Browsing Tag: issue

    Korea’s subway, railway workers to strike against perfomance-based pay
    Articles, Blog

    Korea’s subway, railway workers to strike against perfomance-based pay

    November 8, 2019


    Korea’s unionized subway and railway workers
    will go on strike starting Tuesday… to protest against the adoption of a performance-based
    pay system. The Seoul Metropolitan Government says subway
    trains will run AS USUAL during rush hour. The spots will be filled by temporary workers. However, at other times,… services will
    be cut to about 80 or 85 percent of normal levels should the strike go as planned. There will also be more frequent buses. The government’s been pushing to implement
    the new wage system as a way to raise competitiveness. The transport ministry does not expect major
    disruptions for the KTX bullet train,… however regular train services will be cut down to
    60 percent of usual levels.

    Food delivery service launched for China’s bullet trains
    Articles, Blog

    Food delivery service launched for China’s bullet trains

    November 5, 2019


    In Korea… almost anything can be delivered
    almost anywhere within reason….but China has gone one step further. Food can now be delivered to your seat if
    you are traveling on one of the country’s bullet trains. Ro Aram has the details. The service was launched this week at 27 major
    railway stations across China, including Guangzhou, Shanghai and Nanjing. Passengers on high-speed trains just need
    to order their food two hours in advance on the China Railway website or app and pay the
    roughly one U.S. dollar delivery fee. CCTV – ID: 8055955
    “Right after travelers order their meals online, the delivery system will show the numbers
    of their seats and trains. The delivery companies will deliver food to
    the right platforms and the food will be handed to the passengers’ seats.” However, orders made within two hours of arrival
    will not be accepted as it takes time for restaurants to prepare the food and for it
    to be dispatched. In case trains are suspended or delayed for
    more than half-an-hour, orders will be canceled automatically and travelers will be refunded. There’s no need to worry about food safety
    either. CCTV – ID: 8055955
    “We use special packing for the take-out food ordered on the high-speed railway website. The box is sealed tightly and becomes disposable
    once its lid is closed. The food inside cannot be taken out unless
    the box is unsealed. The new program aims to provide more diversity
    to on-board cuisine, which has often been criticized for being overpriced and of low
    quality. Since Chinese trains cover huge amounts of
    ground with frequent stops, it’s unlikely that we will be seeing such services in South
    Korea. Ro Aram, Arirang News.

    Subway, railway workers strike against performance-based pay system
    Articles, Blog

    Subway, railway workers strike against performance-based pay system

    October 23, 2019


    Today is the second day of a subway and rail
    strike in Korea, but passenger services appeared to have run relatively smoothly during the
    morning commute. However, according to our Lee Min-young, freight
    train services, are taking a hit, and the government has called for an end to the walkout. Korea’s subway and railway workers are in
    the second day of a strike against the government’s adoption of a performance-based pay system. It’s the first subway and railway strike in
    22 years. According to an estimate released by the transport
    ministry on Wednesday.,… nearly 40 percent of Korail workers are participating in the
    walkout, while subway companies’ labor unions had a high participation rate. Almost half of all workers with Seoul Metro…
    which operates subway lines one through four,… and one third of workers with Seoul Metropolitan
    Rapid Transit,… which runs subway lines five through eight,… have walked off the
    job. “Even with the walkout, subway companies have
    vowed to keep services at normal levels during the morning and evening commute. Off-peak subway services will run at about
    80 percent of normal capacity, which means passengers will have to wait another 2 to
    7 minutes between trains during the strike.” Regular train services will only run at 60
    percent, but KTX bullet train services will operate at the usual levels. The Seoul city government had announced Tuesday
    that it had enough temporary workers to fill the gaps left by striking workers… and the
    city plans to dispatch hundreds more to subway stations this week. Freight train services took a direct hit from
    the strike, triggering concerns about a massive logistical disturbance. Freight operations have dropped to 26 percent
    of normal levels and the shipping volume has shrunk to less than half of normal capacity. Korea’s finance minister on Wednesday called
    the ongoing strikes, including a walkout by unionized workers at Hyundai Motor,… “selfish”
    and called for them to end,… saying the general public will be affected. Korail has dismissed a-hundred workers who
    it says led the walkout… and announced that it is considering whether to take disciplinary
    action against other strike participants. Lee Minyoung, Arirang News.

