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A question for the China gang

Discussion in 'Travel' started by OxfordDon, 28 Jan 2017.

  1. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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  2. fred flintstone

    fred flintstone Well-Known Member

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    I'm in Yunnan, they just finished one here going to Shang Hai. 330KPH, cuts a 22 hour train ride to 7 hours. Maybe the US will take notice and upgrade Amtrak...not holding my breath.
     
  3. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to get to Yunnan on my Mekong trip, but visas got in the way.

    I've never travelled by Amtrak, though I have spent 2 or 3 years working in the US.

    Well now that Mr Trump and Mrs May are in bed together, politically speaking, maybe we can look forward to a cross-Atlantic border-free NYC-London service, kind of like a big brother to the Paris-London train.

    Wow that would be great... NYC-London-Paris-Moscow-Trans Siberian Express- San Francisco.

    Yabba dabba doo!
     
  4. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    Hi I travelled on the Maglev a week ago on Wednesday - connects the airport to downtown Shanghai in about 8 minutes for 40 ¥, that's a bit over 200 ฿ or £5 GBP or $6 US. The Heathrow Express in London costs £25 GBP. Be warned, however that most trains only go at a moderate 300 KPH - there are a few later afternoon that hit a top speed of about 430 KPH. Was a really smooth ride - the only gripe was it was dark outside. The Shanghai terminal is not brilliantly located in terms of falling out of it and having lots to do - you'll need to jump on the Metro if you want to explore further.

    In general terms China is investing heavily in hi-speed railways; for instance where I am we are expecting a high speed connection to open this year in November linking us to the airports in Shanghai in 35 minutes - at present the only direct way is a 2.5 hour coach ride.

    The hi-speed Shanghai - Kunming railway opened a few weeks ago, making it possible to reach south west China's Spring City in 12 hours. The only downside is that pricing is broadly similar to an airline ticket - I flew that route last week en route to Bangkok and it took about 3.5 hours.

    But one of the highlights of China is its transportation infrastructure.
     
  5. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    ' The project was actually developed by Thyssen/Krupp and Siemens and the technology is now used in Shanghai.

    I remember several tests I saw on TV when I was youngish. I don't remember why they never used the technology for a long distance. Maybe a security reason?

    I've seen the test drive in Emsland /Germany on TV and don't really understand why these trains never made it somewhere else and all I knew was that they sold the technology.

    America doesn't even have a high-speed train, but many people are high on speed. It's good to know that they've got so many weapons, but the times of the cold war are over.

    Did anybody of the politicians even recognize that yet? The new steel for the Golden Gate Bridge in Frisco was manufactured in China, not in America.

    America's excuse was that they didn't have any more steel factories and a friend of mine worked in China for a while, making really good money. Americans produce steel in China for an American bridge? Insane. Oops, off topic.

    What sort of politicians would give such an order in a country where too many people are job and hopeless?


    Transrapid is a German developed high-speed monorail train using magnetic levitation. Planning for the Transrapid system started in 1969 with a test facility for the system in Emsland, Germany completed in 1987. In 1991, technical readiness for application was approved by the Deutsche Bundesbahn in cooperation with renowned universities

    "The Transrapid maglev vehicle requires less power to hover than it needs to run its on-board air conditioning equipment."

    There's some interesting stuff on Wiki, good for quite a few science lessons. I might sit on such a train, but never on an ordinary high-speed train with Chinese copies

    Source: Transrapid - Wikipedia

    Photo: The first "Transrapid" at the test facility in Elmsland/Germoney.




    300px-Transrapid-emsland.jpg
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2017
  6. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that Portnoy.

    The thing is I love train travel: a quiet train, a good book, some great scenery, a kind of heaven.

    I’ve heard that some of the best scenery is on the west coast of Scotland, though I’ve only done the east coast up to the home of Nessie via some great single malts, it’s the only time in my life I’ve been on a train that had to reverse (bad storm).

    I’ve done Bkk–Chiang Mai a few times, Isaan-Bkk, Bkk–Pattaya, the slowest train I’ve ever travelled on, love it, and the famous Hua Hin station.

    But how can I enjoy that when the scenery is a jet-speed blur!

    Great for commuting though, and the technology amazes me.
     
  7. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks sirchai, well who can doubt that Germany has been and continues to be a world leader in engineering and technology. I've travelled a fair bit in Germany, usually by train.

