China to invest $280 billion on 30% expansion in rail network “as a stimulus measure”


Australian media reports:

China will invest nearly $A445 billion (US$ 280 billion) in its overburdened rail system as a stimulus measure aimed at blunting the impact of the global financial crisis.

The investment is part of plans to extend the country’s railway network from the current roughly 125,502km to nearly 160,900km by 2010, Shanghai’s Oriental Morning Post reported.

The Beijing News quoted a rail official as saying that, while the network needed extending, the massive investment was also intended to help lift the nation’s economy as it suffers amid the global woes.

“New rail investment will become a shining light in efforts to push forward economic growth,” railway ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said.

I hope Democrats in Congress are paying attention. Yes, spending money on roads and bridges may be a faster stimulus package, but this country needs to make the transition to greater rail-based transit. Seems like we may be able to learn a thing or two from the Middle Kingdom.

11 Responses to China to invest $280 billion on 30% expansion in rail network “as a stimulus measure”

  1. Ben says:

    It’s funny how people fall back to the Keynsian stimuli to fix the bloody mess of Laissez-Faire.

  2. paulm says:

    Were missing the point.

    We should be curtailing mass transportation and start concentrating on local villages, only transporting data (information).

    The whole paradigm of globalization has to change.

  3. charlie says:

    It’s also funny how people get confused when they hear about more train service. It’s not for transit or passengers — hint hint.

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Vastly more fuel efficient to move freight by train.

    More fuel efficient to move people by bus.

  5. David B. Benson says:

    I commented without enough thought.

    Transport by water is by far the most efficient. This suggests digging transportation canals wherever feasible. Seems to me this could be a wedge or maybe two.

  6. TomG says:

    David, I don’t think putting all the daily rail commuters in New York City on buses instead of electric trains would be very fuel efficient.

  7. David B. Benson says:

    TomG — Maybe modern mass transit trains are fuel efficient, dunno. The typical problem with trains is that such are heavy compared to the light ‘cargo’, i.e., people. I believe buses have a higher payload ratio.

    This does not mean that, all factors taken into account, buses are to be preferred to trains in all situations.

  8. llewelly says:

    More fuel efficient to move people by bus.

    This is highly dependent on people distribution, destination distribution, and traffic patterns.
    In general general higher population density tends to favor trains over buses for people transit.

  9. David B. Benson says:

    llewelly — Yes. I was thinking of intercity, but failed to state that. Even in that case, it could easily depend upon routes and desired travel times.

  10. charlie says:

    Yeah, canals are a great wedge. Go check out Three Gorges.

  11. Tony P. says:

    There is a very interesting video called “Taken for a Ride”. It spells out in detail how the big auto makers killed public transit in several large cities in the United States. This may be hard to believe but New York LA, Philadelphia and many other cites had very intricate street car systems that worked. However GM through a very aggressive propaganda campaign convinced local governments, and the public that “street cars” were old, and buses were new. Outside of the East coast inner city train travel is non existent. In fact, there is no public bus service that can take you from Detroit’s airport to downtown.