Railroads, Restructuring and Priorities

March 22, 2013

The decision by China’s government last week to abolish its railways ministry could have three possible consequences, which have raised concerns among the public after plans to scrap the debt-laden and scandal-ridden ministry were initially welcomed. (WantChinaTimes)

The article from which I grabbed that quote is entitled “Public fear higher prices as China’s railways ministry scrapped,” which tells you all you need to know. I don’t have a lot to say here, just a simple observation: of all the concerns that the public have about China’s railways, I think high prices, while important, should probably not be at the top of the list.

Or to put it another way: if because of restructuring, it is less likely that the train you take will end up taking a header off a bridge or smashing head-on into another locomotive, the public will no doubt accept some reasonably higher prices. And let’s try to remain optimistic here; as corruption is one of the reasons for the restructuring in the first place, perhaps there will be some savings in the offing! You never know.