China planning high-speed rail networks to Asia, Europe and UK

March 17, 2010 by Lin Edwards, report

( -- China is planning high-speed rail networks in the next decade between China, Europe, the UK, Asia and India, with trains running at over 320 kph. Train passengers will be able to travel to Beijing from London's King's Cross station in only two days.

Passengers boarding in London could travel to Singapore (10,800 km away) via Beijing in only three days. Wang Mengshu, a senior consultant on domestic railways in China, and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said their goal was for trains to be running almost as fast as planes.

The plans are for three networks. One would connect London and Beijing, traveling via the Channel Tunnel, then continuing on to Singapore, while the second would include Malaysia, Burma, Vietnam, and Thailand. The third would connect China to Russia, Germany and the European rail networks. Wang said they hoped all three networks could be completed within the next ten years, and that negotiations have already started with 17 nations affected by the projected networks, which would be the biggest infrastructure project in history. The rail networks would carry raw materials and other goods as well as passengers.

Wang said the idea first came from other countries, particularly India, that wanted high-speed trains and hoped to benefit from China’s experience and technology. China is rapidly expanding its own railway network, building almost 30,500 kilometers of tracks over the next five years, and connecting all major cities in China with high-speed railways. The Harmony Express, the fastest train in the world, running at almost 400 kph, was unveiled last year to link Guangzhou and Wuhan. The train uses Kawasaki and Siemens technology, but was built entirely in China.

Construction of the Asian network has already begun in the southern Yunnan province, and Burma is soon to start construction of its section of the network. has offered to pay for the Burmese section in return for Burma’s rich lithium reserves. Prospecting and survey work has already been done for the European network, and there is already an agreement for a high-speed rail link across Siberia.

The biggest issue in the project is money, which would be partly government money, partly bank loans, and the rest raised by the railways from private sector financing or the host countries. Wang said they would prefer host countries to pay in natural resources, as the Burmese are doing, rather than through capital investment.

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5 / 5 (1) Mar 17, 2010
The burmese government are a totalitarian disgrace...have people least in China there are possibilities to undermine its stranglehold on its people through the internet
not rated yet Mar 17, 2010
Ignoring cost, this would help China alleviate its lopsided development. The western areas are much behind the coastal areas. In the US, we had the advantage of having two coasts which promoted development via waterways. In china, nobody wants to go to the west because it is a dead end. This would allow through traffic, strictly speaking and ignoring costs.
not rated yet Mar 17, 2010
I have no doubt that these projects will be a resounding success. There is no limit to what an underpaid and over exploited workforce can achieve.
not rated yet Mar 18, 2010
I wonder if this will be another case where flying would be cheaper and much faster. I guess if you want to take the scenic route this makes sense...
not rated yet Mar 18, 2010
Its good for the planet. Planes pollute the world much more than trains! By the way plane traffic is growing so fast that the density and safety in the air is becoming problematic. And train stations are closer to the center of the city. Witch reduce car traffic and so on...
not rated yet Mar 18, 2010
Ans we'ew on the way to have rapid trains also. Clinton- Gore wanted thaT.
5 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2010
I think many Europeans and Asians would welcome this development - especially if the speeds are as high as stated. Freight and food transport costs could be lowered dramatically - carbon costs would presumably be lowered substantially as well.
not rated yet Mar 21, 2010
I wonder what the transportation efficiency is for high speed rail? In the 5-30 year timespan they seem like a good investment to substitute for cars, but I wonder how long society will value traveling fast? people can video conference now without travel expenses and time at all and durable goods only need to travel fast if you can't plan your needs in advance. I think high speed transport might be obsolete in an energy scarce, information rich future unless it is also energy efficient. Could High speed rail one day be like the Concord supersonic commuter plane?
not rated yet Mar 21, 2010
Don't tell the Dutch government, they always manage to tenfold the cost of big projects.
1 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2010
There is no limit to what an underpaid and over exploited workforce can achieve.
That's your point of view.
Do you speak Chinese? If yes, then go there and ask workers if they want to live like their parents did. If you don't, you'll have to buy what your media tell you.


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