My name is Manxuan Sun. I am a sophomore undergraduate student in Dalian Minzu University. I major in International Economics and Trade. Now I am the school representative in class.


Comparing the quality of public transportation provision of railway service in the UK to the quality of provision in China

As we all know, public transport provision is one of the topic in the world. Every day everyone take transportation to get where they want to go. This essay will take railway transportation as an example to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of British and Chinese railway development.

For China, there are some features of the public railway transportation. The one advantage is that he accuracy and continuity of railway transportation are strong. There are trains running 24 hours a day, and you can buy tickets at any time or any place according to your needs. The train is highly oriented in running, so the train can be controlled by computer automatic control to achieve the purpose of automatic driving. Another advantage is that the speed of railway transportation is very fast. The speed of China’s high-speed railway can reach 300 kilometers per hour. China operates more than 45% of the world’s high-speed rail and has the largest, most complete, systematic and efficient supply chain in the world. ( , baidubaike)

However, the railway in China has some weaknesses. The one is that the operating hours and locations of railways are inelastic. The driver cannot change the route due to the source of goods or the source of passengers, which may lead to the situation of empty vehicle operation or low resource share, thus resulting in the increase of operating costs. The other is that China’s railways are capital-intensive and have huge fixed assets, requiring a lot of capital and metal. According to the railway investment network, for every kilometer of railway built in China, it currently requires an investment of more than 4 million yuan and the consumption of 120 tons to 150 tons of rail, parts and other metals.

For UK, railway was built more than a hundred years ago. It is the first country in the world to build a railway. The railway system of Great Britain started with the building of local isolated wooden wagonways starting in the 1560s. The first strength is that it is one of the busiest railways in Europe, with 20% more train services than France, 60% more than Italy, and more than Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Portugal and Norway combined, as well as representing more than 20% of all passenger journeys in Europe. The rail industry employs 115,000 people and supports another 250,000 through its supply chain.

The other strength is that the railway ticket in the UK is cheaper for the residents than Chinese. The cost of a ticket from London to nearby cities is only thirty pounds to forty pounds, which occupies about one percent of the average British household’s monthly income. There also have some weaknesses in the UK. First operating efficiency and construction investment should be improved. The speed of high-speed rail in China is 250 per kilometer per hour ,but the Britain ordinary train is 48.6 per kilometer per hour. The build of high-speed rail in Britain is more wasteful than it in China. According to Xinhua, the 348km of rail in Britain will cost £104 billion in 2017. However, at the same time China’s high-speed trains cost around £15 million per kilometer . (, China railway website)The difference is about 20 times. Secondly, Britain still has some shortcomings in train facilities. For example, fewer seats lead to the existence of many people without seats during the rush hour. In summer, it is very hot in the carriage. If air conditioners can be installed, people can stay in a more comfortable environment.

Although both the UK and China have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of railway public transport services, I think China has more advantages than the UK. Compared with British trains, Chinese high-speed train so fast that you can save your time to do other meaningful things, and people can arrive where he wants very quickly. When it comes to high-speed train which from Beijing to Shanghai, it only needs five hours to though 1215.4 kilometers. This is almost the whole distance from north to south in China. In the UK, however, the 148 kilometers train ride from Chester to York takes three hours. Traveling by train in China doesn’t have to be seasonal. In summer, the car has air conditioning to keep you cool. In winter, the car has a central heating system to keep you warm.

In January 2012, British prime minister Boris Johnson announced the launch of high-speed rail line 2, which will link London with cities in the north central part of the country. The project will build two lines, one from London to Birmingham,  the other from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. It is the first high-speed rail line in the UK to link London with the major cities. After the high-speed rail is completed, travel time will be shortened by nearly an hour. The completion of this project will be a brilliant achievement in British history. But the only drawback is that the project is expensive, with a budget of £106 billion. (, International online website)

The UK government is concerned about China’s rapid development of high-speed rail. “I’m very interested in high-speed rail in China,” Cameron said last year during a visit to a Chinese culture exhibition in London. It was definitely a ‘high speed’ revolution. I welcome Chinese investment in high-speed rail projects in the UK.” On the eve of his visit to China at the end of last year, he told British media that he was most looking forward to taking a ride on China’s high-speed rail. If the British high-speed rail line 2 is built, it will save people’s travel time to a great extent. Therefore, it is crucial to learn from other countries about high-speed rail design and construction technology. Besides, Britain should know how to build high-speed rail at higher speed and lower cost. In addition, British railways can add a certain number of seats so that more people can enjoy their seats after a busy day.

This paper expounds the strengths and weaknesses of UK and China respectively in the field of railway public transport services, and draws a conclusion through comparison. However, the both of them need to improve and need to make an effort for the public railway transportation.

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