On Friday, Turkey inaugurated its long-awaited high-speed rail link between Istanbul and Ankara, cutting the 533km (330 mile) journey between the two cities from a typical seven hours to three and a half.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on board for the maiden voyage and hailed the 250km/h link, which cost $4.1bn, as vindication of his infrastructure policies as he campaigns for re-election ahead of polls next month, on 10 August.
Turkish State Railways (TCDD) has said that $45bn would be allocated for rail in the 14 years to 2023. It hopes to build 10,000km of new high-speed line and 4,000km of new conventional line by then. In January TCDD announced that it would invest almost half of its 2014 budget – $860m – in high-speed rail projects.
California has plans for high speed rail that would cost at least $64 billion for 800+ miles between San Francisco and LA. California and Federal ARRA funds are available to complete a 130-mile (209 km) initial segment from Fresno to Bakersfield in the Central Valley by 2017. The LA to San Francisco build is not expected to complete before 2033 and it is not likely to be completed.
According to the Turkish Statistics Institute, trade volume between Turkey and China has increased 45% since 2010, to $28.3bn in 2013. Both governments have declared an ambitious target of an annual trade volume of $50bn by 2015 and $100bn by 2020, Xinhua says.
But there is an even bigger context, which is China’s ambition to develop a rail transport corridor from its western border through Central Asia and Turkey, all the way to Europe.
If this grand vision were ever to be realized, the Ankara-Istanbul line could be a tiny link in the 6,000km Silk Road Economic Belt.
India’s new leader Modi has been talking a lot about following China’s high speed rail development model.
The BRICS bank, along with the separate $50 billion Asian infrastructure bank, is another way for China to get higher returns on its $3.9 trillion reserves than it does from buying U.S. Treasuries, said Oliver Rui, professor of finance and accounting at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, the favorite city to headquarter the bank.
* Other countries are helping to double what China puts into the BRICS and Asian Infrastructure bank
* China gets more global influence
* China gets help funding more projects which will likely mostly go to best infrastructure building companies in the world (which are the Chinese train, road and bridge companies)
* China shifts from being just the world’s factory to the World’s funder and builder of Infrastructure
China’s academy of engineering has been talking about a global high speed rail network. There are reasons to doubt that the politics and negotiations can come together.
Google Translate version of the Chinese Academy of Engineering high speed rail proposals and projects
Chinese Academy of Engineering, Wang Meng-shu Secret Chinese high-speed rail “going out” strategy [NBF- for commercial and geopolitical reasons]
Pan-Asian high-speed railway to start construction next month [NBF- his is funded and getting built]
A Eurasian high-speed rail
Line: From London, via Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev, Moscow, after over two branches, one into Kazakhstan, another virtual point of the Far East Khabarovsk, after entering the territory of China Manzhouli
Process: Domestic segment has already started, is still being negotiated outside the lines
2 Central High Speed Rail
Line: The starting point is Urumqi, through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey and other countries, and finally to Germany
Process: Domestic segment is advancing, still being negotiated outside the lines
3 Pan-Asian high-speed rail
Line: starting from Kunming, followed by Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, arrived in Singapore
Process: Inter-China-Burma railway tunnel commenced in June
4 Russia plus the United States and high-speed rail
Line: starting from the northeast all the way north through the Bering Strait in Siberia arrived to build a tunnel way across the Pacific Ocean, arriving in Alaska, and then go from Alaska, Canada, the United States finally arrived
Process: being discussed
And then to Africa, Premier Li Keqiang visited each force will recommend to the local Chinese high-speed railway from Thailand to Eastern Europe. Technically sound, mature operating experience, quality and security, cost-effective, enjoys a good reputation in the international market …… May 5, at the China-aided AU Conference Center, he enumerated the advantages of Chinese high-speed rail to the five African leaders.
In the name of such a high level of “high iron salesman” behind, is five years China has launched high-speed rail “going out” strategy. This is a big game.
And Northeast were starting from Xinjiang, a North-South high-speed rail construction two intercontinental connectivity in Europe; from Kunming, the construction of a direct high-speed rail through Southeast Asia, Singapore …… This is China high-speed rail “going out” of the three strategic direction. In the more distant future, China intends to increase cooperation with Russia and the United States, the construction of a across the Bering Strait, up to tens of thousands of kilometers of high-speed rail connecting the two continents Ami.
Yesterday, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the famous railway expert Wang Meng-shu accept the Beijing Times [microblogging] Reporter interview, described the progress of these cross-border high-speed rail lines.
Building process – Europe and Central Asia are negotiating high-speed rail
Pan-Asian high-speed railway to start construction in June
In 2009, China formally proposed high-speed rail “going out” strategy. The following year, the Ministry of Railways for the establishment of a dozen different countries working group officially began operations this strategy. China’s participation in the preparation of the Eurasian high-speed rail, high-speed rail in Central Asia and the Pan-Asian high-speed rail, it is three directions of this strategy.
According to the “Southern Weekend” previously disclosed, the planned Eurasian high-speed rail from London, via Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev, Moscow, after over two branches, one into Kazakhstan, another virtual point of the Far East Khabarovsk Trask, Manchuria after entering the territory of China.
With conditions similar to the Eurasian high-speed rail, high-speed rail in Central Asia is also not completely settled. The starting point of this railway line is Urumqi, after Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey and other countries, and finally to Germany. Coincides with the ancient Silk Road.