    New railway company to launch high-speed service on Friday
    Articles, Blog

    New railway company to launch high-speed service on Friday

    October 19, 2019


    A new high-speed rail service begins here
    in Korea. The Super Rapid Train or SRT will not only
    reduce cross country travel time, but cost as well. Our Hwang Hojun takes us on a bullet train
    ride. After 117 years, Korail’s monopoly over the
    nation’s railways has come to an end. Passengers on Korea’s high-speed rail network
    will have a new bullet train option — the SR, or Supreme Railway, whose service commences
    this Friday. Celebrating the completion of 5 years and
    7 months of construction, the opening ceremony took place on Thursday, with thousands joining
    in, including Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. “I urge both Korail and SR to further improve
    customer service through competition in good faith. The government will continue to carry out
    policies that are needed to guarantee fair competition.” The trains are called SRTs, and will depart
    from Suseo Station in Seoul’s Gangnam district, instead of Seoul or Yongsan Station, where
    the KTX trains depart. That’ll make it easier for many people to
    start their journey. “The SRT will benefit residents of southern
    Seoul and Gyeonggi-do province as they can now take the high-speed train nearer their
    homes instead of traveling north across the river. This will satisfy their demand for convenience.” Guests at the opening also had the chance
    to experience the train’s top speed of 300 kilometers per hour on a test run down to
    Pyeongtaek. “We just left Suseo Station and are on our
    way to Jije Station in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do Province. The distance is 61-point-1 kilometers, which
    according to my GPS, would take roughly an hour by car. But hop on the SRT and it takes just 24 minutes,
    just long enough to finish reading the morning paper.” The new Suseo High Speed Railway provides
    the most direct route as 93 percent of the railway’s length is tunnels. After passing the southern city of Pyeongtaek
    , the train will share the KTX rails, traveling
    to Busan to the southeast, and Mokpo to the soutwest, shaving about 8 minutes and 7 minutes
    off travel times, respectively. And the average fair is 10% cheaper. According to the Ministry of Transport, about
    170,000 people take the KTX on a daily basis. The emergence of SRTs will likely ease the
    congestion, with more than 45 thousand people expected to use Suseo Station daily by 2026. The official maiden voyage departs at ten
    past five AM on Friday, bound for Mokpo. Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.

    Tickets go on sale for new SRT high-speed train
    Articles, Blog

    Tickets go on sale for new SRT high-speed train

    October 13, 2019


    Tickets are now on sale for a much-anticipated
    new high-speed railway linking southern Seoul directly with the rest of the country’s high-speed
    KTX rail network. The SRT, which stands for Super Rapid Train,…
    runs from Suseo station in Seoul’s Gangnam district down to Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi-do
    Province,… a distance of about 61 kilometers. It’ll open on December 9th. Until now, rail passengers heading from southern
    Seoul to major cities like Busan or Mokpo… had to go all the way to Seoul station or
    Yongsan to catch the KTX. But the SRT line will connect directly to
    Suseo station, allowing an easy transfer to or from the Seoul subway. Tickets from Suseo, on average, will be about
    10 percent cheaper than the KTX as well… and cross-country journeys up to 8 minutes
    shorter. Those who sign up this month for an online
    membership with SRT can get an early bird coupon for 30 to 100 percent off the price
    of a ticket.

    Japanese PM in India for talks on North Korea, bullet train
    Articles, Blog

    Japanese PM in India for talks on North Korea, bullet train

    September 8, 2019


    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in India
    for a two-day visit, which will include talks on North Korea with his Indian counterpart
    Narendra Modi. Official talks will begin on Thursday, during
    which the two leaders are to discuss ways to boost defense and economic ties, as well
    as discussions on how to deal with North Korea. The highlight of the visit though will be
    a ceremony to mark the start of construction of India’s first bullet train based on Japanese
    technology. The train will link Ahmedabad and Mumbai and
    is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities from seven to roughly three
    hours.

