Chinese rail lays tracks to US (2)

09:47, December 08, 2010      

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Diridon added that the lack of federal or state-level investment into rail infrastructure in the US gave China a good chance to win bids in the country. President Barack Obama had made a clarion call last year for the US to renovate its aging rail network, but it has slipped down the list of priorities, allowing foreign bidders to gain access to this lucrative market.

  Japanese train makers, which are China's major competitor in the US bids, pointed safety as their main concern.

  "I know that China is very advanced in high-speed rail, but you should never sacrifice speed for safety," Haruo Hirata, deputy general-manager of Technical Research and Development Department of West Japan Railway Company, told the Global Times Tuesday.

  "Safety is the major concern of all railway operators. It is true that, so far, all high-speed railway operators have developed their programs in complete safety and with no casualties. But you must always remain very cautious," Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, general director of the International Union of Railways, told the Global Times.

  Sun Zhang, a professor with the Urban Rail and Railway Engineering Department of Shanghai's Tongji University, told the Global Times that China spent six or seven years developing and upgrad-ing high-speed railway technology imported from abroad. The country also made breakthroughs independently in many areas such as increasing cruising speed and enlarging carriage space.

  "China's railway industry produced this new generation of high-speed train sets by learning and systematically compiling and re-innovating foreign high-speed train technology," the Railways Ministry said in November, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

  Therefore, Sun said, China's railway technologies have emerged from its own intellectual property rights, which shall not bother China's exports of its expertise, he said.

  With concerns rising domestically over passenger numbers and travel costs, Sun suggested the government could subsidize the high-speed railway network to make it more affordable to ordinary passengers, particularly in peak traveling seasons such as the Chinese Lunar New Year.

  Song Shengxia, Yu Jincui, Chris Dalby and agencies contributed to this story

Source: Global Times

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(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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