My blogging has been irregular as of late due to heavy commitments with my day job, but to compensate, I hope my blog readers have also been following my regular tweets at @GreenLeapFwd. Today,The Guardian named me among the “Top 50 Twitter climate accounts to follow“, and #4 among climate bloggers. A great honor!
I am equally thrilled that my colleague and uber-prolific blogger, Joe Romm, also made the list, coming in #1 among climate bloggers.
Thanks to my Guardian and followers who helped shape Guardian’s list. Twitter has allowed me, in my many moments of insane busyness, to still share links on the latest energy, environmental and climate news on or from China.
But that’s not excuse to getting back to some serious blogging…
A Look Under the Hood at China’s High-Speed Rail Investments, originally published here.
We took the high-speed CRH3 train that runs between Beijing and Tianjin. Technology for the CRH3, assembled in China, was originally derived from Siemens’ Valero line of train technologies.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower put a down payment on the U.S. economy in 1956 by signing the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. This wise investment in a modern, transformative transportation infrastructure—in the form of 41,000 miles of interstate highways—enabled the rapid movement of people and goods across the nation and was vital to our astounding economic progress for the next 50 years.
Today, it is China that is leading the world in a key next-generation transportation technology: high-speed rail. China has already built 4,000 miles of rail featuring trains with average speeds of 120 miles per hour or greater, and the country plans to build an additional 10,000 miles of high-speed rail connecting all of China’s major cities by 2020.
CAP experts experienced the high-speed rail firsthand during our recent fact-finding mission to China. We took the train from Beijing to Tianjin, reaching a top speed of 205 mph and covering the 73-mile journey—roughly the distance between New York and Philadelphia—in less than 30 minutes. Stepping off the rail platform, it was hard not to get the feeling that China is racing ahead in investing in mass public transit infrastructure while the United States is lagging behind in the race to develop clean energy industries.
China’s $300 billion investment in high-speed rail
China already boasts a rail network that, including both standard and high-speed rail, is more than 53,000 miles long. And China plans for that network to reach 68,000 in 2012 and 75,000 by 2020. All of China’s provincial capitals have been connected by rail since the 1960s, and unlike the United States, rail is already a major mode of intercity passenger transportation.
The country began planning its nationwide network of high-speed rail in the early 1990s. And China began implementing a series of six “speed-up” campaigns in the late 1990s to modernize its existing rail infrastructure by increasing the speed and capacity of its lines. It also plans to build new passenger-dedicated high-speed rail lines. Indeed, the centerpiece of China’s Medium- to Long-Term Railway Network Plan is a new national high-speed rail grid overlaid onto the existing rail network. The new grid would consist of four north-to-south corridors, four east-to-west corridors, and two additional Read the full story