    Railroad magazine celebrates milestone
    Articles, Blog

    Railroad magazine celebrates milestone

    August 22, 2019


    A MAJOR MILESTONE.>>STEVE, YOU WANT TO HELP ME HERE GET THIS OPEN?>>EDITOR NEIL BESOUGLOFF AND THE STAFF AT KALMBACH PUBLISHING IN WAUKESHA ARE CELEBRATING A MAJOR MILESTONE.>>THIS IS THE KIND OF MAGAZINE PEOPLE GET FOR DECADES.>>THE APRIL 2017 ISSUE OF MODEL RAILROADER IS THE 1,000TH EDITION.>>WE CONSTANTLY MEET READERS THAT HAVE BEEN BROODING OUR MAGAZINE FOR 10, 20, 30 YEARS.>>THE PUBLICATION OFFERS DO IT YOURSELF AND HOW TO ADVICE FOR PEOPLE BUILDING THEIR OWN MODEL TRAIN SETS.>>IT IS A GOOD PASS TIME. IT IS A HEALTHY HOBBY. IT’S FUN.>>STAFF MEMBERS LAID OUT EVERY SINGLE ISSUE END TO END, THIS TRAIN OF MAGAZINE STRETCH FROM ONE TO END OF THE BUILDING TO THE OTHER. THE LOOK OF MODERN RAILROADER HAS CHANGED. THIS IS THE VERY FIRST EDITION PUBLISHE JANUARY 1934. AND OVER HERE, WE HAVE THE LATEST ADDITION THE 1,000 ISSUE. ,>>>>THE FIRST ISSUE WAS ONLY 12 PAGES. IT WAS SOMETHING YOU WOULD DROP ON THE FLOOR AND YOU WOULDN’T EVEN REALIZE WAS THERE.>>THESE ISSUES ALSO GIVE US A GLIMPSE INTO AMERICAN HISTORY.>>THE MOST INTERESTING TIME WAS DURING WORLD WAR II. >>A PAPER SHORTAGE DURING THE WAR FORCED SOME NOTICEABLE CHANGES.>>THE COLOR OF THE PAPER GOT REAL YELLOW BECAUSE THAT IS ALL THAT WAS AVAILABLE TO DO THE PRINTING.>>83 YEARS IN, MODEL RAILROADER SHOWS NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN. PATRICK: MODEL RAILROADERS SAYS

