Kings Cross and Beijing?

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by canadawater, 11 Aug 2015.

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  1. canadawater

    canadawater Member

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    In 2010 I read something in the Telegraph about ambitious plans to connect Kings Cross, presumably via St Pancras Eurostar, with India and China. Is this just hype, or are the plans still in operation?
     
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  3. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    And I thought the walk between King's Cross and Euston was a long way...
     
  4. canadawater

    canadawater Member

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    Ha! The article is still online. It would take 2 days. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...-two-days-on-new-high-speed-rail-network.html I guess if they're struggling for rolling stock they can have some of the Pacers on the Northern Rail network if we're getting the upgrade we've been promised for 30 years
     
    Last edited: 11 Aug 2015
  5. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I think the main market would be freight, this would be a significant improvement on shipping times by sea
     
  6. Quakkerillo

    Quakkerillo Member

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    China has confirmed spending many billions of pounds on constructing a new 'silk route' via Kazakhstan and southern Russia towards Germany/Northern Italy/The Netherlands.

    It's not 100% confirmed where exactly the route will be, what will be connected where, and what route trains would go, but it might still be possible!
     
  7. DasLunatic

    DasLunatic Member

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    As cool as it'd be, my inner cynic is not pleased. First of all, as China operates on a combination of Standard and 1200mm gauges, plus (probably) on Russia's 5' something or other gauge, the train must have multiple locomotive and wagon changes/very good variable gauge bogies.

    Also, the multiple safety systems employed by each of the countries it passes through must be included otherwise it'll be unable to go anywhere at all.

    Another factor is the ever-lowering cost of air freight. With the hiring of the Antonov AN225, it becomes much easier to move large and unwieldy consignments across the world at a fraction of the cost.

    Constructing and prototyping a train which must comply to these strict parameters will be nigh-on impossible, if not prohibitively expensive.
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    These pie in the sky projects surface from time to time. Most never get anywhere.

    eg:

    Bering strait fixed link
    Inter-City Maglev (on any large scale...)
    Irish Sea tunnel
    Gibraltar straits tunnel

    Having said that China has built plenty of new railways in recent years, but by and large it is the only country doing so in the world. If they provide eveyr penny of the finance it might work but I doubt it.



    .
     
  9. glbotu

    glbotu Member

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    I mean, I assume that on all new sections of track it could possibly conform to the Chinese standards, before conforming to European Standards by the time it got there. Were it built, it would have to be Standard gauge only.

    There might be a market for something like a weekly sleeper train each way, for the tourists, not anything particularly regular. It wouldn't be competitive with the 10hr direct flights, given the running costs.
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    The weekly service would also take about a week!
     
  11. glbotu

    glbotu Member

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    Apparently, it would be high speed and only take 2 days, which while much closer to 10 hrs, still isn't really as fast. You'd still have to have a sleeper provision, which hugely eats into profit margins.
     
  12. Western Lord

    Western Lord Member

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    The only justification for such a route would be freight. Shipping costs from China to Europe are very low thanks to the new generation of enormous container ships. I doubt that a rail service could compete on cost, and most of the goods being shipped are not time sensitive. Then there is the problem of the route crossing several frontiers in an unstable part of the world. I doubt that most shippers would want to put their stuff on a such a train rather than putting it on a ship where it is secure from start to end of the voyage.
     
  13. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    A Google search produces examples of through freight trains between China and Germany/Spain.
     
  14. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    China works almost entirely on standard gauge, and all HSLs in the country certainly do. Plus I've definitely read that this line would be 1435mm and have no breaks.
     
  15. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C Established Member

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    There was a big discussion of this in the sleeper trains to the continent thread. Talk of a Beijing to Moscow high speed line seems believable.

    While it might be possible as a through train, it is unlikely to be able to compete with flights on time or price and would only really appeal to land-cruise holiday makers which is not sufficient market to keep a service like that running on a regular enough basis for it to be useful.
     
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