How fast would you die if you were on a 300 mph bullet train at it derailed and hit something?
Airbags would cut it, so why even install them, right?
Back in 1962, the Interstate Commerce Commission was studying Japan's high-speed Tokaido rail line and saying that we would have similar trains across the nation by the end of that decade. Half a century later, we have no trains that can equal those trains in Japan.
Trains are some kind of weird talisman of the left.
Real free people like to drive their cars wherever they want to go.
r4 lives outside Fargo, North Dakota, and has never sat on the Dan Ryan Expressway during the evening rush hour the day before Thanksgiving.
Or the 405
Or I-10 through Houston
Or the Top End Perimeter in ATL
Or on I-5 in Seattle
Or on the Beltway
Or anywhere else
And your point is, R5?
That all those people cramming the freeways would prefer to ride trains, were they available?
There are trains in Chicago that people sitting on the Dan Ryan expressway could ride.
I don't know about the other cities, but your presumption that people will flock to some railroad track in the neighborhood seems unjustified.
I'm okay riding on their new fancy train so long as it doesn't have anything to do with electricity. Since they didn't invent it, I've found trhe Chinese have a difficult time with eletricity, as in making things that run on it, like lamps.
The reason high speed trains have not been built in the US is because of crime. It's a fact that crime is more likely to occur near highways than one lane roads. People don't want high speed trains to bring crime into their communities from cities.
R8 - Trains go from major city to major city. They won't be stopping in between to spread anything, not even their tourist dollars.
[quote]Trains are some kind of weird talisman of the left. Real free people like to drive their cars wherever they want to go.
Only if they want to take 4 to 5 times longer to get there (3x longer in Germany).
Germany is the size of New Mexico.
What works there doesn't necessarily translate to a continent-sized country.
Here's a recent VF article about the bullet trains in China. Fascinating look at the culture. We also learn that a) China stole the engine design from Siemens after ordering engines to them; b) risked safety issues in the interest of building a better and faster trains than in Europe; and c) government officials were accused of moving contracts to kickback/favoratism arrangements; d) shoddy materials were used as a result of these arrangements and e) two trains crashed into each other in matter of weeks or a few months after the inaugural run resulting in deaths (around 20 maybe?); the government attempted to cover it up by digging ditches by the trains and burying them.
How's that for unregulated capitalism for you?
I think that infrastructure was meant to be temporary. Hasn't China's incursion in to the area simply been a matter of go in, get in, get oil and resources out at the lowest possible cost and get out?
I was referring to Africa's crumbling infrastructure at R13.
Trains haven't built in the US because they need tracks and the US hasn't put money into infastructure in decades.
Let's face it -- America is a second rate country.
You're falling for it, R16
China's bullet-trains are an "in your face!!" to the rest of the world. A show off... "look what we have, and you don't".
Developed with technology stolen from Germany, the builders and operators of China's fast train network up to their eyeballs in graft and corruption, equipment that often doesn't work due to the traditional lack of concern for quality control, the frequent breakdowns after the loudly ballyhooed Beijing-Shanghai run opened last year... and the four-dozen fatalities from last summer's two-train crash are testament to it all being just terribly conceived and miss-managed mess.
That the US doesn't have similar bragging rights is nothing to be ashamed of.
Americans, outside of Northeast and Northwest big cities, prefer to drive. It's part of our rugged individualism and control issues.
Also, it is a states rights issue. The trains would have to cross several state lines, and some states just enjoy throwing a wrench into the process to prove that they can.
Chinese made anything that goes 300 MPH = Death Trap.
You know all that dollarstore build quality, even if it was stolen technology from the Europeans and Japanese, is going to self destruct. Remember the Chinese had to enlist the help of NASA to launch their satellites because they couldn't stop them from blowing up.
(NASA successfully did this in the 1950s that is over 50 years ago)
The LA Metro expanded into our town and crime skyrocketed.
It might take a while, but these are the people who forgot what Marco Polo's clock was for. They can copy things, but once they are in charge, there will be nothing left to copy.
[quote]That the US doesn't have similar bragging rights is nothing to be ashamed of.
Yes, r17, we're all sorry we don't have a chance to brag about inferior products. You really hit the nail on the head. When we find the U.S. lacking in a decent rail system, we really want something inferior.
I've ridden on both the Japanese shinkansen and South Korean KTX and they are excellent. Their safety record is also excellent.
Yeah and how many gays on this board would take the train daily? This is easy to afford when you workers pay you to keep their kidneys. Like I say in the Eurotopia threads...if you think China is so much better go move there.
