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China tests 500 km/h super high-speed train
Mon, Dec 26, 2011, 5:39 PM EST

BEIJING (Reuters) - China launched a super-rapid test train over the weekend which is capable of travelling 500 kilometers per hour, state media said on Monday, as the country moves ahead with its railway ambitions despite serious problems on its high-speed network.
The train, made by a subsidiary of CSR Corp Ltd, China's largest train maker, is designed to resemble an ancient Chinese sword, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
It "will provide useful reference for current high-speed railway operations," it quoted train expert Shen Zhiyun as saying.
But future Chinese trains will not necessarily run at such high speeds, CSR chairman Zhao Xiaogang told the Beijing Morning News.
"We aims to ensure the safety of trains operation," he said.
China's railway industry has had a tough year, highlighted by a collision between two high-speed trains in July which killed at least 40 people. Construction of new high-speed trains in China has since been a near halt.
In February, the railways minister, Liu Zhijun, a key figure behind the boom in the sector, was dismissed over corruption charges that have not yet been tried in court.
(Reporting by Sabrina Mao and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Yoko Nishikawa)
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quote:
Originally posted by TI:
US has planes, they really don't need trains.
All countries have planes, even Guyana. The advantage of the trains in China is that they are powered by electricity which China obtains from its hydroelectric plants. Also planes cannot carry as many passengers as trains, and you cannot power planes with electricity but with petrol made of oil stolen from the middle east.
China bullet train crash 'caused by design flaws'
Site of the bullet train crash in Wenzhou, China, 24 July 2011 China's cabinet has received the official report into the crash
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China completes train crash probe
Design flaws 'caused China crash'

A bullet train crash which killed 40 people in China in July was caused by design flaws and sloppy management, the Chinese government says.

Almost 200 people were injured in the crash near the south-eastern city of Wenzhou.

"Missteps" by 54 officials led to the disaster, the long-awaited official report says.

The crash led many Chinese to accuse the government of putting development and profit before safety.

It also triggered a wave of popular anger against officials who were accused of trying to cover up the seriousness, and causes, of the crash.
Lightning strike

After receiving the report, China's cabinet criticised the railways ministry for lax safety standards and poor handling of the crash, according to Reuters.

Premier Wen Jiabao was presented with the official investigation's conclusions at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The accident occurred after one train stalled following a lightning strike, and then a second high-speed train ran into it. Four carriages were thrown off a viaduct.

The report found that serious design flaws in control equipment and improper handling of the lightning strike led to the crash.

More serious penalties could follow for some of the 54 officials criticised in the report.

Among the officials singled out was the former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, who was sacked before the crash, accused of corruption.

Liu "has the main leadership responsibility for the accident," the report says.

Following the accident, the authorities called a temporary halt to new high-speed rail projects and placed speed restrictions on trains.
High-speed ambitions

China had planned to lay 16,000km (10,000 miles) of high-speed track by 2015, which would make it the biggest high-speed rail network in the world.

It had hoped to make its rapidly developing railway technology an export success: Chinese train companies were aspiring to compete with Germany's Siemens and Canada's Bombardier by selling their technologies to foreign companies.
A Chinese bullet train (July 31, 2008) in Tianjin, China China aspires to export its high-speed rail technology

But after July's crash that looks less likely.

The railways ministry said on Friday that it planned to invest 400 billion yuan ($63bn; Β£40bn) in infrastructure construction in 2012, which is lower than the figure for this year.

The current minister, Sheng Guangzu, said that rapid railway development should be maintained, as it "plays an important role in the country's social and economic development, especially in boosting domestic demand," according to the Chinese government's website.
quote:
The dictatorship allows for decisions without the consent of the public unlike the US where congress and the senate has to approve such capital expenditures.


The Chinese gov't makes quick decisions on investments and development without worrying about how the populace will vote in the next elections since they don't have elections. In democracies such as India, government has to worry about people's reaction since they can be voted out if something goes wrong.
quote:
Originally posted by Billy Ram Balgobin:
quote:
The dictatorship allows for decisions without the consent of the public unlike the US where congress and the senate has to approve such capital expenditures.


The Chinese gov't makes quick decisions on investments and development without worrying about how the populace will vote in the next elections since they don't have elections. In democracies such as India, government has to worry about people's reaction since they can be voted out if something goes wrong.

For the Chinese is clear: Can uneducated and uninformed people make the right choices? Can uneducated and uninformed people understand what is in their best interests? People want sex, alcohol, marijuana and entertainment. Is this in their best interests? In the US they elect a president because he is tall, because he is funny, because he plays a show of born again Christian. Does this make sense?

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