While I dislike Bryant's strident attack modes he uses at times TheBrit is missing the point too.
Train incidents like plane crashes are investigated and take time to fully determine all the factors beyond what appears to be the initial chain of events (lightning stops T1 and signal fails to go to red and T2 rear ends it). If China is guilty of anything here it might even be a rush to judgment and need to punish wrong doers quickly. They also study to determine if there are ways to improve safety, rescue, etc.
If they don't study these things, you will just get more of the same.
I have been impressed with train travel in China until this one jolts you as I plan with my wife to go from Beijing to Shanghai via train in November.
To blame China for poor rescue is to do the same around the world. Bad rescue and after care of victims happens. Just watched a TV show of an Air France plane some years ago overshooting of aToronto run way killing no one but burning up - post crash was a mess. It was in rush hour and the busy main highway 401 was adjacent to the runway and many of the entire plane's survivors were picked up by motorists. Others who went to the terminal were kept from their waiting families until 11 pm - 5 or 6 hours with no contact and their families in panic. China is not alone in handling this stuff both good and bad. It took a long time to get the final report on the cause but initial reports turned out to be quite accurate as to cause as they had eye witnesses too who saw the point of touch down - too far down the runway to stop. Had they had the gravel recommended for air safety the plane would have been fine and not burned to the ground. All survived but few knew that as the passengers were picked up on the highway and disappeared.
Last edited by Football16; 01-08-2011 at 10:50 AM.
Trains don't really make a lot of sense in the US. Petrol is cheap, distances too great and many people have cars. Why take a train that will cost more with the added inconvenience of having loads of trouble getting around or taking forever to get somewhere. It's OK on very popular travel routes with a large population otherwise, it's a waste of time and money which is the main reason why it was never developed. In Europe, distances are often much shorter, petrol is twice the price as in the US, toll roads can be quite expensive and city centers are far more attractive and pedestrian friendly.
Business people are not stupid in the US, when there's a good business opportunity, they take it. With the insane and time consuming security measures and the rising price of petrol, some routes can start to make sense which is why it's slowly gaining ground in specific areas.
People aren't criticising the people of America for choosing cars and planes, but the system itself for making this the obvious decision. America's incredibly low petrol prices are kept that way artificially to stop people complaining, and in fact they are discouraging the citizens from choosing a more environmentally friendly option.
The system doesn't make decisions, people do on the basis of profitability. Nothing you do will make train travel cost and time effective option in the US in the near future, it will remain a marginal form of transportation limited to specific areas. Anything else would have to be done without economic sense by government and the US is having enough trouble paying their bills as it is to spend money on more white elephants. If it makes sense, private enterprise will take care of most of it.
In countries like Australia, Canada and the US, trains are not going to work unless heavily subsidized by governments.