the other train at mere 60 mph and were totally crushed at Wenzhou.

    This is why neither Shinkansen or Chinese CRH must be allowed to bid in California.

    Useless Reply:

    Joe

    Tell Xpresswest they have to stop their Chinese trains at the border.

    Xpresswest can get a waiver as a completely segregated closed track system.

    Joe Reply:

    Waivers. Fascinating.
    The Xpresswest site shows trains running on CAHSR tracks. Waives there too.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Useless

    The FRA hasn’t specified the standards yet so assuming Chinese or Japanese trains won’t meet them is a bit of a stretch. They’ve only specified Tier I & III will interoperate but not under what conditions so for example they may not be required to withstand a 60MPH crash because they might enforce speed limits.

    Useless Reply:

    Joe

    The Xpresswest site shows trains running on CAHSR tracks. Waives there too.

    I can’t imagine the consequence of a head on collision between a Chinese CRH train and a Rotem Metrolink train.

    J. Wong

    so for example they may not be required to withstand a 60MPH crash because they might enforce speed limits.

    Crash compatibility required upto 125 mph.

    Eric M Reply:

    Useless, you still don’t get it. The FRA is evaluating current worldwide preventative measures for lightweight high speed train-sets that PREVENT crashes from happening with the mixture of Tier 1 and 3 like rolling stock. This way, the trains can be mixed without any modification up to 125 mph, as long as system are in place to prevent crashes, .i.e ERTMS.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Other lightweight bullet trains elsewhere do not share tracks with FRA Tier I beasts and freight trains like it is in California.

    And crash prevent doesn’t guarantee crash-free operations, they still do happen and the Shinkansen style beer can trains will lead to many tragedies when collisions do happen.

    Just because Japanese trade safety for efficiency doesn’t mean we should. Heck, Japan might have won the war if they actually up-armored their warplanes to protect the pilots, the Japanese warplane designers decided to strip their planes of armor and self-sealing fuel tank to improve range. In return, those unprotected Japanese warplanes became fireballs with a half-a-second burst of fire.

    So if you think Japanese learned anything from the outcome of the WW2, think again. Japan still trades efficiency for safety, like those highly-fuel and space efficient kei cars that are death traps upon collisions(Korean kei cars by comparison are built tough and are US and EU legal. ie Chevy Spark and Kia Picanto). Heck even Japan’s latest Type 10 tank has a paper thin armor to keep the weight down to 44 tons. When asked why a tank has a paper thin armor, it was done to make them easily transportable by rail. Then what happens when these tanks are hit by an RPG-7, Japanese officers reply that the Type 10 will never be used in close combat conditions.

    And Japan still does not have a train crash standard after the amagasaki crash that cost 107 lives.

    The Japanese thought of trading safety for efficiency is downright scary, and we must criticize this Japanese practice instead of embracing them.

    Eric M Reply:

    No $hit Sherlock. True HSR with lightweight rolling stock does not exist in the US. That is why the FRA is still in the rule making process, contrary to your statements. Everything else you write is meaningless and garbage, just like products coming from Hyundai Rotem. Stop your Korean teenage chest pounding, it’s getting old.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Useless “Crash compatibility required upto 125 mph.”

    Nope. Speed limits when inter-operating are 125MPH, but the actual crash standards are still to be determined. That is, they could say 125MPH on separate tracks only within the interoperable section (e.g., the Peninsula “blend” very likely will have this) so a lower crash standard (speed) would be allowed.

    “Japanese trade safety for efficiency”

    @Useless you trade safety for efficiency everyday of your life. There’s no way not to. (Also, the Japanese may rely on external safety measures more so that the trains themselves can trade that for internal safety measures.)

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    rue HSR with lightweight rolling stock does not exist in the US.

    And doesn’t have to. There are at least three vendors able to sell loco-pulled bullet trains offering superior passenger protection than EMUs.

    EMUs are fine in closed circuit corridors, but not in blended traffic corridors.