    And I love the way the trains glide out of Swiss stations so precisely on time, we'd never get that in the UK! When I used to commute into London it was hard to know which train I was actually on as there were so many delays: British trains are delayed in the autumn by leaves on the track, in the summer by overhot tracks and in the winter by slush on the tracks, that leaves a few weeks of normal operation in spring.

    I've done London-Paris many times, fairly fast in France, grinding to a walking pace in the UK.

    By the way, I'm not knocking the UK; it's just one of my British characteristics, we love to poke fun at our institutions, take a look at Monty Python!
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2017
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  8. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Thai trains are a waste of time when you rely on them and most Thai people would agree with it.

    Last year, I had to travel to Bangkok twice within a time frame of ten months.

    Unfortunately, did the locomotives of both trains stop their service in the middle of nowhere and it took many hours to get a replacement.

    Not wanting to go off-topic, I'm just curious how they could even think of high-speed trains from China?
     
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  9. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Sure, but no Thais rely on trains to commute, except on the Bangkok Transport System, which is far more modern than London's (of course it is, the London Underground is the oldest and biggest in the world, and on many lines (routes) it feels like it!)
     
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  10. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    You're really such a nice guy and it's certainly nice to explain such things to them.

    They're soo far away from the center of everything that you can't even blame them.

    Not too many youngsters know who Lou Reed is/was.

    And not too many of them are well traveled and even George W. Bush received his passport when he became president.

    God shave America. :cold
     
  11. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    True, the West Highland Line is spectacular though it ends these days at Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis - single track as well and from Inverness the train to Kyle is equally so. Once you could travel through to Mallaig which was the gateway to the Isles. I think nowadays only possible by a private steam operation so likely to be very expensive.

    There is also 'le petit train jaune' which operates between Martigny in Switzerland and Chamonix in France - crossing the Alps. Straight out of a fair ground!

    And closer to home these days I love travelling Bangkok to Chiang Mai - utterly irrelevant that the timetable is a work of fiction - and Bangkok to Butterworth in Malaysia is another fun run.

    Lovers of railway travel will of course love The Man in Seat Sixty-One - the train travel guide... one of my favourite online escapes.
     
  12. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    Well not entirely true Don - there's the Samut Songkhram - Mahachai - Wong Wian Yai service. Not brilliant but living in Ratchaburi I sometimes drove into Mahachai, parked there, and then jumped on this rickety service, I think four an hour both directions. You really get a sense of the swamp that the greater Bangkok area is. Specifically I used it when taking TCT professional exams at that test centre in Thonburi. Them were the days - you see the trouble you can get into on this forum!
     
  13. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reference Portnoy.

    One of my train journeys was from Auckland to Wellington, it was narrow gauge single track afaik (although I love train travel I know nothing about the technologies involved).

    I chose it over air travel because I wanted to see the land. I'm so glad I did: I discovered they have really excellent wrap-around viewing compartments at the back of the trains in NZ, and the landscapes in New Zealand are truly fantastic imho.

    I found that I was sitting with an NZ/Maori family, all speaking excellent English, and we had quite a bit of conversation on the way (it's a long journey). When I got to my destination and the place I was staying I learnt that my travelling companion was a nationally known figure, feared by many, loved by many. He had presented himself to me as a family man, even though he had shown me photos of himself meeting the Duke of Edinburgh (you know - the Queen's Greek husband) as the NZ rep for the World Wildlife Fund.

    I do love train travel, you can get to know people.
     
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  14. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher AKA phuketbound

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    I love train travel as well. I haven't taken the Maglev yet, although will probably take it later this year. It is a fast and convenient train, however it only connects from the Pudong airport to Pudong downtown, so you will have to take the underground metro if you want to get to the Puxi (older) side.

    I've taken many trains in Asia including along the coast of Vietnam and most of Thailand.

    The bullet train in South Korea is great in that you can get from Seoul to Busan in about three hours (350 KPH). I've taken the bullet train in China from Beijing-Tianjin (35 mins @ 250 KPH) and from Beijing-Shanghai (5 hrs 50 mins). I book online now for tickets and the train is quite comfortable and fast (250 KPH).

    I agree. In fact, today I was on the train and I was in a seat with a table in front with six people around it. There was a three year old little Chinese girl sitting next to me who would not leave me alone. She was talking to me, touching me and wanted to sit on my lap! Adorable! :)
     
  15. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher AKA phuketbound

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    Ha! I never noticed any problems when I took the train from London-Edinburgh. I quite enjoyed the countryside scenery as well as going through quaint towns and along the blue sea.
     

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