Thursday, July 22, 2010

China spents billions on intercontinental HSR

China Development Bank recently agreed to loan the Argentinian government $10 billion for new railway and metro construction.

China has become a major source of funds for countries around the world, acting essentially as an alternative or competitor to the World Bank. It has been increasing its spending in Africa (much more than other countries). And it is looking to fund much of an intercontinental high-speed rail network it and others are planning, “the largest infrastructure project in history.”

China seems to have a direct interest in Argentinian farmland, a good reason for it to help improve transportation to and from this farmland in a very cost-efficient way (through better rail lines).

“Thanks to talks between Presidents Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Hu Jintao, Argentina will receive $4.35 billion to renovate three freight railroad lines, including $1.85 billion to improve conditions on the Belgrano Line, which links the country to Bolivia and is an important link for the nation’s agricultural producers,” Yonah Freemark of the TransportPolitic writes.

But $4 billion for improvement of the Buenos Aires Subway and creation of a 4-corridor Metro in Cordoba don’t seem to offer any direct economic benefit to China. Yonah conjectures that Argentina must have agreed to give China some preferential trade treatment for this.

The Argentinian government has also committed to give a 15% match to the loans they receive.

Photo courtesy of


At September 20, 2010 at 6:37 PM , Blogger Kenneth said...

it is long overdue to standardise all mainline railway track to standard auge (1435mm-4'8 1/2". there are many unised rail lines that could e used by community railways to operate freight and passenger services. It maybe necessary for the Australian government to nationalise all permanent ways on the mainland. If the nation is serious about reducing greenhouse gasses, then rail is the answer.

At September 22, 2010 at 5:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The government is taking steps in the right direction with its feasibility testing for an East Coast HSR network, but I wonder how long these plans would take to be realised?

If HSR really is the right solution for a low carbon future, surely we should be acting more decisively to create a realistic alternative to air travel between our major population centres?

At September 30, 2010 at 3:16 PM , Blogger Ickle Star said...

Having experienced the latest HSR trains in China recently, I must add that it will certainly change the way people travel - with the increasing corporate focus on cutting cost and being more green, HSR would definitely be the way forward. On a personal level, you will have a less stressful travel experience - you won't have to be at the train station hours before your scheduled departure, less hassle going through customs etc. What will be the future of Australia Rail? I'm hoping for some action from the government soon.

At October 12, 2010 at 12:32 PM , Blogger Kenneth said...

it would be fantastic to have high speed inter city trains. Last year I travelled on Virgin trains in the UK, so why can't we have fast trains in this country but state governments have many unused tracks or those caryying only frieght. Britain has community run railways operating on branch lines cut under the Beeching report and providing service to their communities. Trains are one means to reduce climate change and polution, but state government tend to think of only the big cities.


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