    Useless Reply:

    J Wong

    they could say 125MPH on separate tracks

    What separate tracks? The reason you blend is because you can’t afford to build separate tracks.

    Repeat after me, both Metrolink and CHSR trains will cruise down same tracks at 125 mph, either of them slowing down slows down the entire corridor.

    Eric M Reply:

    Useless, just stop.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Useless, just stop.

    So you ran out of counter arguments. I have not.

    Eric M Reply:

    No. But you do not have factual arguments. You just make stuff up, even after many people around here present you with references to the contrary. Your name fits you well, “Useless”.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “What separate tracks?”

    @Useless

    Parts of the blend will share tracks, but just as clearly parts of the blend will not (at least on the Peninsula). You really don’t know what the blend between Burbank and LAUS is going to look like. It could be Tier III Metrolink for all you know (and maybe that’s likely what will happen).

    Repeat after me, you don’t know that Metrolink and CAHSR trains will share tracks at 125MPH (they may share at a slower speed). You also don’t know what either rolling stock is being used when they do share tracks. There are a lot of variables here. Assuming you know that any one has been decided at this point is foolish.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    The right of way from Burbank to LAUS isn’t wide enough to accommodate four tracks. Furthermore, you also have to consider LAUS to Anaheim and LAUS to Riverside corridors.

    It could be Tier III Metrolink for all you know (and maybe that’s likely what will happen).

    Metrolink goes way beyond electrified segments to be shared with CHSRA. They will stay diesel loco-pushed.

    (they may share at a slower speed).

    And slowing down the speed of both Metrolink and CHSRA train riders.

    You also don’t know what either rolling stock is being used when they do share tracks.

    Rotem rolling stocks until 2040? Metrolink just got them.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “you also have to consider LAUS to Anaheim and LAUS to Riverside corridors”

    Nope.

    “They will stay diesel loco-pushed.”

    Again, nope. In all likelyhood, the LAUS-Antelope Valley segment will be electrified. The other segments will be dealt with when they’re addressed not before.

    “Rotem rolling stocks until 2040? Metrolink just got them.”

    So? The regulations may specify that current rolling stock is not used on the blend. Even if it is, they may also specify lower speeds.

    “And slowing down the speed of both Metrolink and CHSRA train riders.”

    Of course they’ll run slower. That’s one of the fundamental premises of a “blend”. (Although I don’t believe Metrolink is running at 125MPH today so it won’t be slower.)

    Joe Reply:

    PTC is not the train – Fail.
    Your mixing up components like signaling system which are not trains.

    Modern cars crumple like a beer can. Maybe you need to use done other metaphor.

    Who knows what trains CA will use but the Nevada HSR will run in CA and given Chinese funding, with Chinese trains. According to the Xpresswest site, these trains will run on the AHR system.

    Time to fire up the PS4.

    Useless Reply:

    Joe

    Modern cars crumple like a beer can.

    In the crumble zone, yes. Not the passenger compartment. But I have noticed that Chinese car’s passenger compartments do crumble like beer can.

    the Nevada HSR will run in CA

    Stops at Palmdale, so that CHSR train passengers can change trains.

    joe Reply:

    Stops at Palmdale, so that CHSR train passengers can change trains.

    If you say so Dear.

    The XpressWest proposal would tie in to the California High-Speed Rail System, http://www.xpresswest.com/network.html

    les Reply:

    Useless why you continue to fabricate nonsense is beyond me. CHSR is in negotiations to share trax with x. The only holdup is canabalism. And you dont know what trains x will use. Chinese have used non chinese sets on on other non chinese projects.

    Jon Reply:

    It should be obvious to anyone who isn’t willfully ignoring facts that XpressWest and CAHSR will share station and tracks from Palmdale station through to LA Union Station.

