For high speed rail fans, a lesson from china


Lifetime Supporting Member
Aug 12, 2007
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somewhere near Lake Michigan
Here is an article on high speed rail in China. It apparently costs more than expected and is causing enough problems that the chinese gov. has stepped in and seems to be arresting those responsible.

from the article:

In case you missed the WaPo piece, the man in charge of China’s model train set:
“is ruined, and his high-speed rail project is in trouble. … his ministry has run up $271 billion in debt — roughly five times the level that bankrupted General Motors. But ticket sales can’t cover debt service that will total $27.7 billion in 2011 alone. Safety concerns also are cropping up.
Faced with a financial and public relations disaster, China put the brakes on Liu’s program. On April 13, the government cut bullet-train speeds 30 mph to improve safety, energy efficiency and affordability. The Railway Ministry’s tangled finances are being audited. Construction plans, too, are being reviewed.
Liu’s legacy, in short, is a system that could drain China’s economic resources for years. So much for the grand project that Thomas Friedman of the New York Times likened to a “moon shot” and that President Obama held up as a model for the United States.”
In short, it’s an awful lot like Spain’s wind- and solar program President Obama also longs to impose here.

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