December 07, 2010

[Bid-Matching] If China can do it, why can't Canada?

Let's do a little comparison:

The distance between Windsor and Québec City, with a slight detour to hit up Ottawa on the way is approximately 1250km. The Québec City- Windsor "corridor' is not only Canada's busiest transportation corridor, it also is one of the busiest transport routes in the world, and the cities along this route contain over half of Canada's population.

The route between Beijing and Shanghai, in China, is also a very busy, popular transport corridor for goods and people. It contains over a third of the country's population and connects the capital city with the country's trading hub. The distance of this corridor is about 1250km. 

In Canada, VIA Rail can bring a passenger from Windsor to Québec City in just over 15 hours (due to a two stops of over 45 minutes in Toronto and Montreal). The average travel speed is about 83km/h - even though the train can reach travel speeds of approximately 180km/h.

In China, the new CRH-380 train connecting Beijing and Shanghai can reach speeds of 468km/h (nearly six times faster than VIA). It has brought the travel time between these two cities down to five hours. The average travel speed is thus about 250km/h.

Whether or not you think Canada could use/needs high-speed trains, it sure makes one wonder why China is capable of making this happen, while Canada is not.

After all, it's not a matter of technology: The CRH trains are based and designed by Bombardier and thus considered a Canadian-Chinese joint venture.... when is that joint-venture going to come to our neck of the woods?

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