Or won't they let you? Or are you too scared to move there? No skills? No money? Sit in your cube and whine quietly. No one else is interested.
[quote]Yeah and how many gays on this board would take the train daily?
I would. I used daily rail when I was working in Germany and Australia. I used public transportation when I worked in NYC and DC.
In the east, trains aren't bad because everyone takes them. In LA, most riders are destitute, crazy, hipsters, or criminal, so most people do anything to get a car to avoid them.
R18, or in other words, stupidity. Trains USED to run all through those heartland areas quite effectively.
R25, I take a train daily, like everyone I know. What was you point?
Isn't the point of high speed rail to get between major cities quickly? We're not really talking commuter trains here, right? Tell me with a straight face that being able to get between Houston and Dallas in an hour on a train is not preferable to spending 4 hours in a car or spending the equivalent amount of time going to the airport and hopping on a plane. Or any other city pairing you can imagine. The Amtrak between NYC, DC, and Boston is the most heavily used because it's much more efficient than driving or flying.
R24 Bullet trains were safe and excellent until they started building them in China.
I take a commuter train every day. I also travel the world on business. Being able to get from Frankfurt to Munich, or Paris to the Provence in half the time is a godsend.
Just saying when they don't cut corners and do the job properly, high speed rail is first class r31. There have been some questionable things done in China though with their system.
I live in LA and wish we had a nice train system. Our subway system sucks ass and is pointless. If I want to take the subway from my house (weho) to downtown, then I've got to drive 10 minutes the Hollywood station and pay to park my car. After that, it's another 20 minutes for the subway to get to Union Station. In that amount of time, I could have just driven.
r25 I also use a train daily. The only time it gets annoying is when nut cases like you start spouting off their drivel.
LOL I take the train everyday too. Aside from my comment, and it being true, I love the trains. I would love for trains to be as used as they were in their peak. I always laugh when people talk about new technology to meet energy demands. It's already fucking here. Trains.
I grew up in a small town in New England. Starting in that town in CT going all the way into Central Massachusetts is a nearly straight road that just used to be a trolley line. Would love to see those make a comeback too.
It wasn't the train I was bitching at. Just the group on DL who have never lived anywhere else but think everywhere else is just so much better.
I rode MARTA everyday when I worked in Atlanta.
I parked my Audi at the station and let the company I worked for buy my monthly pass.
Saved a buncha money and traffic aggravation -- though not time, except on those rainy winter afternoons.
On those days MARTA was a Godsend.
We are a car culture so there is no assured demand for high speed rail and therefore no financing. It's not a symbol of American failure. It's a question of priorities.
Just another Chines plot.
Wait until one of those things leaves the track and lands in donwtown LA before it finally stops.
Trains are not sexy to Americans. It's all about cars here.
[quote]We are a car culture so there is no assured demand for high speed rail and therefore no financing. It's not a symbol of American failure. It's a question of priorities.
I am tired of that platitude being offered as irrefutable truth.
I love the thought, due to it being a train hub, up until the demise of the train Buffalo was the country's third largest city. I think that lasted until the early '50s.
Old U.S. trains hubs are architectural wonders.
We could have General Motors build the new American high speed rail system. For the 6 months of the year the trains were in the shop, we could drive cars.
At least this would 1/2 the dependence on cars.
The engine car for the PRC bullet train is hilarious. Talk about an extension of national manhood.
I have to agree with R20.
Their infrastructure is questionable. They put more emphasis on quantity, not quality.
more emphasis?? more like totally ignore quality
[quote]I am tired of that platitude being offered as irrefutable truth.
Then instead of simply expressing your weariness why don't you refute it?
Show us how America is not a car cultures and how there is assured demand for enhanced rail service.
Americans are [bold]forced[/bold] into a car culture because there is no decent public transportation in most of the nation.
No, R48. Americans love their cars. In any case, if the US lacks decent public transportation, high-speed intercity trains are not the place to start. People would need to know that they could get around effectively without a car once they get to the destination city. And except for our oldest urban centers, most American cities are vast and decentralized.
I'm an American in Southern California. Despite some of the claims in this thread, I hate having a car, I hate driving and would love it if we had better public transportation.
How long before the floors are coated in dried spit and the cars reek of cat meat?
r50, you are what most Americans call the culturally elite minority.
I can't believe anyone on this thread is jealous of technology being built in CHINA of all places! The Chinese rightfully deserve their international reputation for shitty quality.
Everything they seem to do lately has this Soviet "Look at Me!" quality to it. They seem to be so preoccupied with growth, growth, growth, with no regard to actual structural or aesthetic quality. Just look at their hideous, polluted mega-cities which have sprouted within the last 15 years.
