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China’s Prize High-Speed Rail Line Plagued by Glitches

July 14, 2011

China’s Prize High-Speed Rail Line Plagued by Glitches – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

A sign of things to come?  My favorite part is right here:

“Due to malfunction of power supply infrastructure near Suzhou section of Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line, multiple trains were delayed. The breakdown was resolved after intensive repair.” [from the Chinese Ministry of Railways]

Can’t wait to see how our high-speed trains are gonna work with windmills powering them?

Here is the best line in the piece:

After all, a high-speed train isn’t any faster than a low-speed train when it’s standing still.

Read the rest here.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. JustFacts permalink
    July 14, 2011 9:10 am

    If you want to blow a Progressive’s mind, the next time they are praising wind or solar, ask them where they will get there power when the wind doesn’t blow or the sky is cloudy for a few days. When they say, oh we’ll just have to plug back into the grid. Then explain that to be able to do that, we will have to have 100% power capacity available 24/7 to be able to do that. That means, 100% back-up of all power consumption for industry, hospitals, consumers, transportation, etc., etc. So, that means that we will have to either keep all of the coal, oil, gas, hydro, or nuclear power station capacity that we currently have, or duplicate ALL of the alternative energy facilities in a different area in order to meet the capacity demands.

    And, if you know anything about electricity, you know that you can’t just string cables from New York to LA. There are line losses that come into play. The power has to be created relatively close to where it is consumed. The only reason there is a grid, is to balance the power acorss the country. Power that is made in New England doesn’t get used in California.

    Another thing that has been lost due to our easy access to electricity is that people don’t realize that the power that they consume when they turn on their TV was just created at the local power plant. There is no big battery sitting around waiting for you to turn the switch on that TV. Whatever energy is generated, is immediately consumed. That’s why parts of the country have brown-outs (or worst case black-outs) every summer when people get off work and go home and crank up the AC, turn on the TV, and start making dinner with their microwaves and electric stoves. The local power company has to start up all of their spare/back-up generation to accommodate that demand. Now, just add on all of the electric cars that will need to be recharged after the drive home and you can see why the increase in capacity is a neccesity. That can’t be satisfied by some pie-in-the-sky wind or solar project sitting on top of a mountain in the Rockies.

    If you live in a place that gets 200+ days of rain a year, and doesn’t have much wind, I guess you’ll just have to get a big squirrel cage, and everyone will have to take their turn helping to meet the demand.

    • July 14, 2011 9:28 pm

      Wow, excellent information.

      Something else I might add. You said:

      “The local power company has to start up all of their spare/back-up generation to accommodate that demand.”

      The reason it is “spare or back-up” is because it isn’t as efficient. That is why power at “peak demand” costs so much more money, they are using much more expensive methods to create that extra juice.

  2. July 14, 2011 10:09 am

    Yep! High speed dead in the water is still dead in the water!

    • July 14, 2011 9:29 pm

      Good point.

  3. July 14, 2011 6:52 pm

    “Can’t wait to see how our high-speed trains are gonna work with windmills powering them?”
    Windmills kill birdies.

    • July 14, 2011 9:30 pm

      “Windmills kill birdies.”

      Yeah, the American Bald Eagle.

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