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Re:China Initiates Fastest Bullet Train Service

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  • Karen Sandness
    It s even worse than that. Vietnam (yes, THAT Vietnam) is looking at building high-speed rail. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20091212a1.html HANOI
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 12, 2009
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      It's even worse than that. Vietnam (yes, THAT Vietnam) is looking at
      building high-speed rail.


      HANOI (Kyodo) Vietnam has decided to adopt Japan's bullet-train system
      for a high-speed rail link, officials knowledgeable about the
      situation revealed Friday.

      Vietnam's decision was delivered to Japan when Prime Ministers Nguyen
      Tan Dung and Yukio Hatoyama met on the sidelines of the first summit
      between Japan and five Mekong-region countries in Tokyo in early
      November, the officials said.
      Vietnam's Parliament is expected to officially decide on the project
      next May, they said.

      However, Vietnam may face difficulty in starting the project as the
      country has yet to work out concrete steps to procure the funds.
      Construction of a bullet-train system of this size, running through
      Vietnam north and south, is estimated to cost at least ¥5 trillion.

      Currently, development loans from Japan and other international aid
      agencies are being considered, they said. But whether Tokyo should
      provide loans for the project is under question within the government
      because the railways's business feasibility is uncertain.

      According to Hanoi's blueprint of the high-speed railway system, the
      Japan International Cooperation Agency will be consigned research work
      before the specifics of the project take shape.

      Tentatively considered are a 280-km section between Hanoi and Vinh,
      the capital of Nghe An Province, and another 380-km section between
      Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang, the capital of Khanh Hoa Province.

      According to Japan's transport ministry, the format of shinkansen
      technology can save construction and maintenance costs compared with
      rival TGV and ICE railways. One reason is that support structures
      along the tracks, such as tunnels, are smaller, the ministry said,
      adding that antiquake specifications are also superior to its rivals.

      Given the global concerns over climate change, many countries want
      energy-efficient railway systems so they can reduce carbon-dioxide
      emissions. The transport ministry has set up a special section to help
      promote bullet-train technology overseas.

      "We will pursue this course with all our might, because this will
      strengthen Japan's economic growth," a ministry official said.

      Regarding the Vietnamese project, South Korea has also shown interest
      in taking part, industry sources said, adding that South Korean
      President Lee Myung Bak informally conveyed Seoul's interest when he
      visited Vietnam in October.


      I know that South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand are either considering
      or building high-speed rail.

      Yesterday, several readers of the online NY Times responded to David
      Brooks' assertion that the U.S. has a higher standard of living than
      Europe by noting that whenever they came back to the States from
      Europe or East Asia, they noticed how shabby everything looks here.

      In transit,

      Karen Sandness
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