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Old 12-26-2012, 01:29 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Why are we not investing in transportation infrastructure?

China continues its amazing investment in infrastructure, including this:



A high speed train system, producing trains that travel nearly 200 mph and can get you distances from New York to Key West in 8 hours.

Investments like this make a ton of sense for large countries like China (and us) because (a.) they hire a shit ton of workers (China has said it has hired up to 100k people for it), (b.) they allow for more economic integration and economic prosperity for the parts of the country connected to it, and (c.) in an era where job immobility is at its highest in modern history for Americans, this provides a feasible way to travel great distances for poorer Americans.

But not only do we refuse to invest in this shit, we can't even muster the finances needed to repair the infrastructure we do have, made decades ago, in considerably less-modern ways.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/27/bu...a.html?hp&_r=0

World's Longest High-Speed Rail Line Opens in China
By KEITH BRADSHER
Published: December 26, 2012

HONG KONG — China began service Wednesday morning on the world’s longest high-speed rail line, covering a distance in eight hours that is about equal to that from New York to Key West, Florida, or from London across Europe to Belgrade.

Bullet trains traveling 300 kilometers an hour, or 186 miles an hour, began regular service between Beijing and Guangzhou, the main metropolis in southeastern China. Older trains still in service on a parallel rail line take 21 hours; Amtrak trains from New York to Miami, a shorter distance, still take nearly 30 hours.

Completion of the Beijing-Guangzhou route is the latest sign that China has resumed rapid construction on one of the world’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects, a network of four north-south routes and four east-west routes that span the country.

Lavish spending on the project has helped jump-start the Chinese economy twice: in 2009, during the global financial crisis, and again this autumn, after a brief but sharp economic slowdown over the summer.

The hiring of as many as 100,000 workers per line has kept a lid on unemployment even as private-sector construction has slowed down because of limits on real estate speculation. And the national network has helped reduce toxic air pollution in Chinese cities and curb demand for imported diesel fuel, by freeing up a lot of capacity on older rail lines for goods to be carried by freight trains instead of heavily polluting, costlier trucks.

But the high-speed rail system has also been controversial in China. Debt to finance the construction has reached nearly 4 trillion renminbi, or $640 billion, making it one of the most visible reasons total debt has been surging as a share of economic output in China, and approaching levels in the West.

Each passenger car taken off the older, slower rail lines makes room for three freight cars, because passenger trains have to move so quickly that they force freight trains to stop frequently. But although the high-speed trains have played a big role in allowing sharp increases in freight shipments, the Ministry of Railways has not yet figured out a way to charge large freight shippers, many of them politically influential state-owned enterprises, for part of the cost of the high-speed lines, which haul only passengers.

The high-speed trains are also considerably more expensive than the heavily subsidized older passenger trains. A second-class seat on the new bullet trains from Beijing to Guangzhou costs 865 renminbi, compared with 426 renminbi for the cheapest bunk on one of the older trains, which also have narrow, uncomfortable seats for as little as 251 renminbi.

Worries about the high-speed network peaked in July 2011, when one high-speed train plowed into the back of another near Wenzhou in southeastern China, killing 40 people.

A subsequent investigation blamed flawed signaling equipment for the crash. China had been operating high-speed trains at 350 kilometers an hour, and it cut the top speed to the current rate in response to that crash.

The crash crystallized worries about the haste with which China has built its high-speed rail system. The first line, from Beijing to Tianjin, opened a week before the 2008 Olympics; a little more than four years later, the country now has 9,349 kilometers, or 5,809 miles, of high-speed lines.

China’s aviation system has a good international reputation for safety, and its occasional deadly crashes have not attracted nearly as much attention. Transportation safety experts attribute the public’s fascination with the Wenzhou crash partly to the novelty of the system and partly to a distrust among many Chinese of what is perceived as a homegrown technology, in contrast with the Boeing and Airbus jets flown by Chinese airlines.

Japanese rail executives have complained, however, that the Chinese technology is mostly copied from them, an accusation that Chinese rail executives have strenuously denied.

The main alternative to trains for most Chinese lies in the country’s roads, which have a grim reputation by international standards. Periodic crashes of intercity buses kill dozens of people at a time, while crashes of private cars are frequent in a country where four-fifths of new cars are sold to first-time buyers, often with scant driving experience.

Flights between Beijing and Guangzhou take about three hours and 15 minutes. But air travelers in China need to arrive at least an hour before a flight, compared with 20 minutes for high-speed trains, and the airports tend to be farther from the centers of cities than the high-speed train stations.

