Thursday, August 18, 2011

High-Speed Rail Safety

High-Speed Rail Train Collision in China
-- Report: at Least 39 Killed, 192 injured
(Excerpt) "This photo taken on July 24, 2011 shows workers clearing wreckage of mangled carriages after a Chinese high-speed train (bold text emphasis added) derailed when it was hit from behind by another express late on July 23 in the town of Shuangyu near the city of Wenzhou, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province.
A torrent of outrage over a deadly high-speed train (bold text emphasis added) accident grew further on the Chinese Internet Tuesday, reflecting the mounting challenge China’s leaders face in managing opinion of their governance among an increasingly wired and demanding public."
Source: WSJ - China Real Time Report
One commenter (@ the article) said of this High-Speed Rail situation:
"People shouldn’t be moved by mob hysteria and demagoguery. The train is a good metaphor for China’s development which has been very fast. The people with hatred in their hearts want to derail China’s development. Once in a while there are mistakes and setbacks, these people will get all excited. But China will move forward, and these people will be disappointed and angry most of the time." -- PC Man
China to Suspend High-Speed Rail Development
Premier Wen of China also indicated,
(Excerpt) " ... 'high-speed rail (bold text emphasis added) trains should operate at slower speeds at their earlier stage of operation.' Earlier this year, the Ministry of Railways slowed all trains to a maximum speed of ... 186 miles per hour and many trains that were to operate at that speed were slowed to ... 155 miles per hour. At the time, reports indicated that the slower speeds were to lower operating costs so that fares could be reduced. Concerns had been raised about the much higher fares on the new trains and the cancellation of many conventional trains, which had much lower fares."
Question For Blog Readers
When you consider all private and public modes of transportation, is the unfortunate death and injury toll in this accident between two high-speed rail (HSR) trains in China statistically significant to you personally? Would the accumulated deaths and injuries worldwide from HSR train accidents cause you not to use HSR trains?

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