Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Ghost Trains of China

Not only are there 40 million plus vacant apartments in China, there are also ghost trains.

Here is an article from this week’s Caijing:
A golden but brief era for urban railway suppliers, builders and related companies across China appears to have ended in recent months.  Local governments nationwide have slashed infrastructure spending since last summer, and the urban rail business has slowed to a crawl after several years of rapid growth...

rail lines were built where few people live on the outskirts of the Hunan Province city of Changsha, said Wang Chengli, an urban transit professor at the city’s Central South University. Today, exit gates for some of the city’s finished subway stations lead to farm fields.  Wang said Changsha authorities installed far fewer kilometers of track in the city’s center than in its suburbs. Each project was approved by the central government, he added.

Zhang says China learned important lessons from the fast-track subway program. For example, he now thinks subways should never have been built in “many cities.” 


  1. Perhaps after Ray LaHood retires, he can move to one of these farms with a subway hookup.