I can't wait until their dam collapses. It is going to be great TV.
[quote]I live in LA and wish we had a nice train system. Our subway system sucks ass and is pointless. If I want to take the subway from my house (weho) to downtown, then I've got to drive 10 minutes the Hollywood station and pay to park my car. After that, it's another 20 minutes for the subway to get to Union Station. In that amount of time, I could have just driven.
I rest my case.
Learn to bow, bitches. Get ready.
Every time when get into one of these discussions about how awful and backward the United States is, especially regarding transportation, we completely forget our history. The US was not based on a Feudal Society. Europe, China, Japan and Korea were. We were perfectly suited for the development of a car culture and now we're stuck with it.
We live in cities covering hundreds of square miles, and still LA folks can't fathom why the new subway doesn't have a stop within walking distance. Even in Seattle with our new Trolley (sorry, "light rail,") riders are irate that there's no parking at the stops, rendering it almost completely useless outside a small radius of downtown.
Do L.A. and Seattle not have connecting buses that stop in the vicinity of the light rail stations?
I'm more concerned with the multitude of megatall skyscrapers being built in China. It seems that even smaller cities (the equivalent of a Little Rock or Brownsville) are getting these massive structures. Tokyo's skyscrapers weathered last year's catastrophic quakes very well. Would the one sin Chinese cities fare as well?
But who will be in those who built these Sky scrapers.... those who cut the corners in the first place.
The 2008 earthquake in Sichuan has already warned the Chinese on a large scale about the public health hazard of shoddily built infrastructure. I recall a lot of outrage was focused on the faulty construction of some schools that pancaked and killed scores of school children.
Who cares how fast you can get from one anonymous Chinese shithole to another? In 20 years the entire place will be the most unlivable, corroded, filthy, miserable pile of festering failure the world has ever seen, and people will be living in those abandoned trains 10,000 per car. Like an ant swarm of sick ants.
Occcasionally, when I'm not wasting time in DL, I'll waste time using Google translate. I've found only one phrase so far that seems to translate perfectly from language to language to language: "Sit on my face."
[quote]Americans, outside of Northeast and Northwest big cities, prefer to drive. It's part of our rugged individualism and control issues.
No. It's about privacy. No one wants to sit next to lowlifes.
LA's subways carry low-income people because the lines were built to only service low-income neighborhoods. This has created a huge PR problem as far as expanding these lines into other neighborhoods.
Most of the lines don't even go near major tourist destinations, aside from Hollywood Blvd & Universal Citywalk.
They should have designed routes that connect West Hollywood & Hollywood more effectively, to service the late-night crowds. A line that runs the length of Ventura blvd to really connect the Valley is needed (The existing Orange line is useless). A good way to get from anywhere in the city to downtown Santa Monica is needed, or to the museum districts, or to shopping areas along Fairfax, La Cienega, & Robertson.
I just think from a PR standpoint, it was a mistake to start out the system as low-income only. That's given it a bad reputation.
But it's so much more efficient to drive an hour to the airport, wait in an hour security line, spend an hour waiting, and then take a plane to go 300 miles, with an hour on the other end. And all that's without luggage!
I would love it if we could get well made bullet trains along the Northeast Corridor. There was so much hype about the Acela, but it really only goes about 25%-30% faster than the regular ol' Amtrak.
"No one wants to sit next to lowlifes."
Gays do. Nothing like subway dick.
[quote]One of the grand buildings erected during Pasadena’s ambitious City Beautiful Movement in the 1920s may become a victim of the state’s decision to dismantle redevelopment agencies statewide.
[quote]The three-story building with the red-tiled roof and arched doorways served as a YWCA for decades, part of an architectural era in which grand public structures were embraced as essential ingredients to a community's success.
[quote]But after a wealthy Hong Kong businesswoman bought the property 14 years ago, the refuge that once offered patrons a swimming pool, gymnasium and library is now boarded up and empty.
Asians ruin everything...
[quote]No. It's about privacy. No one wants to sit next to lowlifes
I'd rather sit next to a "low life" on a train, than a bunch of petrol wasting pricks in bumper to bumper traffic.
[quote]I'd rather sit next to a "low life" on a train, than a bunch of petrol wasting pricks in bumper to bumper traffic.
Enjoy your ride, because train travel in the US will always be seen as more like bus travel than air travel. That means trains will always stop, stop, stop between major destinations to pick up two or three more passengers and you'll always be sharing space with drunks, tweakers, and chronic BO crowd so common on public transport now.
I'll take my car, because even on a crowded freeway, I don't have a meth addict sitting next to me in my car picking imaginary nits off his skin.