    There are several documents that support this, but the best place to see it is probably the following document, PDF pages 109-115, which shows the various alternatives for the wye connection between the High Desert Corridor mainline and the CAHSR mainline. The wye connects both north towards Bakersfield and south to the Palmdale station, whose platforms are helpfully labeled ‘HSR & HDC Station Platform’.

    http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/HDC/HDC_Draft_EIR-EIS/docs/20_App%20M_Southern%20Palmdale%20Rail%20Station%20Shift%20Impact%20Study.pdf

    Useless Reply:

    Jon

    One thing you need to understand that Chinese are surprisingly clueless about US railway regulations and standards based on interactions that incumbent railway vendors in the US market had with them, so they think any trains can travel any corridor as long as they are connected.

    Soon Chinese will find out the best they can do is a train-change station at Palmdale.

    Eric M Reply:

    Useless,

    Wrong again. If CAHSR uses/implements ERTMS (which they have insinuated), Chinese rolling stock can go as far ERTMS is implemented, as long as the Chinese train-sets have ERTMS systems installed in them.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Chinese rolling stock can go as far ERTMS is implemented

    That didn’t work out too well for Japanese with Taiwan HSR, so I can’t imagine Chinese able to pull it off without engineering nightmares.

    Eric M Reply:

    Well it’s apparent you cant imagine anything that isn’t Korean Hyundai Rotem. Says a lot

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    you cant imagine anything that isn’t Korean Hyundai Rotem.

    Well, Rotem PLUS three or four European vendors, preferably Alstom and Talgo because they make loco-pulled bullet trains that are best suited for California’s blended traffic conditions.

    EMU is big no no for California.

    Eric M Reply:

    Useless, you are clueless. Distributed traction IS what is best for CA because of the mountain grades.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB-CAHSR is a totally political project. It is difficult to picture Jerry Brown accepting a train that looks like a TEE rather than a TGV.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    The KTX-II doesn’t have any problem with mountain grades in spite of originating from a very mountainous country. Heck, the KTX-II even matches Shinkansen N700’s acceleration rate. In case you don’t understand the context, Shinkansen N700 is one of fastest accelerating Shinkansen trains.

    So your misconceptions about loco-pulled high speed trains aren’t valid.

    Eric M Reply:

    California High Speed Rail Requirements (PDF Document Download) As requested from the horses mouth:

    2.0 Minimum Project Qualifications
    1. Is a single level EMU capable of operating in revenue service at speeds up to 354 km/h
    (220 mph), and based on a service-proven trainset in use in commercial high speed
    passenger service at least 300 km/h (186 mph) for a minimum of five years.

    2. Is compliant with all applicable U.S. laws, regulations, advisories, and standards, and
    assuming the application of the draft regulations identified in ETF_001-03 – Proposed
    Rule text for NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making).

    3. Has a width of 3.2 m (10.5 feet) to 3.4 m (11.17 feet) and a maximum train length of 205
    m (672.6 feet).

    4. Has static axle loads that do not exceed 17 tonnes as shown in 2008 HS RST TSI.

    5. Has a nominal Vehicle floor height above top-of-rail (TOR) of 1295mm (51 inches) under
    all loading conditions.

    6. Has a minimum of 450 passenger seats. First class seating shall be provided with
    spacing equivalent to 1067 mm (42 inches) of Pitch. Business class seating shall be
    provided with spacing equivalent to 991 mm (39 inches) of Pitc

    William Reply:

    @Useless, if KTX-II has problem with KTX lines, then it wouldn’t be in operation at all. Surely power-car based trainsets can climb grade without issue, but it would need to employ various anti-slip measures such as sanding, or, like roller coaster, use momentum to get over the hill. Also, as numerous paper has written about EMU has less un-sprung weight, thus cars can be lighter without losing traction, and lighter trains do less damage to the track structure, thus requiring less maintenance. Heck, even KTX-III will be EMUs.

    Useless Reply:

    les

    And you dont know what trains x will use.

    I believe it is CRH6. This is not even UIC spec, since there is no such thing as a train crash standard in China (and in Japan).

    J. Wong Reply:

    So? There’s nothing that says Japanese or Chinese trains cannot upgrade to U.S. crash standards.

