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China Developing Fastest Bullet Train

China Daily. China is developing a bullet train for the 1,318-km (819-mile) Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway that will run at 380 kph (236 mph)—currently, the world’s fastest—according to Zhang Shuguang, deputy chief engineer with the Ministry of Railways.

In the past few years, China has imported technology to manufacture 200-250 kph bullet trains from France, Japan and Canada, and German engineering giant Siemens agreed to transfer a full set of technology for manufacturing 350-kph trains.

Using Siemens’ technology, Tangshan Railway Vehicles Co Ltd in Hebei province has started production of CRH-3, a jointly designed 350-kph train, and is expected to be able to manufacture 50 such trains by next year.

The ministry’s chief engineer said that the construction of the Beijing-Shanghai railway is proceeding smoothly, and can be finished within four years, becoming operational in 2012, one year ahead of schedule.

Comments

stomv

Brilliant.

I rode the Beijiing - Shanghai rail last year. Overnight train, quite comfortable cars. The track was made from standard lengths of rail, so you had the traditional click-clack every few seconds. The next step for the cars is more power sockets, WiFi, etc. I had actually written a diary last year about how expanding maglev [like Shanghai to the airport] would "shrink" China in a way that could really reduce pollution and increase economic and tourism activity.

clett

I think the Transrapid Shanghai to Beijing maglev plan was shelved due to excessive cost, which is a real shame.

Rumour has it that a Chinese company is currently developing an in-house maglev design to come in much cheaper than the Transrapid system, and that it could be implemented in China in the near future.

Henry Gibson

The railroad line will be sure to be electrified. Perhaps the existing one is.

Perhaps China would build a small propellor generator to stick out the window to charge a laptop. That is how the first radios were run in some aircraft. It is also how power is generated for instruments and controls for the last minutes of flight when the fuel runs out in many large modern aircraft. The little door opening and the tiny propellor flipping out is not visible from any seat. The device could be used in cars too.

China was the last country to build coal fired steam locomotives in large quantities. Even at this point of time they are cheaper to build and operate than diesel electric locomotives. If they had adopted Porta's combustion system and boiler treatment, they could have saved much coal and many repair costs and some pollution.

There can be no doubt that even the electric vehicles on this high speed line will be coal powered from coal fired power plants that are far more efficient than were the steam locomotives.

China should order and build more CANDU nuclear power plants to run this railroad. The ones it has were built on time and under budget. They run on unenriched uranium.

China is now mining uranium from the ash of at least one of its coal fired power plants. There is more available energy in the uranium of the ash of many coals than there is in the coal itself.

CANDU reactors can also run on the purified or unpurified used fuel rods of other reactors. In the minimum case the rods are just moved to bundles of the right size.

An entire new reactor design could use the bundles exactly as they are. It might even be possible to just replace the water in operating reactors with heavy water when the fuel rod output decreases too much for full operation.

At least they are running passenger trains. Just try to get to the Denver Democratic convention from Los Angeles by train. Saint Paul is yet another issue.

The US government should have collected a lot of passenger cars when it caused the demise of passenger railroads in the US with Amtrack and Freeways everywhere. With these cars, it could evacuate any city for any hurricane.

There are railcars that take automobiles and even lorries through the Alps and the Chunnel, what is needed in the US is railcars that take the cars of gamblers back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. ..HG..

ejj

Trains are a lot of transportation bang for the energy buck...it's just sad when there are accidents and mass amounts of casualties, which seems all too often...

thomas

An environmentally friendly alternative to air travel and taking into account less waiting time should be just as fast.

Richard

Thomas, I'm not so sure I agree with you that mass scale rail would have shorter travel times than air travel. I don't know the numbers but I'd imagine an airport terminal has a lot more people waiting for a flight than a railway station would. As rail gains in popularity by taking travellers away from air, waiting times will, by nature, increase.

Don't forget, they may hit 380kph but they won't sustain it throughout the entire track due to speed limits, plus they have to stop at stations along the way too.

A typical 1-hour flight takes about 4 hours (personal experience) from city to city. But the worst part is that those 4 hours are cut into 15-minute increments that make it virtually impossible to do anything sensible with your time. I'll take a 4-hour train ride with sufficient seating space any day!

Plus you get to bring your bigger-than-100-ml gel bottles without being regarded as a potential terrorist...

ACAGal

Obviously the following quote is not a note from someone who has traveled in Japan, or in Europe on their high speeds. Amsterdam to Paris will be 2 hours by rail, with their completion of a project currently underway. Almost all train stations are in major population areas that one can walk to. Occasionally I've had to take an express to connect to an ICE, but usually I just walk to the main train station. I had surgery in Germany once, and chose the ICE because it was smoother than air and the stations much more accessible. I rode Bullet train, when the 10,000,000 passenger would be getting a prize, that was in 1967 (I didn't win). In Japan, one waited at the appropriate track and got on the train that arrived at the exact minute scheduled, not the train two minutes earlier or two minutes later. Much the same has been true on most of my ICE trips in Europe although the tracks are booked with 10-15 minutes between trains....only once did I wait 45 minutes, and that was from Frankfurt to Prague. There was debris on the track that was removed. These trains all get up to speed quickly, because they are not on shared shipping tracks or unprotected crossings there is very little slow down. If a train is point to point the in between stations are very few and the stops are about 2 minutes. These trains are so smooth, that a cup of coffee on a tray is no problem. Considering the number of people they handle, the well engineered systems appear to be safer than planes.

My last train ride from Orange County to San Diego was hard on the body, and took 4 hours - that was in 1974. As for transportation, we are in the dark ages. Our roads are clogged, no real viable alternatives have been worked out. The truth is we are 100 years behind the rest of the world and falling back further on a daily basis. My daughter was caught on a plane in Detroit for hours, because they could not unload the baggage. She waited in security line in Denver so long that she missed her flight (she arrived 3 hours early). We all have learned to hate flying, and think the system should be used for long distance, but medium based and short based land travel could be train/subway/monorail. If these were good systems, we'd save gas, be more in control of most of the timing and events of the trip, be able to walk around enough to avoid clots or stiffness, see the country a bit and be able to use cell phones, or computers without disrupting communication systems.

Trains are safer if crossings are NOT at grade, or fully protected, rail is welded, concrete ties are used, tracks are correctly banked, beds are secure and tunnels are used in areas where landslide debris might disrupt tracks. Usually the Siemens systems are electric, or combined fuels for areas where direct electric is not available. I can assure you that what is true in the USA is not true elsewhere.....below the comments I responded to.

"Posted by: thomas | Sep 1, 2008 4:40:27 PM

Thomas, I'm not so sure I agree with you that mass scale rail would have shorter travel times than air travel. I don't know the numbers but I'd imagine an airport terminal has a lot more people waiting for a flight than a railway station would. As rail gains in popularity by taking travellers away from air, waiting times will, by nature, increase.

Don't forget, they may hit 380kph but they won't sustain it throughout the entire track due to speed limits, plus they have to stop at stations along the way too"

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John Wayne

China has already been working on getting nuclear powered locomotives on the track. They are very close to succeeding--lower pollution plus lower fuel cost and more efficient than the present day trains.

snowflake

Fusion reactors are still a long ways off but in our grand children's generation it will happen.

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