High-Speed Rail Line Collapses in China

Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0

Thankfully, It Was Still Under-Construction

As much as I think that high-speed rail can be a great idea for certain densely populated regions like China's coast, safety matters. Any environmental or social benefits of interconnecting cities with rail will be moot if people don't perceive the trains as safe, and China isn't doing the greatest job of that lately. There was the recent crash that killed many, and now we learn that "A newly built section [of about 300 meters] of a high-speed rail line has collapsed in China's central Hubei province following heavy rain".

I don't know what's causing these problems; Is it corruption? Is China pushing too hard on infrastructure and not taking the time to do things right? Is it just bad luck and the law of large numbers (they're building so many things at the same time that some accidents are bound to happen)?

In any case, I hope that they won't wait until there's some more dead canaries in the coal mine before whoever's in charge makes safety a priority.

You can see photos form a local Chinese newspaper that show workers trying to fix the line.

On microblogging site Sina Weibo, a user from Yichang said: "Thank goodness that it collapsed early enough, or it would be yet another tragedy if it happened after launch."

Another user, from Wuhan, said: "I was longing for a more convenient journey home, now I'd better have no expectations."

Via BBC

See also: China Buys 80 Very High Speed Trains (236 mph) for $4 Billion

Tags: China | Trains | Transportation

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