After all, China’s entire network–from the bonds to the land, rights of way, railway factories, stations, infrastructure and associated development–is owned in common and operated, purportedly, for the common good. Nor are there the unexpected cost overruns so common in such projects.
The network costs forty percent less than Europe’s thanks to automated installation of mass-produced, unballasted rail sections, pylons and bridges ordered by the meter, trainsets ordered by the score and equipment like the Bridge Girder Erector laying 300 ft. Planning, production and assembly are tightly integrated, eliminating costly downtime.
Mao set the example and grew GDP by 6.2 percent annually for twenty-five years without incurring a penny of debt, a feat probably unmatched in history.
Compared to automobiles and aircraft, which which rely on imported petroleum, HSR uses far less energy and draws power from more diverse energy sources, including renewables.
This cuts billions from China’s energy import bills and, since it now owns all the HSR intellectual property rights, boosts rail export revenues–a virtuous circle if ever there was one.
A predictable percentage of the initial investment returns in the form of increased income and sales taxes rippling out from factories and construction sites, a portion of which is allocated to paying down the loans.
By now, planners know that every million (100 million RMB, PPP) they invest in metro projects permanently lifts a city’s GDP by million and creates 8,000 jobs.