Chinese Bullet Trains Collide, At Least 11 Killed, Hundreds Injured

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: it appears that the crash was the result of two bullet trains colliding. From Reuters: "At least 11 people have died after two high-speed
trains crashed into each other in China's eastern province of Zhejiang
on Saturday, causing two carriages to fall off a bridge, state news
agency Xinhua said."

It was only a matter of time before China's pursuit of infrastructure perfection for the sake of merely recycling trade surplus dollars ended up in casualties. And while its now innumerable ghost cities are unlikely to hurt anyone since they are, well, vacant, the same can not be said about its infrastructure. Earlier today, China's D-Train, a first generation of its bullet train, travelling the Hangzhou to Wenzhou route derailed, with two of its carriages falling off a bridge. The precise number of casualties is as of this moment unknown, although the latest report from Reuters is of 11 killed and 89 injured. We expect the number to be far higher in the end. Just like in the US where none of the massive infrastructure spending as part of ARRA actually went to infrastructure, so China is about to realize that mixing unprecedented corruption and ultra high speeds usually results in very catastrophic consequences.

From the Telegraph:

The train, travelling from Hangzhou to Wenzhou, went off the rails in eastern China's Zhejiang province around 8:30pm (1230 GMT), it reported, citing local firefighting sources.

The D train represents China's first-generation bullet trains. Running on regular track, they are capable of travelling at 150kph and are not part of the new high-speed network.

China is spending billions on building a high-speed rail network, with Premier Wen Jiabao on June 30 formally opening a flagship $33 billion line from Beijing to Shanghai.

That line has suffered problems with delays caused by power outages, sparking a slew of criticism online and in Chinese media.

The huge investment has made the sector a hotbed for corruption. China's state auditor has said construction companies and individuals last year siphoned off 187 million yuan ($29 million) from the Beijing-Shanghai project.

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DaBernank's picture

Behold, invincible China.

redpill's picture

On the bright side, casualties are probably pretty low because the train was likely nearly empty, that's just how China rolls.

Sudden Debt's picture

You know what they say, once you've seen a Chinese restaurant, you've seen China.


Fish Gone Bad's picture


I am going to have to remember that one.  Too funny.

DaBernank's picture

Yes, wife's Chinese, thanks. All things being in the eye of the beholder, I see massive oversupply, lots of shoddy construction, blatant corruption and disregard for most individuals who are not well connected. Not saying the EU and US are much less corrupt or more competent but the flavours are different and central planning has a habit of compounding bureaucratic error/corruption. All the best to the Chinese people, they are a truly a fantastic civilization, it's their government I can't stand.

My initial comment did not acknowledge the lives lost and those injured, that was callous and stupid, apologies and good wishes to all those who were affected.

Manthong's picture

"they are a truly a fantastic civilization, it's their government I can't stand"

3rd Century Rome, Early 20th Century Germany and Japan, 20th/21st Century China and US... Gee, what are the common threads (and the likely common outcomes)?

Sudden Debt's picture

so sad...

let's hope Bang Dae Ho, Pow Pow and Shit Hit Fan are oké...


dick cheneys ghost's picture

And to think that the Communist Chinese built the new San Fran bay bridge........We sold out to cheap chinese imports..........

SWRichmond's picture

The huge investment has made the sector a hotbed for corruption.

This is the principle and simple reason why I want someone else to take their turn as the world's biggest economy, policeman, etc etc.  Our government no longer works for us because it is so big and ripe for the picking.

djsmps's picture

I would feel a little nervous about driving over the Bay Bridge when the new span opens.

LeBalance's picture

It was made for less than bid out of transparent aluminum?

redpill's picture

heh, nice ST reference!

ElvisDog's picture

One of my favorite ridiculous movie moments was when Scotty sits down in front of the 1990's PC and conjures up the formula for transparent aluminum. Good thing that software was pre-loaded onto the computer.

LeBalance's picture

Scotty: "Computer?"

No response.

Scotty picks up the mouse and puts it to his mouth: "Computer?"

The "local time" actor points to the keyboard.

Scotty: "How quaint."

Hephasteus's picture

They downlaoded it to the computer through the printer port using appletalk. LOL

El Viejo's picture

We made the previous one that collapsed during the earthquake.

nmewn's picture

Probably got the low flush toilets from there too ;-)

Chuck Yeager's picture

The new bridge was made by ZPMC.  They make 90% of cargo cranes, worldwide.  The have perfected copying our steel making processes.  The Chinese can turn out high quality steel, when they choose to.  Unfortunately, the massive corruption over there is not an issue of technical ability.  So the true irony is that they CAN do great things, but their corruption keeps them from greatness.  It is a greek tragedy.

