《经济学人》:高铁在中国
日期:2011-07-04 10:45

(单词翻译:单击)

High-speed rail in China
中国高速铁路

Tracking slower
“悄然”降速

A showcase line, but throttling back
一条用于示范但“缩水”的高铁线路

Jun 30th 2011 | SHANGHAI | from the print edition

THE heart of China’s national railway policy has been the pursuit of speed. And having built the world’s longest high-speed network from scratch, this week the country proudly launched its showcase project, the 1,318km (820-mile) Beijing-Shanghai line. Running at speeds of over 300km an hour, the sleek electric train cuts the travel time between China’s two most important cities by nearly half, to four hours and 48 minutes.

中国国家铁路核心政策向来唯速度是瞻。如今,中国已建成了世界上最长的高速铁路网络,填补了之前的高铁建设空白。本周,中国自豪地将其高铁示范项目——高铁京沪线投入运营,该线路全长1318公里(820英里),运行时速为每小时300多公里。这列流线造型的电气列车将中国两座最核心城市间的旅程时间缩短了将近一半,运行时间仅4小时48分。

The service is designed as a rival to air travel. Indeed, at Beijing South station, the ultra-modern facility resembles an airport. The other terminus, meanwhile, actually is at Shanghai’s domestic airport. But that means travellers lose the benefit of a downtown arrival, often touted as an advantage of trains. Even on intermediate stops, stations are far from urban centres.

高铁服务的设计初衷就是与航空服务竞争。实际上,拥有超现代化设施的高铁北京南站,其建筑模式与机场极其相似,同时高铁的另一终端站实际上就位于上海虹桥机场。但这也意味着旅客失去了到达市中心的便利性,而市中心设站经常被追捧为铁路的优势所在。甚至是京沪高铁的各沿途停靠站,其站点位置也都远离市中心。

Travel time might have been shorter still, but for controversy over the train’s speed. Journeys of 350km an hour had been promised. Then a system-wide slowdown to around 300km an hour was announced. At the time, the government insisted this was to save energy. It strenuously denied that safety was a factor, despite concerns from Chinese and foreign engineers. But now an official at China’s Railway Electrification Bureau admits the slowdown was based on concerns over safety after all.

要不是高铁速度引起广泛争论,旅程时间本是可以进一步缩短的。铁路部门之前曾允诺列车运行时速将达350公里。但随后又宣布系统全线减速到每小时300公里左右。当时,政府坚称这是出于节能考虑。尽管中外工程师对高铁的安全性表示忧虑,但政府却极力否认安全性是被考虑的因素。现在中国铁路电气化局的一名官员终于肯承认高铁降速是出于安全性考虑。

The Beijing-Shanghai line took only three years to build. With a price tag of $34 billion, it may never recoup its costs. Still, better connections could bring more productivity gains to China than in more developed countries. Ying Jin at Cambridge University says high-speed rail could foster development away from China’s megacities.

高铁京沪线建设历时仅三年。高达340亿美元的造价意味着它可能永远收不回成本。但是与那些更发达的国家相比,更完善的铁路连接将为中国带来更高效的经济收益。剑桥大学的应金表示中国高铁可能带动中国特大城市以外地区的经济发展。

Meanwhile, for those who find the line’s suburban stations inconvenient, Mr Ying says, people need only be patient. With urbanisation in China roaring ahead, it is only a matter of time before the cities pull up at the stations, rather than the other way around.

应先生同时表示,对于那些认为高铁郊区设站不够方便的人们来说,他们需要的是耐心。随着中国城市化的步伐突飞猛进,高铁设站城市将向远郊的高铁站发展延伸,而不是越加远离,而实现这些也只是时间的问题。

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重点单词
  • factorn. 因素,因子 vt. 把 ... 因素包括进去 vi
  • controversyn. (公开的)争论,争议
  • networkn. 网络,网状物,网状系统 vt. (以网络)覆
  • inconvenientadj. 不方便的
  • rivaln. 对手,同伴,竞争者 adj. 竞争的 v. 竞争,
  • benefitn. 利益,津贴,保险金,义卖,义演 vt. 有益于,得
  • advantagen. 优势,有利条件 vt. 有利于
  • domesticadj. 国内的,家庭的,驯养的 n. 家仆,佣人
  • urbanadj. 城市的,都市的
  • productivityn. 生产率,生产能力