    And you may believe that is impossible for them to do so, but you really don’t have any basis for that belief.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Do you trust the first time effort of a vendor that has never done it before? Do you want CHSRA to be the beta tester of an unproven brand new design not used in the home countries of the vendor?

    Plus, CHSRA requires that the each vendor making the proposal submit 5 years worth of revenue service maintenance record of the proposed models, which is impossible with any custom made trains from Japan or China.

    This is why Japanese and Chinese are already eliminated from California HSR contest.

    William Reply:

    No, Useless, you are incorrect. CHSRA only requires manufacturers to have experience of manufacturing “Service Proven” models, which means, per trainset Draft RFP, “a Trainset in use in high-speed revenue service at least 300 km/h (186 mph) for a minimum of five years”.

    Most likely Hyundai Rotem and CRRC will score lower in technical categories than Japanese or European manufacturers due to bad experience of MBTA and Metrolink, and lack of experience of building trains to US specification.

    All existing trainsets do not 100% meet CHSRA’s RFP requirements, so a California specific model will have to be designed and manufactured. In this case, the more experienced manufacturers will likely win on technical side, leaving the less experienced competing only on price.

    Eric M Reply:

    California High Speed Rail Requirements (PDF Document Download) As requested from the horses mouth:

    2.0 Minimum Project Qualifications
    1. Is a single level EMU capable of operating in revenue service at speeds up to 354 km/h
    (220 mph), and based on a service-proven trainset in use in commercial high speed
    passenger service at least 300 km/h (186 mph) for a minimum of five years.

    2. Is compliant with all applicable U.S. laws, regulations, advisories, and standards, and
    assuming the application of the draft regulations identified in ETF_001-03 – Proposed
    Rule text for NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making).

    3. Has a width of 3.2 m (10.5 feet) to 3.4 m (11.17 feet) and a maximum train length of 205
    m (672.6 feet).

    4. Has static axle loads that do not exceed 17 tonnes as shown in 2008 HS RST TSI.

    5. Has a nominal Vehicle floor height above top-of-rail (TOR) of 1295mm (51 inches) under
    all loading conditions.

    6. Has a minimum of 450 passenger seats. First class seating shall be provided with
    spacing equivalent to 1067 mm (42 inches) of Pitch. Business class seating shall be
    provided with spacing equivalent to 991 mm (39 inches) of Pitc

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Custom”, “Brand new design”?

    No one is suggesting that. Structurally upgrading may be possible that does not change the fundamental design of the EMU. This means the 5 years of revenue service maintenance records can be provided through the existing trainsets.

    Also, it would be tested through crash testing (just as autos are); no one is relying on in service testing of crashworthiness.

    les Reply:

    Useless: “I believe”. Wow, that is a huge statement coming from you. You should use it
    more often and quit trying to pass off your statements as facts.

  11. keith saggers
    Sep 28th, 2015 at 18:55
    #11
  12. Useless
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 09:01
    #12

    Indonesia has accepted China’s proposal to build an express railway from Jakarta to Bandung with a 100% Chinese investment. Japan under financial distress could not match the Chinese offer and lost.

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/711632/japan-loses-indonesia-high-speed-train-contract-to-china

    synonymouse Reply:

    Your point about any Chinese financed Vegas “high speed” line likely defaulting to a train change at Palmdale is sound. Absent Chinese rolling stock and other supplies what non-imaginary motive would the Chinese have for bankrolling a money-losing project?

    PB-Tutor and the Burton-Brown machine would not accept Chinese influence on planning and policy – something the Chinese will come to recognize eventually – and the Chinese home economy is in the midst of “reorganization” to put it mildly.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB-Tutor-FRA et al would have to accept flat-out whatever Chinese equipment for Deserted Xprss operating on their line from Palmdale to LaLa.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[F]lat-out”?

    The Chinese have no authority to insist on anything. CAHSR controls their own tracks.

