On a recent visit to China, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took a ride on China’s innovative high-speed rails. The Governor spent several days trekking Asia in hopes of securing ingenious financing and cost-cutting measures for California’s planned high speed rail lines.
With California’s state budget of $19 billion, Schwarzenegger decided to see what other countries had to offer before committing to the proposed budget submitted for the new rail line. He told reporters China has “great potential” in providing the state with a new high-speed rail system.
According to industry experts, China seems like the right place to start. China has the finances in place that would allow for lower finance charges for funding as well as lower prices on a new rail system. Many countries are still struggling to recover economically from the financial crisis, but China has maintained its economic growth. A rail investment requires a lot of upfront money and finances are a scarce resource in other parts of the world.
China has the longest high-speed rail network in the world that can run speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. The country has established capacity for manufacturing rail systems and trains. Over the years, China has acquired some of the leading railway developers across Europe and Japan. However, China insists the technology it intends to sell is its own ingenuity.
The United States leads the world in freight railway technology but does not have high-speed rail proficiency. Technology will be imported for the 13 provincial projects that were awarded $8.5 billion in preliminary federal funding, with $2.5 billion more distributed this year and hundreds of billions more invested before the lines are available for public use.
After visiting China, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will visit Japan and South Korea to observe their high-speed rail systems.