Chinese Academy of Sciences: High-Speed Rail Construction Unsustainable

Wuhan – Guangzhou High-speed Train


For all those who say since China is building high speed rail, the US should as well:

From Chinese Academy of Sciences: High-Speed Rail Construction Unsustainable

“The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) reported to the State Council recently, urging the large-scale high-speed railway construction projects in China to be re-evaluated. The CAS worries that China may not be able to afford such a large-scale construction of high-speed rail, and such a large scale high-speed rail network may not be practical.

High-speed rail train runs at over 250 km per hour, about twice the normal speed of a regular train. Under the current plan, the central government has approved to build, by 2020, 16,000 km of high speed rail providing access to about 90% of the Chinese population. Some local media have reported recently that the recently enabled Wuhan – Guangzhou high-speed rail is currently running an average daily attendance of less than half capacity, while the newly opened Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed rail attendance is even lower. The main reason for the high-speed rail low attendance is that fares are too high; the high-speed railway ticket prices are usually double or higher than normal train fares.

The report submitted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences said China’s high-speed rail construction has caused debt that has already reached unsustainable levels; particularly since the end of 2008, the government introduced a stimulus plan to fight the global economic crisis and the size of local government borrowing is already very high.”

(Via Marginal Revolution.)