    You’re a non-expert claiming “money-losing”. I think they’d rely more on professional experts as for whether it would be “money-losing”.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    Absent Chinese rolling stock and other supplies what non-imaginary motive would the Chinese have for bankrolling a money-losing project?

    Other than winning businesses for China’s railway equipment vendors(Vegas Railway will have 100% imported Chinese signaling, power transformers, and rolling stocks), this serves as a great propaganda material for the communist party, which can promote to its domestic audiences that Chinese trains are so safe that even Americans use them.

    It also helps to build supply record of Chinese railway equipment in the US.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yes, if they equip Deserted Xprss, especially if they barebones and dumbdown the line from Palmdale to Vegas.

    But you are still stuck with a forced change at Palmdale unless they can jawbone trackage rights into LA without any expensive modifications.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    This can be made no more difficult than changing subway trains at connecting stations, so I don’t see what the fuss is all about. It can be made as simple as simply getting off CHSRA’s train, walk across the platform 20 feet, and enter an awaiting Chinese CRH train on the other side.

    After all, millions of people change trains from AMTRAK/PATH/MetroNorth to New York subway every day and I don’t hear people complaining.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If you fly or drive you do not have to do any changing.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    Driving, yes.

    Flying. Duh, never heard of connecting flights.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Changing flights from LA to Vegas?

  13. synonymouse
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 10:24
    #13

    Which reminds me, whatever happened to Tutor’s change order?

  14. J. Wong
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 11:23
    #14

    @Useless, My comments on the Wenzhou collision:

    The collision occurred between two HSR trainsets. The speed is given as 62MPH (Wikipedia).

    If you have information that the deaths occurred because of the EMUs crumpling, then link it. My sense is that the collision caused a derailment on a viaduct that pushed the 4 cars off falling 20 meters to the ground with no indication that any cars crumpled because of the collision.

  15. Useless
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 11:26
    #15

    Eric M

    Is compliant with all applicable U.S. laws, regulations, advisories, and standards,

    Quasi-static compression load requirements.
    (1) Each vehicle in a Tier III trainset shall resist a minimum quasi-static end load of either:
    (i) 800,000 pounds applied on the collision load path without permanent deformation of the occupied volume;

    So the FRA requires Tier III to have a tougher static load than UIC. They are asking for 362 tons minimum, same as current Tier I rolling stocks PLUS front crash energy absorption structure similar to the one fitted on the Rotem trains(Metrolink, KTX-II, etc)

    Now this means Japanese/Chinese are definitely out, most European EMU vendors will struggle, and the only possible bidders left are Alstom, Rotem, and Talgo.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAAahUKEwivlfSj65zIAhVFjQ0KHaAqDvg&url=https%3A%2F%2Frsac.fra.dot.gov%2Fdocument.php%3Ftype%3Dmeeting%26date%3D20130614%26name%3DDraft%2520NPRM%2520Rule%2520Text%2520for%2520RSAC%2520VOTE-%2520ETF_001-02%2520–%2520Proposed%2520Ruletext%2520for%2520NPRM%25201.pdf&usg=AFQjCNESNIDQ_TdMbE9trjQ0vigIl5L2Xg&bvm=bv.103627116,d.eXY&cad=rja

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Strawmen”. You do know what that means, don’t you?

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Seems that FRA had the son of Acela in mind when writing rules for the Tier III in mind.

    Tier III is definitely not a Japanese/European style light weight train, it is a modernized Acela with same structural strength and CEM structures added.

    Heck, the document even contains a sub section on how to convert Tier III rolling stocks to meet Tier II rules.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You clearly do not know what “straw men” means.

    Eric M Reply:

    Pay attention Useless

    This document contains strawman text of selected, potential amendments to the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards.

    Straw Man

    An argument or opponent set up so as to be easily refuted or defeated.

    Eric M Reply:

    or:
    Straw Man Proposal

    A straw-man proposal is a brainstormed simple draft proposal intended to generate discussion of its disadvantages and to provoke the generation of new and better proposals.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    The problem is that at least one vendor(The same vendor that submitted bid for an Acela replacement under Tier II rules) would have replied that they could comply with the 360 ton buff strength rule, in hopes of shutting out competitors.

