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In view of what happened in China, how safe do you think high-speed trains are?


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In general, I would think that mostn high speed train operation are safe. That would be, mainly Japanese and EU based (Spain, German, French), although the ICE and TGV have had fatalities in the past. However, that was over a great amount of time. The Chinese HSR, however, have not yet proven that they can be safe in spite of their boasting of superior technology (which "their technology" is questionable at best), rather, they showed that it only took a short amount of time in their operation to have a major derailment with fatalities. It takes a little more than copying blueprints of rolling stock to be able to safely operate a high speed rail system.

1 ( +3 / -3 )

very safe, slow-speed trains do not cause accidents?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan, Europe - sure they are very safe. But is anything safe in China? It seems they can't build anything without a corruption scandal. There's been rumors of their high speed network being built with shoddy material,

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan - EXTREMLY SAFE - no passenger died by accident in many many years of usage, could safely stop even while being hit by 0.3-0.4g shock waves of the 3/11 quake... Europe - Fairly unsafe - they lost many passengers and the trains are not running reliably (often not on time, etc) China - What a joke :)) - don't ride on them unless you like Russian Roullette.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Japan - safest in the world. Never any problem or death. Latest, high-tech development, safety procedure and so on. China and all of asia - all trains dangerous. EUrope and America - trains are not safe, use old technology and not on time.I will never travel on any non-Japanese train in any country!

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

High Speed trains in Japan are very safe, forget about the others, China's was always going to be a disaster, it's just a cheap knock off of the Shinkansen. It wont be the last tradgedy on China Rail either.

-3 ( +3 / -7 )

China's high-speed trains don't seem to have the same degree of redundancy built into their safety systems as do Japan's. Building them in raises the cost, but look at what happens when they're left out.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

High-speed trains in countries that have the sort political, economic, and social systems that ensure accurate and accountable safety practices and oversight are very, very safe. I would never balk at riding ona high-speed train in Japan, Germany, or France.

But high-speed trains in China? Hell, no.

That there was no system in place in China to indicate or warn other high-speed trains that a train was stopped on the tracks is simply mind-boggling.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

High-speed trains are very, very safe. Even with this accident, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend someone to take high-speed trains in China. Sure, when there's an accident, it's possible that a lot of people will die, but if you consider the ratio of deaths per year or per 100 000 passengers, I think trains are much safer than most other modes of transport.

Let's put this accident in context, on the day of that accident, around 40 to 50 people died in that train crash... and around 300 people died in traffic accidents involving cars or trucks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I trust Japanese and Europe's high speed trains. Forget about the copy cat Chinese materials.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Not sure why Kentaro75 is getting lots of "bads", as he's basically saying the same thing as Ebisen who has lots of "goods". I know Kentaro is a bit of a troll, but that's no reason to boo him when he (for once) states something not so wild or far from the truth.

Of course, if he's speaking in his usual, generally nationalistic way, then he's quite far from the mark as this proves http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/JR福知山線脱線事故

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

China can try to export as many HS trains as they like but I don't want to see a single one of them operating in the US. And I am sure many many countries feel the same way. Maybe they can get orders from NKorea, Myanmar and the Sudan. The bigger story this morning is how the trains are back running after a day and a half without an investigation into the accident having been concluded. The trains are now running alongside debris from the wreck. This suggests that either the Chinese Govt don't give a hoot about public safety or that they already know what the cause was. The automatic braking system which China developed themselves is a prime suspect.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Why is Chinese goverment investigating the use of inferior materials? The problem is that contractors may have used low-quality fly ash mixed with other substances in construction instead of using the high-quality fly ash required in concrete train line construction. They built it cheap and fast and out of shoddy materials. And now they're running trains on it really fast. When they start cracking in a short time, the entire train lines will problems.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

it sounds like they imported the technology for the trains but not the SAFETY. not that japan doesn`t have those problems as well - importing nuclear technology and not enough safety - but the bullet trains are superior. problem is the feeling of superiority in all cultures when they take something and make it "their own" but not really looking at the real picture of their own country.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

With the added fact that the Chinese authorities seem to not care about determining the cause of the disaster nor taking any care to preserve evidence (rather it seems that they want to destroy evidence by tampering and burying the rollingstock), I would believe most of the world would continue to lose faith in the Chinese HSR system... there's no chance for improvement if they don't try to learn from their mistakes...

0 ( +2 / -2 )


The Amagasaki crash was a) not a high speed train and b) most likely caused by the driver.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )


The Amagasaki crash could have been prevented if JR West had installed Automatic Train Stop (ATS) sensors at the bend. It was an accident caused by the driver who was trying to beat the clock...

The train derailed as the driver took the bend at 116 kph — 46 kph faster than the speed limit for that section. Drawing a conclusion similar to the one issued by the government commission, JR West said the driver — distracted by the conductor's radio communications with the control center about an overrun he made at a previous station — applied the brake too late. The commission's final report said JR West should have installed the advanced ATS system called the ATS-P at the bend.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I do not care as long as China does not sell it at US Walmart stores.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would not want to be an engineer or conductor on a Chinese high-speed train. I would not want to be a pushcart vendor or ticket-seller or have any other job at stations serving high speed trains. I would not want to be a passenger on a Chinese high-speed train, or live within 1 Km of said tracks.

Other than that, I think they're OK.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


I understood that when I posted the link, the link was for the benefit of our patriotic friend Kentaro75, as it was quite reasonable to assume that his remarks were about Japanese rail per se. I think I covered myself in that respect on my final paragraph.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Japan - safest in the world. Never any problem or death. Latest, high-tech development, safety procedure and so on. China and all of asia - all trains dangerous

First, Japan's is the world's safest. Next sentence, all of Asia's is dangerous. Contradicting yourself, aren't you?

Agree with kchoze. You've got to put everything into perspective. You're more likely to get killed in a road accident. I've traveled on the HS trains in China and I'd do it again. That's not to say they should sweep this under the rug. And I'd rather do that than eat Fukushima cucumbers. But to each his own.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i wonder why I have a -3 rating here... How many Chinese readers click bad on any comment criticizing China??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

HSR where? In China, no. Not safe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can't generalize. The Japanese bullet trains have a superior safety record. The same can't be said about the high speed trains in Europe, Taiwan and China. I would have no qualms about riding a high speed train in Europe, but China is a different story.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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