Cars are full of mentally ill people and they are destroying the planet.
I don't know who you people are who see lowlifes and thugs everywhere you look. Also you are confusing travel between cities with travel within cities.
I have ridden trains and subways all over the world and run into a few creeps, sure, but most subways are safe and relatively clean.
As far as America never accepting trains because they love their cars, car culture is way down among young people, partly because young people like to stay plugged in all the time and partly because today's cars are boring and driving is not as fun as used to be. Amtrak and Bolt/Megabus ridership are way up. I think young people are very open to public transportation.
[quote]I have ridden trains and subways all over the world and run into a few creeps, sure, but most subways are safe and relatively clean.
Most world subways are built for the general population. In the Western US, they were built for the low income sorts who have more thugs in their population than the norm.
L.A.'s subway was built in 1993 - by this time there was no commitment to the idea of a city, social infrastructure, equality or normal human relations. With this mindset, public transportaion is seen as for "poor people." It is the same mentality in Vancouver BC - another place that has only recently started to build transportation lines.
In earlier times when there was an idea of transportation as a way to get places and connect a city, when there was more of an idea about city planning and there was pride and enthusiasm about creating a great transportation, this resulted in better systems, that are still used by a cross-section of society - London, NY. Even Montreal.
It really is a beautiful train. I'm proud of the Chinese and congratulate them on this spectacular achievement.
Which achievement? Copying the Siemen's engine and violating international law, developing the reputation for poor construction, continuing the reputation for corruption or having a two train head on collision within weeks of its inaugural run?
It isn't fun when Asians are in charge:
Pinkberry co-founder beat homeless man with tire iron, LAPD says
January 17, 2012 | 8:23 am
One of the founders of the popular Pinkberry yogurt chain is accused by police of chasing down a homeless man and beating him with a tire iron.
The incident took place in June 2011 on an off-ramp of the Hollywood Freeway at Vermont Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Young Lee was stopped at a light when he was approached by a transient seeking money, police said.
Words were exchanged, and Lee and another man in the car chased the homeless man and "beat him down" with the tire iron, police Capt. Paul Vernon said.
"This case is emblematic of how the homeless are among the most vulnerable in our society," said Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. The extent of the homeless man's injuries hasn't been disclosed.
Detectives spent several months probing the case against Lee, who was in South Korea for part of that time.
Lee, 47, was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday night by the LAX Fugitive Task Force, which includes LAPD officers and FBI agents. He was booked at the LAPD's Pacific Division station, according to online Sheriff's Department booking records. Bail was set at $60,000 but the records do not indicate whether Lee was released.
A former kick-boxer and later an architect, Lee co-founded Pinkberry with Shelly Hwang in 2005.
The first shop opened that year in West Hollywood and featured a low-calorie yogurt that came in two flavors: plain and green tea. The small shop on Huntley Drive quickly generated a loyal following.
At one point, Pinkberry was drawing 3,000 customers a day and became known as the yogurt shop that spawned 1,000 parking tickets.
The business now has more than 100 locations in the United States, Mexico and the Middle East, according to the company website.
The website does not list any affiliation with Lee.
The original Pinkberry shop in West Hollywood closed in April 2010 amid stiff competition from other yogurt chains.
R81 - is that you Hillary? We'll all recall that she's the one who sold us out to those monsters while she was on the Wal-Mart Board.
"How's that for unregulated capitalism for you?"
But that's just it. It's not even close to capitalism. It's government control over the whole process.
Can't wait to see one of things fly off the tracks.
So most of you would travel by train, just not on one the Chinese built? Why all the xenophobia?
high speed rail is dead in the US
[quote]It's not even close to capitalism. It's government control over the whole process.
And corporate control over government...
[quote]So most of you would travel by train, just not on one the Chinese built? Why all the xenophobia?
It's the notorious Chinese shitty lack of quality control. Would you want to ride on a 300-mph train in which the builders and operators are cutting corners everywhere they can?
Japan's Shinkansen really is fun. LA lost it's only chance at mass transit when they denied Walt Disney the land to make a monorail from LAX to Disneyland.
[quote]LA lost it's only chance at mass transit when they denied Walt Disney the land to make a monorail from LAX to Disneyland.
Same for Florida where there needs to be a monorail from the Orlando airport to Disney World.
I am an American living in China. Most of the replies in this thread smack of racism. Made in China dies not automatically equal crap. The crash of the high speed train was human error with signaling and bad weather. Not faulty workmanship. And it wasn't stolen technology from Siemens either. That is just bad reporting if you read that.
