Meeting Environment Challenges
High Speed Railroad Trains
Today's decisions and projects are determining the future.
High Speed Rail
The growth of High Speed Rail passenger trains are revolutionizing the surface transportation infrastructure in many forward looking nations and geographical areas. National passenger rail services do not make a profit. They do serve the national goals of efficient transportation, economic stimulus, energy efficiency and a cleaner environment.
While High Speed Rail passenger service leads the field, commercial rail traffic such as the new China to Europe rail freight service moves faster and over greater distances benefitting from High Speed technologies and infrastructure. The forward looking nations of Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, China and Japan are committed to setting the standards and investing in their rail infrastructure. The country of Kenya marked the first year of a new rail line in July.
The United States, once the leader in efficient national rail passenger and commercial rail transportation infrastructure, has not made a national commitment to High Speed Rail. The single dedicated High Speed project is being carried out by the State of California. Amtrak, the United States' national rail passenger service, established in 1971 by the federal government, was and is always underfunded due to political decisions. The result is continual route reductions, lack of new rail cars and insufficient infrastructure investments to maintain a modern passenger rail service.
China's Fast Track Into The Future
China's High Speed Rail network is the most impressive example of a national program dedicated to create and adopt the technologies in the field of high speed railroad travel. China's railroad system is already capable of carrying thousands of passengers at speeds over 200 MPH on a daily basis. The rail system is steadily expanding into regions without rail service or where it required upgrading.
View this article describing China's High Speed Rail program that was published in the British newspaper The Daily Mail . . .High Speed Rail in China
China's Latest Generation HSR Achieves 350 kph Speed
"China on Wednesday [August 8, 2018] increased the maximum speed of the bullet trains on the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed railway from 300 km per hour (kph) to 350 kph. The Fuxing (Rejuvenation) trains, the newest bullet train model developed in China, first ran at 350 kph on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, with the Beijing-Tianjin line the second to receive the upgrade. The increase will shorten travel time between Beijing South Railway Station and Tianjin Railway Station from 35 minutes to 30 minutes with no price difference in fares," according to an article in usa.chinadaily news. It also reported, "The Fuxing trains are a substantial upgrade of the previous CRH bullet trains, said Pan Yu, an assistant engineer from the China Railway Beijing Group (CRBG). Fuxing trains are taller and more spacious, and can run in an environment between minus 40 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius. The streamline design has reduced resistance by 7.5 percent to 12.3 percent, which reduces energy consumption to a large extent. The Beijing-Tianjin high-speed railway was China's first high-speed railway line which went into operation in 2008. Over the past ten years, 250 million passengers have been carried on the line." Photo courtesy of XINHUANET.
China's Rail Infrastructure Funding
According to Xinhua,englishnews.cn, on July 29, 2018, "China's transport investment remained stable in the first half of the year due to continued government efforts to improve infrastructure. More than 1.3 trillion yuan (about 195 billion U.S. dollars) was pumped into transport projects in January-June period, largely stable compared with a year ago, according to data provided by the Ministry of Transport. ... Infrastructure investment is significant to people's livelihoods and steady economic growth. The country plans to spend at least 2.6 trillion yuan on transport infrastructure this year, with goals to further expand rail and road networks. By 2020, China aims to have a modern transportation system that is safe, convenient, efficient and green. Premier Li Keqiang asked earlier this week for faster construction of the Sichuan-Tibet railway during an inspection tour in its Lhasa-Nyingchi section. With total investment of 270 billion yuan, the railway is a major project included in the country's 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020)."
"China will implement a 3-year action plan to improve its transport network and services, according to the Ministry of Transport. The plan reaffirmed China's goals in building a fully-fledged transport network by 2020 when it will reach the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. By 2020, China will have 30,000 kilometers of high-speed railway, covering 80 percent of Chinese cities with a population of over 1 million, according to the plan which lists 76 targets," according to an article in usa.chinadaily news . . . China 3-year Action Plan Trains.
French SNCF Expanding High Speed Rail
Europe's High Speed Rail network is again expanding technically and operationally. France's SNCH announced awarding a 2.7 billion Euro contract to Alstom "for 100 next–generation Avelia Horizon trains. Alstom and SNCF have together developed the new high-speed trains. Each train set consists of two power cars and articulated double-deck coach." The new Avelia Horizon trains will be capable of a maximum speed of 350km/h. Photo is courtesy of Alstom Design & Styling. Technical advances will include regenerative braking energy systems that will lower energy consumption and are part of the overall design objective to reduce out of service maintenance periods. Additional details were published by Railway-Technology . . . SNCF approves €2.7bn contract for 100 Avelia Horizon trains.
International High Speed Rail Meeting
The 10th UIC World Congress on High Speed Rail was held this year from May 8 to May 11 in Ankara, Turkey.
According to the Congress organizers, the event took place "in the frame of a decision of a UIC Statutory Meeting to benchmark the concurrent developments and assess future trends in this important field of technology, with particular reference to Infrastructure, Railway systems, Stations, Trains, Operations. This World Congress and High Speed Rail Trade Exhibition's aim was t attract speakers and exhibitors from railways, supply industry and leading Institutions. International Organizations and Universities from all around the world presented a comprehensive overview of current and future technology trends, supported by presentations of current state of the art applications and exhibit their products donated with the latest technology.
During the four days of the Congress, several topics such as Infrastructure, Railway systems, Operation & Stations, Trains, Commercial & Economy & Society were diiscussed, having regard to their application potential on High speed lines." The major goal of the event was to "review current progress and to provide input to ongoing work at UIC on identifying strategic trends and convergence towards common functionalities according to the events sponsors."
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