Before Raygun, America was known as a country of engineering marvels. The worlds tallest buildings, the Hoover Dam, the best highway system, soaring bridges…
You want to see engineering marvels anymore – you have to go to China or Europe.
We got nothing.
The reason for that isn’t “little fish in creeks” which might go extinct…It is conservatives. People who bought into the idea that everything is free. You don’t need taxes, you don’t need bonds – no money at all, because the rich folks are going to take care of it.
In China and Japan – the commuter trains between major cities run 200 MPH. There are a couple which run 300 MPH. In the US – the fastest train runs 125 MPH…over about 50 miles of track, the rest of the time it is running well under 80 MPH.
Rode the TGV in France a few years back from Paris to Marselles. 482 miles in 3 hours or less at 200 MPH with stops. The TGV is capable of speeds of over 320 MPH in perfect track conditions.
The funny thing is, a lot of the engines and engine parts for these super-fast trains are made right here in the USA by General Electric – even though GE is more known for building Freight Engines. GE builds about 80% of the world’s electric motors. GE also owns Alstom, the French Company that makes the TGV.
So the only reason you don’t see those beautiful Orange liveried babies taking you from DC to Boston in 2 hours, or NYC to Chicago in 3 hours…Is political will, and mostly right wing perfidy.
Now Trump, despite Hillary wiping the floor with him in the first debate, made on very good point. Why is it that it costs billions and trillions of dollars to build these weapons systems for the Military anymore…Only to keep winding up with failures?
The new F-35 Fighter jets cost over $200 million apiece to build. One of the aircraft it was supposed to replace was the A-10 Thunderbolt (AKA “Warthog”)…which cost $18.6 million. And, besides being too expensive to lose – the F-35 can’t do the job. Need we discuss tens of billion on the Coast Guard’s new fleet…Which won’t float?
Here are some of the other failures.
What we need here is a new vision. Something similar to President Eisenhower’s Interstate road system… Hopefully the grown-ups will be in control once again after this next election…
And the Yellowback Democrats don’t make another disastrous appearance.
Ancient China’s greatest feat of engineering, meet modern China’s.
The Chinese government plans to build the world’s deepest and largest high-speed railway station under a popular section of the Great Wall, as part of plans to link the capital with the site of the 2022 Winter Olympics, state mediareported Thursday.
The station will be situated at Badaling, 50 miles northwest of Beijing, which is already the most popular spot on the Great Wall. It received 30,000 tourists in just one day during the Chinese New Year holiday week, according to the China National Tourism Administration.
The new high-speed rail line will cut the journey time between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the site of the Winter Olympics, to 50 minutes, from more than three hours now.
Passenger Trains being readied for service in China – capable of speeds over 200 MPH
“The Badaling station will be located 102 meters below the surface, with an underground construction area of 36,000 square meters, equal to five standard soccer fields, making it the deepest and largest high-speed railway station in the world,” Chen Bin, director in charge of construction for China Railway No 5 Engineering Group, told state media.
China’s superlatives rest on some semantic fine-tuning, however. The planned station would be the deepest high-speed rail stop, China says, but not the farthest underground station for passenger rail. In Kiev, for example, the Arsenalna subway platform is billed at more than 105 meters, or 344 feet, below the surface.
Badaling will be one of 10 stations on the 110-mile route, designed to cope with maximum speeds of 215 miles an hour. There will also be a branch line to Chongli, which will host skiing events during the Olympics.
US Passenger train…80 MPH
There was controversy earlier this month when it was revealed that authorities had laid concrete over a crumbling section of the Great Wall in a restoration project criticized as “crude” and “ugly.”
But railway engineers said they will be careful to ensure this construction project does not damage the Unesco world heritage site.
“It will run through mountains where the Great Wall is winding, so we adopted some of the world’s advanced explosion technologies to guarantee it would not affect the Great Wall,” said Luo Duhao, chief engineer of the railway group for the Badaling section.
China has in the midst of an ambitious program of railway construction that is supposed to see it invest $400 billion to build in a 10,000-miles network by 2020.