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Kamen Rider

washington post; "China’s train wreck"

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It should be made clear that the TGV line between Paris & Lyons is the oldest and has had the biggest chance to get back construction costs quickly. Other lines are operating with profits, but construction loans are not paid off yet.

 

Similarly, the acela and several long distance trains here with amtrak regularly operate generating a profit. The socio-economic & political landscape is much different here vs other countries. Geographically the US is large, making any real national high speed rail network hugely expensive. However this can be offset by building out corridors, and upgrading "off-corridor" lines to at least 90 mph. Most lines are single tracked with sidings ever since freight companies found out that removing track saved millions back in the 60's.

 

The fact that we have an integrated vs segregated rail network complicates things, with 1.5 mile long millions of tons freight moves & then on the opposite end of the spectrum DMU/EMU cars sometimes only operating with 3-6 cars.

 

Some kind of middle ground needs to be agreed upon if true high speed rail is to ever take off here in the US. I doubt we'd have millions go unaccpunted for such as in china's case.

 

- A

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@metsfanL Really? Only TGV? The ICE between Amsterdam and Berlin has also paid off it's construction costs and in Japan too.

And 90 mph is quite fast. Even here in The Netherlands we don't run 90 mph.

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I disagree with the tone of this article. What we're seeing here is not a failure in the concept of high speed rail per se; this is simply the bureaucratic corollary to Murphy's Law: whenever a single person or group of people is given carte blanche with large sums of money and no real oversight a fair amount will go missing. The problem Liu Zhijun had was not with the goal itself nor even the rapidity of implementation; it was with the lack of a middle class capable of using the service and a willingness to line one's pockets whenever nobody was looking. I also represent the implication that China should specifically envy our ass-dragging in the field of high-speed rail. Quite frankly, if Zhijun's "train first, safety and affordability later, oh, and a new house for my cronies and I while we're at it" mentality represent one extreme, the Republican "congestion and pollution be damned, if it comes from the government and costs us money it must be evil" mentality is the other.

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