China Ups Rail Infrastructure Investment

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Pshaw! That would build a measly few stops (5 at most) on NYC’s Second Ave subway. Or maybe 32 1/2 miles of LA to SF fast train line.


List of countries by rail transport network size

USA - 220,000 km / 1% electrified
China - 150,000 km / 67% electrified
Russia - 86,000 km / 51% electrified
India - 68,000 km / 85% electrified
Canada - 49,000 km / 0.2 % electrified
Germany - 41,000 km / 55% electrified
Argentina - 37,000 km / 0.5% electrified
Australia - 33,000 km / 10% electrified
Brazil - 30,000 km / 30% electrified
France - 29,000 km / 54% electrified
Japan - 27,000 km / 75% electrified

USA, Canada and Argentina are lagards in electrified rail transport.

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They’ll probably need to spend a fair portion of that on upkeep.
Considering that many miles of elevated rail lines were built in a relative short amount of time and quality most likely suffered along the way.

Most likely because their rail systems are the “oldest” ones and pretty entrenched with using fossil fuels at this point.

I wonder what percentage of overall fossil fuel use is comprised by rail transport? In other words, would it be worth switching train transport over to non-fossil fuels quickly, or is it more worth switching other things (trucks, autos, electricity generation, etc) to non-FF with higher priority?

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Our counter parts in the EU, China and Japan have been enjoying demand side economics. Meanwhile those among us how like supply side econ for ejits have been wracking up the debt for nothing. Amazing how we are promised nothing and given nothing and offered nothing and promised spending will be cut but we have all this debt. Nothing like cronyism being called hard work.

All of that said we will get there. We now have demand side econ. The US/Canada/Mexico will be getting richer.

Compared to France, Germany and the UK? Really? Since when?

This is because we have been mismanaged. Ohhhhhhhh! I never would have thought the US was mismanaged.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Well a d’uh!

Who on earth would mismanage the US economy? Completely baffles me.

Most coal is transported from the mines to the power plants by train.

Last year, officials in China approved the construction of 106 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plant capacity. Many of those new power plants will need either new rail lines built to the plants, or at least new spurs from a main line to the plants.

Doing a few back-of-the-envelope calculations…
A one gigawatt power plant will consume 2.8 million short tons of coal per year. Coal hopper rail cars hold about 115 tons per car. Therefore, just one power plant will need over 24,000 train cars full of coal delivered per year, or about 65 cars each day, on average. If we expand that to the full 106 GW of new capacity, then over 2.5 million train car loads will be needed, and that is just for the new plants under construction. Assumptions: each plant has a 60% capacity factor and 33% thermal efficiency, coal heat content is 19.3 million BTU per short ton.

The 106 GW of new coal-fired power plants will emit about 550 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. In comparison, all of the coal-fired power plants in the US emit 852 million metric tons per year. Currently, all of China’s coal plants emit 8 times more CO2 than all US coal plants. That number is going up.

A few links…

Coal plants need coal to burn, and the coal (largely) gets to the plants by train.

  • Pete

You make a lot of assumptions. The 106 GW may not be built - a better number would be 50 GW of actual build. Many new build will replace existing old and inefficent plants. New coal fired plants have thermal effciency of 40-45%. I would say your back-of-the-envelope calculations should be reduced by 50% as a minimum.

…and do no forget that “approving” construction of GCC bad stuff creates bargaining chips for the probable big negotiations wherein everybody has to cut back. So pile on now to cut back later. Yes, we are all in a world situation that is that stupid.

david fb

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