While North Carolina Cannot Connect Durham and Raleigh, China Builds Train to go 260 MPH

I have been watching the debate and negative response to the TTA's proposed 18 mile diesel train route between Raleigh and Durham, and before they can even get anything together, China announces that they are building a train to travel over 1,300 kilometers at over 350 km/hr. The train will use magnetic levitation technology to reduce friction.

So, the supposedly tech-rich Triangle cannot get a diesel train going while China can build a super-advanced high-speed train. This is just one more example of America losing its competitive edge. Of course, we cannot produce engineers to supply large companies when we do not provide the funding that projects that would encourage advances in engineering. I am sure that we will be the world's leader in building roads (a technology as old as history) but we need some imagination, vision, and commitment to progressing toward a better society.

We were the country that took on the challenge of the Soviet Union and beat them in the race to the moon. Now we are losing to China and not even paying attention.

P.S. I could also go into a diatribe about Lenovo's cutting of engineering jobs in the Triangle and their eventual need to replace those jobs (probably in China), but I wonder if anyone would even listen.

Comments

How utterly embarrassing

We can't get light rail going in Charlotte because everyone's fighting over where it should go. It isn't a matter of technology in this case. It's a matter of politics and money.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Threading my way down the track....

Don't forget internet speed and access compared to, say South Korea.

And how 'bout medical care, compared to several countries - even Cuba!

And worst of all, it looks like I'm going to have to root for Duke. :-(

No, NO you NEVER have to pull for Dook

They are the only team in the ACC I will not pull for during the post season. Buncha wankers.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Is that a fair comparison?

I strongly suspect that China's ability to get a supertrain project from drawing board to reality depends on a great concentration of power in the central government. I don't think that's something we should envy. Even if we take civil rights out of the equation, there are other quality of life issues.

For example, the environment hasn't been very important to the government, and I hear that parts of that vast and beautiful country are in extremely rough shape. I read today that the amount of sunlight that reaches China has declined every year for the last eight years.

To analogize, some praise the President for listening in on possible terrorists. And like a mag-lev train, listening in on terrorists is a good thing. But I think that people aren't worried enough about what we're giving up to achieve that good.

Lance

Maybe the speed with which they make the decision is lacking in Democracy, but the speed at which the train will travel is an embarresment to our technological savvy.

At 350 mph, you could go from Raleigh to Denver PDQ, then again from Denver to LA with same. Having just ridden the train from DC to Durham, it is an utterly pleasurable experience compared to riding in a tin can airplane and it is cheaper, but it takes a long time. A mag-lev train could make that trip in probably an hour and a half.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

That's a good point.

I want mag-lev boots. Or a jet pack.

interesting take

This is an interesting view on the TTA. Maybe somebody listening could inject some of this idea that a "tech-savvy region needs innovation in transportation" into the TTA's (non-existent) marketing strategy.