Monday, March 12, 2012

More HSR infrastructure woes in China

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Part of a high speed rail line ongoing operations testing collapsed in central China following heavy rains, state media reported Monday, renewing global concerns about the safety and efficiency of China's HSR program. The railway line affected currently is due to open in May.

China's official Xinhua News Agency and other reports said a section of the railroad stretching 984 feet had collapsed, though details were sketchy; no casualties were reported. The agency said workers were rushing to repair the line between the Yangtze River cities of Wuhan and Yichang.

The incident, which occurred last Friday near Qianjiang city in Hubei province, follows the HSR train crash last summer that killed 40 people, and affected fiscal markets. Shares China Railway Construction Corp., China Railway Group Ltd., and China Southern Rail, all traded on Hong Kong's Hang Seng exchange, lost ground Monday.

China slowed down its HSR infrastructure development after last summer's incident, but still has 13 HSR routes in operation, 26 more under construction, and 23 more planned, far more HSR mileage than any other single nation worldwide.