Some Critical Issues in the Development of Chinese High-Speed Rail: Challenges and Coping Strategies


In this paper, several critical issues related to Chinese high-speed rails (CHSR) are analyzed, investigated and discussed, including development background, reasons for high ticket fare, some typical factors that influence the environmental life-cycle assessment, time and cost comparison of typical door-to-door travel routes between different transport modes and complementary strategies among different transport modes. First, the results show that the expanding high-speed rail network increased the pressure on the country's roads in the 2010 spring festival rush period due to the high ticket fare of CHSR. Second, due to lower than expected ridership because of the high ticket price and limited demand in less developed areas, some Chinese CHSR projects have become economically unsustainable. Third, without sufficient ridership and service life, the utilization of HSR was unable to show any advantages in the environmental impact compared with the other transport modes. In addition, the impact of shock from CHSR on Chinese domestic civil airlines is evident when the travel distance is below 1050 km. The key objective of the investigation is to enhance our understanding of the development and operation of Chinese high-speed rail. One of the key contributions of the current paper is the presented suggestions for complementary strategies between different transport modes to make full use of Chinese transportation resources to promote low carbon economy.

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Chen, M. , Tang, H. and Zhang, K. (2014) Some Critical Issues in the Development of Chinese High-Speed Rail: Challenges and Coping Strategies. Journal of Transportation Technologies, 4, 164-174. doi: 10.4236/jtts.2014.42017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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