According to a plugged-in tipster, a special delegation of senior officials and executives representing China’s largest high-speed rail authorities, including the China Railway Corporation, are headed to San Francisco this week to discuss the very real possibility of China participating in California’s high-speed rail project.

Executives from the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) and the China Investment Corporation will be traveling with the delegation as well.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by soccermom

    “I am sorry, sir. Can you please explain what is this ‘Neighborhood Interest Group’ concept?”

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Their heads will asplode when they learn about our local labor costs. It would be ironic if China exported laborers to construct the railway, over 150 years after the last time.

    • Posted by parklife

      “It would be ironic if China exported laborers to construct the railway, over 150 years after the last time.”

      Even if this would be at all politically possible, there wouldn’t be any savings. Prevailing Wage statutes would result in identical costs.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Yeah, a more likely outcome is that cheap Chinese labor will construct the components and export to CAHSR.

        • Posted by parklife

          Agreed. That seems to standard operating procedure.

          • Posted by c_q

            just like how the bay bridge suspension deck segments were done.

  3. Posted by Joel V

    Why aren’t we working with the Japanese on this considering the rail accidents China’s railway has had?

  4. Posted by katebear

    Are they crazy? Have they seen our transit system? They will definitely run away if they take a bus to their meeting.

  5. Posted by Arefugee

    Good idea, it’s obvious the US can’t do it.

  6. Posted by Anon94123

    Agree with Joel. I would much rather see a partnership with the Japanese who have experience building and running the best and safest rail network in the world. (And the cleanest and most polite!)

  7. Posted by Brian M

    The Japanese rail system is polite and clean because the Japanese, on the whole, are clean and polite. Americans? Not so much.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      And the safety issue is also cultural. Japan is a very safety conscious nation. Their railway operations staff conduct their days by the book. No shortcuts.

      If you ever have the chance to ride in a Japanese train where you can see the driver at work, check it out. You’ll see a uniformed, white gloved operator paying meticulous attention to every signal and instrument. You’d think that they were flying the Space Shuttle.

      It doesn’t matter where the equipment is manufactured, American safety values will govern how trains operate. American safety culture is pretty good. Not quite at the Japanese level though.

      • Posted by Anon94123

        @Milkshake of Despair, I don’t want to give myself away, but I have some Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train) videos on YouTube I posted last year, one showing how a train operator hands off the train to a new driver, with all the bows, salutes, and safety reviews that only a 4 star general would get here in the U.S.
        Also- the service in First Class is beyond anything we experience on an American airline! The seats have a memory function so that when you swipe your JR card, it reclines to your favorite preset setting for comfort.
        Also after you swipe your card above your seat, it is shown as occupied by a light above. As for the food, it is surprisingly good. Of course they have an app so that you can pre-reserve seats in advance, and that seat will only acknowledge your phone or JR card. We can only hope to have such things some day in our lifetime?

  8. Posted by around1905

    Might come down to vendor financing.

  9. Posted by sausalito_res

    HSR would be a good thing and we should be open to various ways of getting it done. At the same time, I recall an issue with Chinese bolts on the new Bay Bridge. If we do a partnership with a Chinese firm, there should be better procedures for quality control.

    • Posted by Doc

      Chinese bolts no…more like Made in America Ohio bolts.

      • Posted by sausalito_res

        OK. Point taken.

        • Posted by Brian M

          I thought there were ALSO problems with some Chinese components as well, but nationalist finger pointing aside, res’ basic point remains valid

  10. Posted by Puhleez

    We are a suburb of China. This is pathetic.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      If I can work in a 2000′ tower in the FiDi, and get on a bullet train that whisks me to downtown L.A. in 2 1/2 hours — all built in less time than it takes for a NIMBY lawsuit to wend its way through the courts here — I might not complain…

  11. Posted by jwb

    The Chinese will never be able to build trainsets for CAHSR or any other export customer in a nation with laws because their train tech is ripped off from Siemens and Siemens will sue to stop them doing it. The Chinese even agreed not to re-export the technology in exchange for Siemens building some of the first high speed trainsets in China, but of course it’s China so they broke the agreement.

  12. Posted by Schaetzer

    Just got back from a periodic trip to DC? That’s where the buses are actually clean and still have some semblance of soft seats and the metro is probably as good as the Paris metro, which is pretty damned good. Oh, and I don’t recall seeing anyone living in the metro stations. If only MUNI were as good. I think we can do it when we put our minds (and $$$) to it. What we lack is the will.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Very true. There’s no financial, technical, or geographical reason we can’t have good transit here too. We’ve placed all our chips on one number and Prop L wants more.

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