Chinese Railways, Why? Part 9 of 9

Chinese Railways, Why? Part 9 of 9

9/20/2014 Umut Türker 2408 Times Read

Again, Why?


The disappearance of oil may be looming large, with significant and disastrous effects to the transportation of freight by truck or lorry, ship and plane. Of course, this could just be Chicken Little (known as “Henny Penny” in the U.K.) speaking. I saw an article from 2010 that predicted that OPEC capacity would be severely curtailed or even disappear by the end of 2011. Of course, that did not happen. However, I do not think that we ought to depend on it being produced in perpetuity. Perhaps the Chinese leaders are taking this approach. 


Moreover, the world is becoming a somewhat scary place. Ships have been hijacked by pirates, and a Malaysian airline has inexplicably disappeared and another one was shot down. The Bangkok Airport was shut down for several days several years ago, as with rising tensions, protests and terrorism, more airports could be blocked in the future. Of course, these few incidents are statistically nothing, but they still ought to be factors in long-term planning. The alternative, trucks, is not efficient in terms of cost and time over very long distances.


Can the Chinese create and build such an enormous project? Louis Thompson, who is a former railway advisor to the World Bank said that from a physical perspective, it can be done but from an economic perspective, it may not be viable.


Will the Chinese build a high-speed train to the United States and if so, then why? I am not certain, but if they do want to continue trading with the United States after oil has disappeared then they probably will have to.


Or wait until freight that can fly themselves.