R94, it can't happen now. Disney wanted LA to donate the land and he'd build the thing. It would have been the blueprint for mass transit in a sunny car culture. They're doing a light rail in WLA and are planning the subway extension under SM Blvd to the beach. Angelenos don't like being underground, they want the sunshine, hence the popularity of open malls.
R96, One of the reasons the monorail was not built was that the LA area Chamber of Commerces did not want it. By having a direct link to Disneyland from LAX, tourists would not be spending dollars in their area.
While, I cannot argue against Angelenos enjoying sunshine (there is a reason that they do not live in North Dakota). Underground transportation does not sit well with them because of the fear of earthquakes. It would simply cost too much in education and behavior modification to get Angelenos underground.
Did anyone ever think that this Chinese Bullet Train is a part of the bigger population reduction plan for China?
R97, in my years in LA, I've never heard anyone express fear or disinterest in subways because of earthquakes.
R99, anecdotal evidence.
My partner was part of the study regarding mass transit. And yes, the majority of Angelinos feel that they are safer above ground during an earthquake than they would be underground. The fact that this does not jive with your personal experience does not make it untrue.
China’s Former Rail Minister Is Charged With Corruption
HONG KONG — China’s former railways minister, reviled by state-run media and many Chinese bloggers after a deadly high-speed train crash in the summer of 2011 and lurid allegations of high living, has been formally charged with corruption and abuse of power, the state-run Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.
Xinhua said the Beijing People’s Procuratorate had filed the charges against the railways minister, Liu Zhijun, in a city court. No officials could be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon in telephone calls to the procuratorate, which is a combined investigation and prosecution office, and to the court.
Mr. Liu was removed from his position in February 2011, five months before the crash, after reports that he had embezzled $152 million over the years. His dismissal fanned emerging worries that the quality and safety of the country’s vast high-speed rail program had been compromised by haste and corruption during construction.
Those worries greatly increased when a high-speed train plowed into the back of another train on a viaduct during a lightning storm in Wenzhou, in east-central China, on July 23, 2011, killing 40 and injuring 191. A subsequent inquiry found that serious flaws in the design of the signaling system had contributed to a failure to warn the trailing train that another train had been delayed in front of it.
The crash fed increasingly heated commentary about Mr. Liu’s lifestyle before his removal from office, despite government efforts to limit the discussion. A leaked directive from the Central Propaganda Bureau ordered all news media “not to report or hype the news that Liu Zhijun had 18 mistresses.”
Mr. Liu has been in detention for many months and could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. Members of the Chinese Communist Party who are accused of crimes sometimes face a harsh detention with few legal protections.
The Wenzhou crash prompted a lengthy national debate in China over the wisdom of the country’s heavy investment in high-speed rail. With the first line opening shortly before the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the country had produced a national network with 5,814 miles of track in service by the end of last year.
But rapid expansion left the Ministry of Railways saddled with debts of nearly $645 billion. The National People’s Congress took steps last month to dismantle the ministry, which previously had a broad range of administrative and even police functions in addition to operating trains.
A recent spate of intercity bus crashes includes at least two with roughly the same number of deaths as the train crash nearly two years ago, but the bus crashes have drawn far less attention. With poorly designed roads, numerous pedestrians and many new drivers, China has a death rate per million registered automobiles that is 6 to 20 times as high as in the United States.
[quote] The crash of the high speed train was human error with signaling and bad weather. Not faulty workmanship.
There were serious flaws in the design of the signaling system. It looks like the govt wasn't eager to discuss this.
I can't imagine being in something moving 300 mph built by the Chinese, in China. Do these people have a death wish?
I can't imagine wanting to ride a train regardless of the location.
because it's better, that's why. I can't imagine wanting to drive a car, no matter the reason.
I was just in Shanghai. The trip from the central city to the airport that takes a couple of hours by taxi is reduced to a few minutes on the high speed train, and the stop is in the airport itself. Very convenient.
I prefer train, and I am sure happy that we have rail on the east coast.
USA USA we have Amtrak! Lolz
[quote]I prefer train, and I am sure happy that we have rail on the east coast.
Are you posting from England or Iceland?
Germany has had the Wuppertal monorail since 1900. Disney has done well with monorails in their theme parks. Too bad we can't get them to build one up and down each coast with one across the middle of the U.S.
Who the fuck would take a train that goes 300 mph that's made in CHINA?! You can't even feed your dog with food made in China without poisoning it.
Jerry Brown, the governor of California. That's who. He's on an economic mission to China looking for investment in CA. He's a big proponent of high speed trains here so he's been riding the rail there. There's a pic at the link.