Land acquisition is the toughest part of building high-speed rail lines in the West, because the tracks need to be almost perfectly straight, and it has been an issue in China as well. Although local and provincial governments have forced owners to sell land for the tracks themselves, there have been disputes over suddenly valuable land near rail stations, with the result that surprisingly few stores and other commercial venues have sprung up around some high-speed stations through which tens of thousands of travelers move every day.

Zhao Xiangfeng, a farmer in Henan Province, said a plan to build a minimall on his and six other farmers’ land near a station had been shelved indefinitely after he and three of the other farmers refused to lease the land for anything close to what the village leadership offered. He said he worried that local leaders might try strong-arm tactics against the farmers to force them to lease the land and revive the project.

The southern segment of the new high-speed rail line, from Guangzhou as far as Wuhan, has been open for nearly three years and already suffers from heavy congestion, which could limit the number of seats available for travel all the way to Beijing during peak hours. Regular travelers on the route said in interviews that the 800-seat trains are often sold out as many as 10 trains in advance on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, even though the trains travel as often as every four minutes, and even lunchtime trains at midweek are often full as well.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:08 PM   #106
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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I've yet to hear anyone address why public sector money should be used on stadiums when they don't turn a profit.
Stadiums are locally funded. If the locals want to blow their money that isn't any business of mine.

Why should I, living in South Dakota, pay for a train in Florida or somewhere that is going to lose money and I'll never ride?

Again, especially when we're this far in debt and it's going to get worse this is a stupid idea.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:16 PM   #107
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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Stadiums are locally funded. If the locals want to blow their money that isn't any business of mine.

Why should I, living in South Dakota, pay for a train in Florida or somewhere that is going to lose money and I'll never ride?

Again, especially when we're this far in debt and it's going to get worse this is a stupid idea.
I seriously do not understand what part of this is confusing to the guy. People including the shitbags in DC just cannot grasp broke, and I wish the government was just broke. It went way past broke a long long time ago~
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #108
KC native KC native is offline
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Originally Posted by RedNeckRaider View Post
I seriously do not understand what part of this is confusing to the guy. People including the shitbags in DC just cannot grasp broke, and I wish the government was just broke. It went way past broke a long long time ago~
The government is a long way from broke dipshit. Quit pretending like you know anything other than being a felon.
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I'm just a little pussy from Iowa
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:34 PM   #109
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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The government is a long way from broke dipshit. Quit pretending like you know anything other than being a felon.
How cute chubby troll boy is talking mean again
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:38 PM   #110
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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Originally Posted by RedNeckRaider View Post
How cute chubby troll boy is talking mean again
So you're the one that pissed in his cheerio's. I always wondered about that.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:40 PM   #111
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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So you're the one that pissed in his cheerio's. I always wondered about that.
He at one time used to irritate me. Now I find him humorous~
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:44 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by RedNeckRaider View Post
How cute chubby troll boy is talking mean again
So, let's walk through this dipshit.

How is the government beyond broke?
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #113
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So you're the one that pissed in his cheerio's. I always wondered about that.
Ah, yes another dumbass who knows nothing other than parroting faux news talking points.

Maybe, you'd like to explain how the government is beyond broke.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #114
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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So, let's walk through this dipshit.

How is the government beyond broke?
Whatever the government is not broke and you a only 25 pounds overweight
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:47 PM   #115
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Whatever the government is not broke and you a only 25 pounds overweight
So you were talking out your ass again. Big surprise. Nice to see you really hold your convictions though. Pretty typical of your worthless generation.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:48 PM   #116
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:50 PM   #117
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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So you were talking out your ass again. Big surprise. Nice to see you really hold your convictions though. Pretty typical of your worthless generation.
Huffing and puffing again go ahead and meltdown. I am bored watching you troll is good entertainment~
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #118
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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So you were talking out your ass again. Big surprise. Nice to see you really hold your convictions though. Pretty typical of your worthless generation.
I thought you were going to explain how the government is not broke?
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #119
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Ah, yes another dumbass who knows nothing other than parroting faux news talking points.

Maybe, you'd like to explain how the government is beyond broke.
My, so bitter. And so soon after Christmas.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #120
RedNeckRaider RedNeckRaider is offline
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My, so bitter. And so soon after Christmas.
If we are lucky our chubby little troll is going to teach us a thing or two about debt~
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