    Since there is a vendor who is OK with 360 ton buff strength rule, FRA will go along with it.

    Loco-pulled bullet train vendors will find it easy to comply, since their locos are well above 360 tons in buff strength and only need to strengthen their coaches but there is some extra weight margin to do that since coaches do not carry power equipment.

    The EMU vendors on the other hand are in a very difficult position, because their UIC EMUs already approach 17 tons in axle load due to distributed electrical equipment they carry, and they must find ways to increase the buff strength by 80% without increasing weight further.

    Looks like California will have a loco-pulled bullet train waiting in platform for the first paying passengers when the service starts.

    Eric M Reply:

    For the umpteenth time, “crash-worthiness” has not been defined yet by the FRA for lightweight high speed train sets. It is not all about buff strength!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You really should change your name from “Useless” to “Clueless”

    J. Wong Reply:

    Also, @Useless has already sited presentations that specifically said that FRA would not be basing these standards on absolute standards, but on situational ones.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    It is not all about buff strength!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It is not all about buff strength(There are other stuff like CEM), but the buff strength of 362 tons is required for Tier III rolling stocks nevertheless.

    I too am stunned as much as you are that the FRA insists on same 362 ton buff strength for Tier III rolling stocks, but the FRA’s demand will likely stick because there is at least one vendor able to meet it.

    Eric M Reply:

    Don’t insinuate I am in agreement with you regarding the current state of the FRA rules for CA’s 200+ mph high speed rail.

    You just keep rambling on about the rules you seem to know, which no one else does. Please post a link to the FINAL and OFFICIAL FRA Tier 3 requirements for lightweight high speed train-sets that specifically relates to CA?

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    the FINAL and OFFICIAL FRA Tier 3 requirements for lightweight high speed train-sets

    There is no such thing as FRA Tier III requirement for lightweight high speed train sets, only Tier III requirements for high speed train sets.

    Why do you keep repeating what does not exist? The Tier III is the son of Acela just like the Tier II, the only difference being that Tier II is for upto 160 mph and Tier III upto 220 mph.

    Eric M Reply:

    Post a reference link?

    Roland Reply:

    There is no such thing as “FINAL and OFFICIAL FRA Tier 3 requirements for lightweight high speed train-sets that specifically relates to CA”, only some wishful PB “thinking”.
    Here is the latest and greatest as far as I know: https://rsac.fra.dot.gov/document.php?type=meeting&date=20130614&name=Draft%20NPRM%20Rule%20Text%20for%20RSAC%20VOTE-%20ETF_001-02%20–%20Proposed%20Ruletext%20for%20NPRM%201.pdf

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    I already posted that link, but Eric M is in a total denial based on his realization that his favorite Shinkansen has been completely 110% eliminated based on the text of the rule.

    Eric M Reply:

    Useless, your an idiot. You don’t understand what a Straw Man Proposal is (apparently Roland doesn’t either), nor the fact that paper is not the official position of the DOT/FRA. Both of which are stated clearly.

    Also, you have no idea what manufacturer I prefer. Here is a hint: it is not from Asia.

    William Reply:

    @Useless, Kawasaki has efSET ready to meet UIC requirements. Yes, efSET currently still exists only as computer models, but Kawasaki already has a good track-record of delivering a variety of trainsets to different US agencies of different requirements on time, so only very few people will doubt its technical prowess to meet CHSRA’s requirements.

    Consider Rotem’s difficulties in meeting Tier 1 requirements without incur weight penalties, it is hard to score Rotem’s technical competence above Kawasaki or other major Japanese manufacturers.

