China has been a darling of the pro HS2 lobbying until recently. They have admired the speed with which China has been building new high speed rail lines, implying that if China, with its vast landmass, has a high speed network, Britain should have one too.
But this gilt on the new Chinese railway system is rubbing off.
First there were concerns about whether China could afford the number of high speed lines that were being built, especially as the tickets were too expensive for migrant workers who make up the bulk of travellers during peak seasons.
Next the Minister of Railways was sacked for fraud charges.
And there were more concerns about the safety of the network, in part because the railways were being built faster then the construction materials could be produced.
The latest news is that the Chinese railways will all be slower in future then at present. The article says “The inter-city lines that usually connect major centers within regions should be operated at between 200 and 250 km/h, while most railways in central and western China will operate at less than 200 km/h.” (A few lines will operate at 300kph.)
And how does that compare to British trains?
The Chinese intercity trains will be at the same speed, or slightly faster, then trains on the West Coast Main Line in Britain, and other Chinese trains will be going slower then the West Coast Main Line.