By P Chong Thurs. 28 Oct. 2010
The image of a powerful modern China in all its mega-engineering projects simply staggers the mind of the Westerners especially the British who first initiated and engineered the Industrial Revolution. In a matter of three decades or so, China has acquired Western technology & set new heights beyond all past human innovative spirit. Even the American standards have been surpassed. This is China’s era.
With the closing of the Shanghai‘s Expo by 31 October 2010, China is rolling out its new high-speed trains, shaped like bullets, linking Shanghai & Hangzhou, the Three Gorges Dam which is already working & generating hydro-electricity at full capacities.
More mega projects are still in the works: nuclear power plants, a gargantuan project to pump river water from the fertile south to the arid north, & a $32.5 billion, 820-mile (1,300 kilometre) Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed railway link scheduled to be opened in 2012. China’s engineering triumphs & the nation’s growing ambitions are in line with its economic boom. (Read by same author: “If You Stall . . . Others Roar”).
Completely New Railway Station
On the railway front, its technology is second to none. “We are now much faster,” Railway Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said at Tuesday’s inauguration of the super-fast line from Shanghai’s western suburb of Hongqiao to the resort city of Hangzhou. “Now other countries are hoping to cooperate with us.” The train will cruise at a top speed of 220 mph (350 kph), making the 125-mile (200-kilometre) trip in 45 minutes.
Although China holds the patents on the technology, design and equipment used by the CRH380 train, some in the industry question the degree to which China is justified in claiming the latest technology as its own. In a recent interview, Michael Clausecker, Director General of Unife, the Association of the European Rail Industry said, “Everybody knows that a lot of the core technology is European”.
The benefits of high-speed railway are obvious, but with speed costs soar and people are reluctant to pay higher fares particularly on shorter routes. However, the government has embarked on upgrading the whole national network.
A Female Construction Worker Watches As Train Passes By
- Booming China shows off its 220 mph train (msnbc.msn.com)
- China Opens Shanghai-Hangzhou Ultra Fast Rail Line (abcnews.go.com)