    It is unclear that the wide trainsets European manufacturers sold to CRH met UIC crash-worthiness standards, but this illustrate the all manufacturers need to redesign their train car shells to meet what ever the final FRA Tier 3 rules would set. Keep in mind that CHSRA is heavily involved in Tier 3 rule setting, and as the only HSR project in construction now, it would have considerable influence, so like the clearance requirement CHSRA set, most likely it would adapt a “not to exclude anyone” attitude to Tier 3 rule setting.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Roland, @Useless

    The latest and greatest clearly states that it is not “official” and contains “straw men” proposals and also does not even contain all proposals.

    So assuming any of what it includes as “definite” is completely unjustified (and likely wrong).

    Useless Reply:

    william

    only very few people will doubt its technical prowess to meet CHSRA’s requirements.

    1. The preeliminary buff strength calls for 360 tons, not 200 tons of UIC standard.
    2. Only models in service for 5 years are eligible to submit bids. efSET, like you said, does not physically exist and is not eligible to submit a bid.

    Consider Rotem’s difficulties in meeting Tier 1 requirements without incur weight penalties

    What weight penalties?

    most likely it would adapt a “not to exclude anyone” attitude to Tier 3 rule setting.

    FRA got to do what it has got to do, and must ensure interoperability with Tier I trains in service(namely Metrolink).

    Obviously, FRA might be willing to negotiate down the 362 tons buff strength if no one could meet them, but if certain vendor said yes, then the 362 tons buff strength sticks.

    For those who think FRA might be open to adopting unmodified European style lightweight EMUs based on the premise of PTC preventing crashes, they are sadly mistaken.

    Useless Reply:

    J Wong

    it is not “official” and contains “straw men” proposals

    The last documented evidence from FRA indicates that FRA wants 360 ton buff strength on Tier II cars, and there is zero documented evidence to suggest that FRA has backed off from 360 ton buff strength requirement.

    So it is YOU who has to prove that FRA has backed off from the 360 ton buff strength and not I, because the last dated FRA document says the required buff strength is 360 tons.

    William Reply:

    @Useless, as sited elsewhere, the requirements is for the bidder to have “Service Proven” product:
    “a Trainset in use in high-speed revenue service at least 300 km/h (186 mph) for a minimum of five years”, and as efSET is based on Shinkansen, it qualifies.

    The EMU and axle weight not exceeding 17 metric ton requirements are already specified as requirement in CHSRA’s Draft trainset RFP.

    The MBTA CTC-4 weights at 131000 lbs or about 60 metric ton. Rotem’s Metrolink bi-level cab car weights 67.3t. Rotem’s MBTA cars weights at 65.3t. And the rumor from railroad.net has been Rotem cars feel less solid than Kawasaki cars. Metrolink also had to mix older Bombardier cars with Rotem cars because it cannot keep schedule push or pull if the whole train is made of the heavier Rotem cars.

    J. Wong Reply:

    My proof is in the document, itself, where it says don’t make any bets on what is in this document.

    Also, your assumption that if one manufacturer can meet the 360 tons buff strength, then FRA will go with that, instead of deciding that maybe competition would be better served by having multiple vendors. Also, prior links you posted are links to presentations that specifically said that the new standards would not be absolute measures (like 360 tons buff strength), but operational ones (like colliding at 60MPH would have certain expected results).

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Useless

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Eric M Reply:

    You keep repeating FRA rolling stock requirements pertaining to CA, but can’t back it up with an official link. So post a link?

    Eric M Reply:

    DRAFT 3/25/2013- FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES ONLY. NOT THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF
    DOT/FRA.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    That document describing a “Son of Acela” is the starting ground for FRA’s rule making process.

    FRA won’t suddenly shift from a Son of Acela to a featherweight Shinkansen.

    Eric M Reply:

    NOT THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF DOT/FRA.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    NOT THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF DOT/FRA.

    We now have a documented evidence that AMTRAK/CHSRA were telling vendors to design to the 800,000 pound standard as late as March 2014, it is a requirement.

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2015/09/drill-baby-drill-for-hsr-tunnels/#comment-262601

    J. Wong Reply:

    Nope. They’re telling them that they cannot tell them yes or no.

Comments are closed.