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Suburban rail and RER-style systems might be an option too. I've read that Chinese cities haven't really got anything like that. Someone somewhere on SkyscraperCity argued that some metro lines in Shanghai (IIRC) are too long and slow because they're being made to do the job of suburban rail -- they reach a long way outside the city centre but still have very short distances between stations.

And then there are lots of plans for rail links to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, etc, and a standard gauge freight corridor to Europe...

by Gag Halfrunt on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 11:28:50 AM EST
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Last I looked (years ago) Shanghai was supposed to get a RER-type system (with R1, R2,... lines) with the extension and re-designation of choice metro lines (see here for example), apparently the plans were shelved?

UrbanRail.Net > Asia > China > SHANGHAI Subway - Metro

Metro Line 9 (Shensong Line) was conceived as a regional express line (R4), to run from Xu Jia Hui on Line 1 towards the southwest to Song Jiang New City, but it has eventually been developed as a full metro line across the city centre. When it opened in Dec 2007, it was not yet connected to any other metro line.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 12:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About the rail links: more important than the direct links, the Chinese rail (and road) construction industry quite consciously tries to expand all around the world, but, as recent developments showed, that is a risky business that may not suffice as replacement for the giant home market.

  • In Libya, a programme to build thousands of kilometres of railway to span the entire country was launched under Gaddafi, with China Railway Construction Corp getting a big chunk of it. But work is on hold ever since the rebellion started.
  • Chinese companies pursued mayor projects in a number of other African countries, complete with Chinese government loans in support, but problems arise. In Nigeria, there was a project on the Libyan scale that foundered when a new President came in. There is also a light rail project where funding was withheld from the Chinese contractors.
  • In the road construction sector, there is also a European example, a highway in Poland, where subcontractors closed ranks to ruin their business plans.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 at 12:40:17 PM EST
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