Speed isn't everything on China's new rails

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, November 26, 2010
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Sun Zhang

Editor's Note: China's high-speed rail trains are now the fastest in the world, but there are questions from the international market over its safety and it hasn't yet proved popular with travelers. Is large-scale construction of high-speed rail in China necessary? What challenges are China's bullet trains facing in the global marketplace? Global Times (GT) reporter Yu Jincui talked to Sun Zhang (Sun), a rail expert and a professor with the Railway & Urban Rail Transit Institute of the Shanghai-based Tongji University, on these issues.

GT: Why is China developing high-speed rail so fast?

Sun: Joseph E. Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics winner, once said there were two focuses in the 21st century, China's urbanization and America's high-tech. I think this well illustrates China's engagement in high-speed railway construction.

The development of Chinese urbanization calls for high-speed rail. With the deepening of urbanization, the connection between cities needs to be intensified.

To close the distance between different cities, bullet trains should be developed as a mass transportation tool to meet people's travel needs.

The 21st century is seeing fierce high-tech competition. Developing bullet trains could inspire China's technological innovation and increase its global technological competitiveness, so China's decision to develop high-speed railway is a far-sighted strategy.

Here are 10 advantages of bullet trains: huge capacity, fast, good safety record, punctual, low energy consumption, occupy less land, comfortable, environmentally friendly and automation of ticket sale. Developing high-speed rail satisfies China's demand for sustainable development.

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