China’s high-speed rail system has been a hot topic for these past few months since it was revealed that millions of dollars had been embezzled from these projects. With that revelation came some big questions over the safety of the system, which had already been constructed with a fraction of the budget used in other countries. Japanese engineers were also raising questions about how China was using the same technology, but were traveling 25% faster than was allowable on Japanese lines.
Yesterday we got the first notice that these lines were going to be slowed down, however all of the information pointed to this move being in response to complaints about high ticket prices. Today it seems we are getting a bit more of the truth in this surprisingly honest piece from the People’s Daily, that admits safety concerns for the first time.
The concerns over the project don’t end there. Customers are complaining about high ticket prices, and bankers are questioning when exactly these new lines will be able to pay off their massive amounts of debt.
America definitely should be thinking about high-speed rail, but I’m not sure China’s system is what we should be envying.