HS2 railway gets the green light!

Despite considerable opposition to the idea, the British government has announced they will be going ahead with plans to build the highly anticipated High-speed 2 (HS2) railway in full. The line is estimated to cost the country somewhere in the region of £56 billion and will considerably reduce travel time between some of the country’s most economically integral cities including London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Sheffield.
The country’s transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said “HS2 will be world’s high-techest, smartest, fastest railway. It will be a state-of-the art railway. This is faster than the Japanese bullet trains, and more state-of-the-art. This will be the fastest, most modern railway in the world.” Once the entire system is fully operational, the new trains will carry 300’000 people a day, tripling the number of available seats out of London Euston station.
Much of the rail-line is going to be situated in the north of the country, which could be an immediate response to the message delivered by the Brexit vote. A large proportion of the country whom voted to leave the European Union were based in the north of England, a part of the country which for many years felt they were being neglected by the government when it came to large-scale investments. Much of the motive behinds the vote was people felt the country was chucking needles amounts of money into the European Union, whereas it could have been better used in domestic developments.
Grayling has stated that HS2 is not just about making journey’s quicker but also to address the capacity issues being felt by train operators, where many of the countries commuters are forced to stand on their journey’s due to a lack of seats. “We all know our railway system is full. Too many people have to stand, and there are too many people sitting in traffic jams on roads behind endless rows of Lorries. “You can’t solve that problem unless you build something new, and by building something new, why would we build something old-fashioned?

The government has also vowed to allow as much of the project as economically possible to be contracted to British manufacturers, which Grayling describes as “overwhelmingly good news for British business and for British skills and for British manufacturing”.

 

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Eco Update: China

A not so widely known fact is that China almost consumes as much coal as the rest of the world combined, where it accounts for 80% of the countries source for energy. This is an alarming trend considering that the burning of this fossil fuel is one of the most polluting ways to generate electricity. In an economy where manufacturing and industry is on the rise this further adds to our concern.

Coal Mine

However, this may soon be about to change! Given the high levels of pollution in the country, particularly in industrial cities and around Beijing (where often daily particulate matter in the air can cause respiratory problems for even the healthy) people are sick of this issue and the government is listening.  A number of measures have been announced that should help to curb this trend; firstly the country has introduced bans on the building of new coal fired power plants and place limits on total energy consumption. These legislative measures will be complemented with an emissions trading scheme, due to be implemented by 2016, bringing the country up to speed with the developed economies of Europe and New Zealand.

There are signs that this move is working too, with coal imports at their lowest since 2012 despite prices being at their lowest since the peak of early 2011. This is complemented by banning of extremely low quality coal imports, particularly varieties containing high levels of sulfur and ash whose burning produces the highest levels of pollutants.

Air Pollution In Beijing

As a responsible and socially aware Metal supplying and manufacturing company based in China (with global offices) with heavy involvement in the metals and mining industries,Shanghai Metal Corporation (SMC) is proud to report on this news and welcomes developments in this area as it will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the quality of life of many everyday Chinese.

To find out more about our range of metal products or to discuss customization and individual requirements please visit our website Here. For more updates on this and other exciting developments follow us on FacebookTwitter & Linkedin. Or by using your smart device, scan the QR code below!

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Dominick F.//SMC Editor

Adapted from: Frik Els. Images: National Geographic; Green Media;