ElvisDog's picture

We might be getting ahead of ourselves here. Maybe there was a goat or something on the train tracks that caused the accident.

SilverIsKing's picture

Hmmm... Never saw a Chinese goat.

disabledvet's picture

yet again the "problem of copying your smart friend's test" rears its ugly head. what if you copy a mistake? and then are told "build it bigger"? I fail to see "the greek" in this one. they were "the original...original thinkers." here's what comes to my mind when i think of Plagiarizers in Chief people:

snakehead's picture

It is a greek tragedy.


Greek tragedies require character flaws in heroic figures.  Or retirement by age 53 after sucking the public mammary.  This seems like bubblicious greed and crappy managers.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ Chuck Y,

This is another illustration of why we see in Peru the same thing as others see in many products made-in-China.

A fair amount of Chinese cars have come in (at least 13 different brands of cars and trucks) and word among our bearing customers that the cheap Chinese cars are crap.  I guess that is what you would expect, Peru hasd MANY poopr people who will take their chances on a cheap car.

We pretty much have to offer some Chinese bearings to a couple of "Price Nothing Else" segments of our customer base. but we keep a close eye on brand quality.  We have had to to decide NOT to buy at least two brands over the years because of irregular quality.

It's a big problem, China using cheap steel and cutting corners.

Libertarian777's picture

You forget the bay bridge collapse in 1989 was not Chinese made then. That was 'superior American engineering'

Gordon Freeman's picture

Thankfully, the average Chinese cannot afford to ride it, so the casualties were probably minimal

JW n FL's picture

it was just the coffee house, rich, wanna be grunge types trying to be green.

freethinker4now's picture

Not again, so much corruption it's unreal. Only buy plastic from the Chinese, plastic trains etc...

LeBalance's picture

Thieves who wish a long standing relationship with their clients leave the clients with more than scraps and impart a way of life that is caring and compassionate.

Teachers who do not supply value for their fee are soon located and destroyed.

The mind is voracious.  It will not put up with second grade goods.  Even in the BOHICA line.

rajat_bhatia's picture

thats good, thats what the cpc wants, reduced polpulation

Salinger's picture

a train derailment is news?

Shibumi2's picture

Why all of the negative comments? China is embracing technology and investing money into its infrastructure. Of course there will be mistakes and learning curves. I hope no one loses their head-literally-over this.


As far as government corruption, NO ONE from the united states should utter a word. The chinese are rank amateurs compared to the us. The federal reserve cheats not only its own citizens, but those all around the world.

TyCarrerra's picture

No kidding! I didn't know the US was sucha  corruption-free land!

ElvisDog's picture

The Chinese should have spent a little extra money and hired the Swiss to build their train systems.

dick cheneys ghost's picture

When people in Africa complain of "cheap chinese imports'........Communist China has got a problem........BTW, can you name one chinese brand? Most people cant.......This will be their downfall............

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Chinese vehicle brands in Peru:

-- JMC ("Junk Made in China") trucks

-- JAC trucks

-- Chery QQ car (direct rip-off of GM / Daewoo's Matiz), a real P.O.S.

-- Great Wall cars

-- FAW cars

Many, many others I cannot recall, even from my recent trip!

Chinese bearings:

-- ZWZ (apparently a good brand)

-- Premier

-- QC (LOL there)

-- Delfu (may be a good brand)

-- DRL (NOT a good brand, trust me)

many others, including bearings coming in with NO BRAND, so that local counterfeiters can put on a Japanese, European or Korean brand...

Atomizer's picture

Very unfortunate. I have taken many trips on ICE from Hanover to Berlin back in the day. It certainly beats the Gatwick Express


Someone must of planted a SIV on the rail.


Juice Box's picture

Another Chinese miracle illusion?  The Chinese miracle will eventually fall victim to a disproportionately aging population.  The old one child per family dictate will haunt them.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

While I am not even close to being an expert on China, my reading says the same to me.  China will not pass us, the only way that happens is if WE fall by the wayside.

Cool & correct diplomacy with China will keep us out of conflict with them, and they will have their own decline when their demography finally insists.

sabra1's picture

this is all an omen! the world economy is about to come off its tracks!

dark pools of soros's picture

Boehner just mentioned that dealing with China speed trains are like dealing with a bowl of jello


or maybe he says that about everything.... mmm jello


El Viejo's picture

I'm old enough to remember the negative comments about 'inferior' Japanese goods.