IBM Building Railway Innovation Center In China

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Honoring Railroad Engineers Of America - "Casey Jones Stamp", Image credit:Wikipedia

It's an exciting time for railroads, and so it was with hopeful interest that I read IBM's announcement of a railway innovation center in China. The press release is titled "IBM Opens New Center In China To Drive The Development Of High Tech Railroads."

Obviously, they won't be hiring RR engineers in the USA. But, could there be indirect benefits?

Based in Beijing, the Rail Innovation Center will be staffed by a global network of IBM rail consultants, software specialists, mathematicians and business partners. China is at the epicenter of revolutionizing rail infrastructure and operations for the 21st century, introducing new high speed trains and a hugely expanded rail network at an unprecedented pace.
My first thought was that the work of the Center could help reduce the need for private cars and long-haul trucks, which would be a big deal for climate protection. But, the promotional video on IBM's web site (shown below) left me with the idea that the Center will be focused more on "just in time" freight dispatching.

Hypothetically speaking - suppose a shipment of lead painted toys were found in a shipping container arriving in Long Beach. Using the internet to full advantage, said toy factory could be signaled to immediately retool for pet food production and fill the outgoing freight cars with that instead. Less fuel wasted on return shipments. We hope.

More posts on railroad excitement.
Obama Plans Massive New High Speed Railroad
It's Time to Electrify the Railroads
FRA: No "Cookie Cutter" High Speed Rail For The US
U.S. Rail Network Could Create As Many Jobs As Auto Industry ...

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