Sunday, April 11, 2010

High Speed Rail From China

NYT article about China licensing high speed rail technology to help build high speed rail lines in California. Germany, Italy, and Japan are also competing for California's business.

G.E. estimates that the United States will spend $13 billion in the next five years on high-speed rail routes. China, with a much more ambitious infrastructure program, will spend $300 billion in the next three years on overall expansion of its rail routes, mainly high-speed routes, according to G.E.

A high-speed rail link for passengers from Beijing to Shanghai will be finished by the end of 2011 or early 2012, and cut the journey to four hours, from 10 hours now, Mr. Zheng said.

New York to Atlanta or Chicago is a similar distance, and takes 18 to 19 hours on Amtrak, which must share tracks with 12,000-ton freight trains and many commuter trains.

I wonder if rail is safer or more dangerous than airplanes. It seems like it should be safer.

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