Invest money. Create jobs. Save energy. If China can, we can.

China unveils ‘world’s fastest train link’

Sat Dec 26, 7:54 am ET

BEIJING (AFP) – China on Saturday unveiled what it billed as the fastest rail link in the world — a train connecting the modern cities of Guangzhou and Wuhan at an average speed of 350 kilometres (217 miles) an hour.

The super-high-speed train reduces the 1,069 kilometre journey to a three hour ride and cuts the previous journey time by more than seven and a half hours, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Work on the project began in 2005 as part of plans to expand a high-speed network aimed at eventually linking Guangzhou, a business hub in southern China near Hong Kong, with the capital Beijing, Xinhua added.

“The train can go 394.2 kilometres per hour, it’s the fastest train in operation in the world,” Zhang Shuguang, head of the transport bureau at the railways ministry, told Xinhua.

Test runs for the service began earlier in December and the link officially went into service when the first scheduled train left the eastern metropolis of Wuhan on Saturday.

By comparison, the average for high-speed trains in Japan was 243 kilometres per hour while in France it was 277 kilometres per hour, said Xu Fangliang, general engineer in charge of designing the link, according to Xinhua.

Beijing has an ambitious rail development programme aimed at increasing the national network from the current 86,000 kilometres to 120,000 kilometres, making it the most extensive rail system outside the United States.

China unveiled its first high-speed line at the time of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 — a service linking the capital with the port city of Tianjin.

In September, officials said they planned to build 42 high-speed lines by 2012 in a massive system overhaul as part of efforts to spur economic growth amid the global downturn.

The network uses technology developed in co-operation with foreign firms such as Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom.

One thought on “Invest money. Create jobs. Save energy. If China can, we can.”

  1. Is there anything we can do to help push the effort say along the Pittsburgh International Airport Greensburg corridor? That might at least get us the think and work on truly high speed lines.

    We can do better than China. We already did.

    I remember MagLev efforts funded by the Department of Transportation going back to 1973 a year or so after the first Nobel Prizes in physics were awarded for developing a theory of superconductivity. I think they built a small model maglev line at MIT sparked a little interest at Ford Motor Company, a few talks and studies, and then promptly abandoned any real working efforts. MagLevs would magnetically levitate trains using superconducting magnets designed with the same kinds of inputs used to turn the beams in particle accelerators such as the new one being brought on line at CERN. They can get up as fast as the Chinese, faster perhaps than 6400 kilometers per hour “if deployed in an evacuated tunnel.”

    See the below link for a brief background for U.S. patent going back to 1968 or 1969.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maglev_(transport)#New_York.2C_United_States_1968

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maglev_(transport)#United_States for a more comprehensive view but it misses some stuff.

    Others have thought about using magnetic levitation to get spaceships off the ground and payloads from the Moon to stations that could be built in space at special (Lagrange) stability points located at special places relative to the Moon and Earth. The point is that hard technology all helps. But if we keep piddling around with all this cyber stuff and not actually build something we’re going to miss out.

    Not all technology is computers, marketing, and trading strategies such as derivatives. There’s much more. Can Altmire understand any of that? Barack won’t get there without some push for his hope and vision we have to build some political fires under them.

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