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China Bullet Train Derails

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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilleshk:
    There is corruption and incompetence in every country and sometimes it causes deadly accidents. I bet if the same accident had happened in the US, a certain someone wouldn't have made a thread out of it...

    Train derailment sparks huge fire, evacuations - US news - Life - msnbc.com
    So it's corruption to blame. I don't dispute the fact that China is quite corrupt but I don't think a corrupt official actually orchestrated a lighting strike on the train!

    I am in China at the moment and it was just on the news that a lighting strike was to blame and blacked out the carriages. I am a couple of hours away from Suzhou and there were storms and lightening all over the region last night. So it's a plausible.
    Last edited by virago; 24-07-2011 at 11:22 AM.

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  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by virago:
    So the corruption, really! I don't dispute the fact that China is quite corrupt but I don't think a corrupt official actually orchestrated a lighting strike on the train!

    I am in China at the moment and it was just on the news that a lighting strike was to blame and blacked out the carriages. I am a couple of hours away from Suzhou and there were storms and lightening all over the region last night. So it's a plausible.
    It was a general statement not specifically aimed at the accident. A lightning strike shouldn't be an excuse for train derailments unless it damaged the tracks seconds before the train passed. Otherwise, there should be safeguards in place...

  4. #24

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    I think this accident is not related to the harmony trains that run between Beijing and Shanghai


  5. #25

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    The whole problem with China is in fact its methodologies and thought process. They steal/copy/clone other people's work to save time and money on R&D costs which is understandable, everyone does it.

    The problem is their save money at all costs thinking. The Bosses/Ling dao tell their subordinates to cut out certain safety features because it is too expensive or to use cheaper inferior products at the same time on the invoices the SOE's are billed for top of the line materials.

    The price difference between the two items is then pocketed by the bosses who lavish it on their children and their mistresses.

    It's a problem endemic to Asian cultures, greed, crime, corruption goes hand in hand with rice and chopsticks. It's inate to their culture and their heritage to screw each other over.

    I have somewhat of an understanding of bullet trains and their safety systems after working with the PRC govt on a few different projects. In other countries, bullet trains are designed with safeguards and backup safety systems in the event trains are disabled on the track.

    This includes a notification system to command/control which would automatically halt all trains headed in the same direction if a train makes an unscheduled stop. The trains in other countries are shielded from lighting strikes through the use of grounding spikes in the electrical towers, and the computer systems are designed to withstand lighting and other power fluctuations. If one computer system fails, the backup system is designed to take over.

    The system is designed for very little human intervention, push the button to leave the station, the train stops at the next designated station on its own, the conductor pushes one button to close the door and another button to leave the station. It is so simple that a monkey could be trained to operate a bullet train.

    If it was a lighting strike that took out the train then the SOE was billed for lots of items they didnt receive. It reminds me the subway escalator in Beijing that last month killed a bunch of people. The installer installed a light duty escalator in a Beijing subway station, but the bosses billed the SOE for a heavy duty unit with a fake fa piao. The escalator reversed and killed a kid and injured a few dozen people.

    Escalator safety in spotlight

    China: Boy Killed as Subway Escalator Reverses - Mass Transit


    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    US and European rail infrastructures are old and under-maintained. One expects a little bit more from what is probably the most financially powerful country and not to mention, oh-so-proud of its achievements.

    The whole point of buying and copying technology from other countries is to improve on it. Make it faster, better, cheaper and then sell it back to those countries. Somewhere along the line, safety is forgotten, because well, it would not make it faster, cheaper and better.

  6. #26

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    Who stole the money for the failsafe, backup systems, and electrical shielding?

    Quote Originally Posted by virago:
    So it's corruption to blame. I don't dispute the fact that China is quite corrupt but I don't think a corrupt official actually orchestrated a lighting strike on the train!

    I am in China at the moment and it was just on the news that a lighting strike was to blame and blacked out the carriages. I am a couple of hours away from Suzhou and there were storms and lightening all over the region last night. So it's a plausible.

  7. #27

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    So Chinese trains are not safe when it is raining? Although Freetrader is wrong there has never been a derailment in the Japanese shinkasen network he ia right to point out there has never been a passenger fatality in over 40 years of operation. This is despite the earthquakes and frequent typhoons.

    The Chinese blatantly ripped off KHI's train design, but what they couldn't steal was the culture and mindset that goes into designing a safe system. Thinking about and designing for unusual situations is difficult and expensive (80/20 rule) but the results are sadly plain for everyone to see.

    shri likes this.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by virago:
    So it's corruption to blame. I don't dispute the fact that China is quite corrupt but I don't think a corrupt official actually orchestrated a lighting strike on the train!
    There are two different but related issues here: Firstly, even if the lightning strike stopped the first bullet train, why didn't the system's safety measures stop the second one as well to prevent it from plowing into the stalled train? You know, something as simple as a 'stopped train ahead' light? That might be purely a saftey/operational issue, but it certainly raises the spectre of corruption in the rail system degrading safety measures, something that has been pretty loudly whispered about for awhile now (at least, it has been discussed by people in the Western media who aren't afraid of being accused of being anti-Chinese).

  9. #29

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    Hahahahaha, those are even worse. The Chinese micro bloggers have been blogging about how lighter gauge rails and power lines were substituted for heavy duty / heavy gauge ones.

    One of the Lingdao's of the trains operating unit was recently seen driving a 500K USD Italian sports car. Its all over the Chinese blog sites.


    Quote Originally Posted by Morrison:
    I think this accident is not related to the harmony trains that run between Beijing and Shanghai

  10. #30

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    The Chinese trains are unsafe in any weather.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    So Chinese trains are not safe when it is raining? Although Freetrader is wrong there has never been a derailment in the Japanese shinkasen network he ia right to point out there has never been a passenger fatality in over 40 years of operation. This is despite the earthquakes and frequent typhoons.

    The Chinese blatantly ripped off KHI's train design, but what they couldn't steal was the culture and mindset that goes into designing a safe system. Thinking about and designing for unusual situations is difficult and expensive (80/20 rule) but the results are sadly plain for everyone to see.

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