Pan-Asian high-speed rail runs through Southeast Asia starting from Kunming through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, arrived in Singapore.
Yesterday, Wang Meng-shu in an interview with Beijing Times reporter interviewed introduction, Pan-Asian high-speed rail should start in June this year, from western Yunnan Diamond Hill built an approximately 30 km of tunnels leading to Myanmar, from Burma to the east, out of a branch line to to Thailand, and the other is via a main line Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore leads. This will become China’s leading high-wire Southeast Asian countries a convenient channel.
Wang Meng-shu told reporters that the current high-speed rail and Central Eurasian domestic high-speed rail segment or have started, or are pushed outside the line in negotiations on how to build it. Go north on Western Europe via the Eurasian high-speed rail line, since the need to go through Russia, China advocates the use of internationally accepted standards of 1435 mm track, but the Russian railway network has been using quite different from the international standard 1524 mm broad gauge, connect the not yet settled.
And Eurasian same high-speed rail, high-speed rail in Central Asia of the negotiations. Wang Meng-shu said that the high-speed rail line through Central Asia, Southern Europe destined Germany, which is the ancient Silk Road, trade between China and Europe in the past mainly rely on cargo vessels, such as China imported advanced equipment from Germany, currently ship transportation needs, But from Europe to China is bound to go through the Malacca Strait, shipping at least a month to arrive. Future high-speed rail in Central Asia, once completed, can save a lot of time and cost, “go overland through the high-speed rail, freight from China to Germany may only need a short period of five days.”
Cooperation – China to build high-speed rail technology funding commitments
The replacement of resources through the construction of high-speed rail
Three cross-border high-speed rail in the pipeline, due to the cross-border high-speed railway construction involving many countries, and also funded the construction of the countries involved along with the completion of operational problems. In this regard, Wang Meng-shu said, these cross-border high-speed rail construction has a principle, by the Chinese side of the capital, the technology and the equipment to construction, is completed by the passing countries will be involved in operations. In this process, China will negotiate with the country, with the construction of high-speed rail to replace local resources, such as Central Asia and Europe, oil and gas resources, Burma potash, thereby establishing a long-term cooperation mechanism to protect our resources to use.
Wang Meng-shu, currently planning several of these cross-border high-speed rail are referring to this concept in the negotiation and operation, through the “replacement of existing resources” approach, on the one hand to promote connectivity between China and neighboring Asian countries to facilitate trade between countries, the other hand, imports from China in order to protect scarce resources, which will help the oil, gas flow.
Wang Meng-shu introduction, the construction of these three high-speed rail lines, China is not only responsible for surveying, planning, design, construction, and will ensure that after completion of operations, personnel training. According to Wang Meng-shu, at present there is a regular train from Zhengzhou to carry exploration equipment and technical personnel destined for Central Europe and other regions of the high-speed rail line through the area for exploration may negotiate with the relevant countries are being conducted.
For the “replacement resources with high-speed rail technology” of cooperation, the relevant person in charge of the Ministry of Railways had to accept the “Southern Weekend” interview, he explained: “China is another country to build high-speed rail, the money to get money, get money exchanged for something else This is a fair way to trade. “
Vision for the future – Canada and the U.S. and Russia begin high-speed rail plan
People are expected to take the high-speed rail to the United States
Wang Meng-shu also mentioned that China is considering the construction of a railroad through Siberia, across the Bering Strait to Alaska directly, through Canada to the United States from China in the future so that you can take the train to the United States.
Wang Meng-shu introduction of the railway in Northeast China’s departure from the way north through the Bering Strait in Siberia arrived, by way of the construction of a tunnel through the Pacific, arrived in Alaska, and then go from Alaska, Canada, the United States finally arrived. “It is now talking about, which is the idea of Russia for many years.” Wang Meng-shu said that the construction of the railway across the Bering Strait need to build about 200 kilometers of tunnels, the tunnel leading technology in Fujian Taiwan High Speed Rail tunnel will applications are now technically qualified. The railway will also take the Chinese out of technology, the capital building, and replacement of resources through the country the way forward, this plan is currently under discussion.
Wang Meng-shu said the line preliminary estimate of about 13,000 kilometers, if completed, China to the United States will be able to no longer have to take a plane, take the high-speed rail can be viewed along the multi-country scenery, according to the 350 km / h design speed passenger ride high-speed rail is expected to less than two days walk from the United States.
Difficulty Analysis – Construction of transnational high-speed rail faces three challenges
Several of these cross-border high-speed railway construction plan was put forth on the concern, but the construction of the railway is not easy. There have been an example to analyze high-speed rail in Europe and Asia that China’s high-speed rail construction of these international challenges facing at least the following three areas:
One is difficult to raise huge amounts of money. Eurasian necessary funds to build high-speed rail will be an astronomical figure, not a Chinese government can afford. Even along the countries are willing to provide some funding for the Eurasian high-speed rail, still unable to meet demand.
Second, the rail operator would be a problem. Eurasian high-speed rail to pass through a dozen countries, how to manage and operate cross-border high-speed rail system this will be a huge challenge. If along the Eurasian countries can not agree on a high-speed rail operators, subsequent cooperation would be impossible.
The third is still unable to resolve technical problems. Eurasia is the world’s largest continent, geological conditions along the Eurasian high-speed rail is extremely complex, both alpine valley insurance also has rivers and lakes, the construction of a complex geological environments across so many high-speed rail is technically faces enormous challenges.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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