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Mon Mar 31, 2014, 10:20 AM

Chinaís high-speed rail is so popular, itís hurting the domestic airline industry



China Southern Airlines is the latest Chinese airline to post miserable year-end 2013 results. Net profit dropped 24% to 1.99 billion yuan ($321 million), and operating profit fell 70%. China Southern Airlines joins Air China, where net profit dropped 32% in 2013, and China Eastern Airlines, where it fell by 25%.
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High oil prices, as well as increased competition from low-cost carriers and each other, have taken a toll. But, as each airline has recently acknowledged, so has Chinaís massive and growing high-speed rail system.
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As Quartz reported last August, the costly and sometimes under-used rail network was shaping up to be a vital part of Chinaís growth strategy. It doesnít have the hurdles of the airline industry: Airlines in China struggle to get clearances from the military to expand flight paths, and Chinaís major airports have earned the title of the most-delayed in the world, where passengers sometimes riot to protest long waits and miserable customer service.
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The high-speed rail system, on the other hand, has quickly grown to over 6,000 miles (9,700 km) in five years, and will expand to 19,000 kilometers (11,800 miles) by 2015. It is already transporting some 2 million passengers a day on trains that are rarely delayed, and which go nearly 200 miles an hour, twice as many passengers as domestic airlines.

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http://qz.com/193556/chinas-high-speed-rail-is-so-popular-its-hurting-the-domestic-airline-industry/

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Reply Chinaís high-speed rail is so popular, itís hurting the domestic airline industry (Original post)
n2doc Mar 2014 OP
rocktivity Mar 2014 #1
whatthehey Mar 2014 #2
Gormy Cuss Mar 2014 #3
amandabeech Mar 2014 #5
DanTex Mar 2014 #6
Gormy Cuss Mar 2014 #7
MisterP Mar 2014 #4

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 10:59 AM

1. Which is the part of the reason reason why

AMERICA doesn't have an extensive high speed rail system.

The other part is that it would hurt the auto and gas industries, too.


rocktivity

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 11:18 AM

2. Density

China overall has over 4 times the US population density, and the heavily populated and industrialized areas principally served by high speed rail have many many times greater density. That and an omnipotent central government that can simply put rail where it wants without decades of lawsuits over everybody's hundred sq feet of lawn that the line would need to take over.

HSR is great in theory, but absurdly expensive and impractical in the US except between huge cities separated by mostly empty land.

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 11:25 AM

3. The U.S. has the density to support high speed rail on several corridors.

The Eastern seaboard, the West Coast, and from Chicago to the south.
Those are just the most obvious ones. There are more shorter high speed rail appropriate areas sprinkled around the country.

We don't have high speed rail because there has been no compelling reason to build it in a society where cars are the default vehicle for ground transport. That's changing and it's probably time to start building our own rails.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 03:40 PM

5. If the economy improves, high speed rail in the upper Midwest, with Chicago

 

as the hub, might work. It has already been planned.

The spokes may be Milwaukee (obviously), Detroit, St. Louis and Indianapolis, for example. The Chicago-Milwaukee and Chicago-Detroit routes are served reasonably well by Amtrak already, and the population density along the routes is quite high.

A factor in getting people out of the air and the internal combustion vehicle are crappy roads and heavy truck traffic. There is plenty of both in the upper Midwest.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 03:50 PM

6. And also Texas.

If there were a perfect candidate for high speed rail, it would be connecting Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. The land is flat. Except for Austin/San Antonio, the legs are too long for a convenient car drive (3-4 hours), but too short for a flight -- most of the time is spent getting to and from the airport and going through security.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 05:42 PM

7. Thanks, I knew that I'd miss some spots.

You articulated why it would work there.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 02:51 PM

4. meanwhile in CA a handful of people (not in the areas affected) will just screech until

it's reduced to a Fresno-Bakersfield line, then they'll yell "see?! SE?!"

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