    Brazil’s Geography Problem
    Articles, Blog

    Brazil’s Geography Problem

    August 14, 2019


    This video was made possible by Skillshare. Learn from 21,000 classes for free for two
    months at https://skl.sh/wendover3. There are plenty of lines you can draw on
    the globe but perhaps none is more consequential than the equator. Of the 15 wealthiest countries
    in the world as measured by GDP per capita, all are in the northern hemisphere. Only 800
    million of earth’s 7.6 billion residents live south of the equator. There is a clear
    divide between north and south but of those 800 million people a quarter of them, about
    207 million, live here in Brazil. The country is an exception to the global trend. Brazil
    is the fifth most populous country in the world and the most populous entirely within
    the southern hemisphere. Its economy has grown enormously and the country is quickly developing.
    Although, the very land it sits on stacks the odds against it. Its location gives it
    a disadvantage. Given this, the question is whether Brazil can develop into a world superpower
    by the likes of the US, Europe, Russia, India, and China or if the country is doomed to fail? Brazil, of course, looks like this but in
    reality almost 80% of the country’s population lives here—within 200 miles of the coast.
    You do see a concentration of population near the coast in any country as it provides a
    cheap and easy means of transportation by boats and a source of food through fishing
    but few countries have such a severe concentration of people by the oceans as Brazil. This small
    area, for example, is home to three of Brazil’s six largest cities. Normally this would help
    development as the area in between cities will urbanize but this map doesn’t tell
    the whole story—this one does. You see, this area of Brazil is rather mountainous.
    The major cities mostly exist in small pockets of low-altitude, flat land on the ocean. This
    is because major cities need easy water access to get goods in and out. The majority of Brazil’s
    coast is defined by steep, sheer cliffs. Petrópolis, for example, a suburb of Rio, is a mere 13
    miles from the ocean and yet it sits at almost 3,000 feet of altitude. The rare areas with
    low-altitude land on the water are where cities like Porte Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, and Recife
    are but this pattern has two consequences. First, these cities, while being on flat land
    themselves are surrounded by cliffs and mountainous regions which means their growth is limited.
    There are plenty of cities that exist in mountainous regions but the world’s largest and most
    influential cities like London and Delhi and Beijing all exist in areas with absolutely
    no geographical features limiting their growth. The fact that Brazil’s cities locate in
    rare low-altitude coastal land means that the country will likely never have a megalopolis
    by the likes of the Pearl River Delta or the US Northeast. It takes a surprising six hours
    to drive between Rio and Sao Paolo and since there’s no low-altitude coastal land in
    between them, there are really no major cities in between them too. Brazil’s cities are
    confined to the geographically convenient areas which are spread out from each other.
    This means the cities can’t collaborate easily with each other thereby limiting Brazil’s
    impact on the world stage. Like any large country, Brazil’s development
    potential is also linked to how it gets its food. This, in fact, might be Brazil’s greatest
    obstacle as it really doesn’t hav e much great farmland, at least yet. The country’s
    main agricultural region is its south which is blessed with great soil and great rivers
    that help transport crops away from their farms. Interestingly, the same elevation that
    leads to steep coastal cliffs causes rivers to run in a counterintuitive direction. The
    Tietê river, for example, starts near Sao Paolo a mere 10 miles away from the Atlantic
    ocean but then runs inland almost 500 miles where it flows into the Paraná River which
    eventually flows out into the ocean near Buenos Aires, Argentina. If a farmer wants to export
    their food abroad, it’s often cheaper to first ship it the thousands of miles by boat
    on these rivers than just hundreds of miles overland to Brazil’s coast due to their
    poor road infrastructure. This means that Argentina gets the business of packing up
    and shipping Brazil’s food to other countries. That’s just lost money for Brazil as a result
    of their geography. Brazil’s south, though, does not even have enough land to feed the
    country’s own 200 million residents. Given that, the question is where to put the rest
    of the farms. In Brazil’s north is the Amazon basin. The
    central feature of this region is, of course, the Amazon River which is navigable for boats.
    Normally this feature would lead to a significant population as navigable rivers serve as cheap
    and easy transport for crops and goods but the banks of the Amazon are a tough place
    to farm or live. Not only are they muddy and unstable which makes building difficult, but
    the Amazon also regularly floods which means that every year many of the communities on
    the banks of the Amazon can have their streets underwater for months. Building and living
    in the Amazonian cities is difficult, but what’s more difficult is building the roads
    in and out. The largest city in the Amazon, Manaus, is home to 2.6 million people, it’s
    as big as Baltimore, and yet there are only three roads connecting the city to the outside
    world. Many of the smaller towns around the Amazon have no roads going in and out as its
    just incredibly costly and difficult to build roads through the rainforest. In fact, rather
    unbelievably, there is not a single bridge spanning over the Amazon so there is no way
    to drive from the northernmost region of Brazil to the rest without taking a ferry. Overall,
    this whole area is just empty. Even if there was the infrastructure to transport crops
    to market, farming in the Amazon involves clearing huge amounts of land and even then,
    the soil is relatively infertile which leads to poor yields. Despite being Brazil’s largest
    state, Amazonas is home to just 1.8% of its population. It just costs too much to build
    the infrastructure needed to live there. To the south of the Amazon, though, is an
    area known as the Cerrado. This vast savanna used to be in the same category as the Amazon—it
    was empty. The problem was not only that there was no natural network of rivers to get crops
    out of the area but also that the soil was too acidic and lacking enough nutrients to
    easily grow large quantities of crops. Between both the Amazon and the Cerrado being off-limits
    for large-scale farming, that meant that Brazil really didn’t have much land at all for
    farming. 30 years ago, with only the south to farm, Brazil was actually a net importer
    of food—it bought more food from other countries than it sold. That was until researchers discovered
    that all you needed to do to fix the soil was add phosphorous and lime. The phosphorous
    served as a fertilizer in the place of natural nutrients and the lime worked to reduce the
    level of acidity. In the early 2000’s, the country spread more than 25 million tons of
    lime per year and so today the Cerrado accounts for 70% of Brazil’s farmland. In addition,
    Brazil has begun growing soybeans. This plant is normally grown in more temperate climates
    such as the US, northern China, or Japan, but through cross-breeding and genetic modification
    it can be modified to grow in warmer and acidic environments such as the Brazilian Cerrado.
    Thanks to the enormous amount of land Brazil has and these technological advancements the
    country has gone from producing 16% of the world’s soybean in 2005 to 31% today.
    A country’s level of development is often to linked to how good its natural transportation
    system is. That’s part of why the US developed so much so fast—it has a great system of
    navigable rivers right in its agricultural heartland that helps get goods from the fields
    to cities fast and inexpensively. The Brazilian Cerrado, though, does not have that. It doesn’t
    even have much of a preexisting network of roads since before this recent agricultural
    advancement barely anyone lived there. Therefore anyone who wants to farm in the Cerrado has
    to find land, level it, treat it with phosphate and lime, and build roads to get supplies
    in and crops out. Cerrado farms can be profitable but it takes an enormous amount of money to
    build the infrastructure needed to start a farm. It’s not like the US or France or
    China where all you need is some land. The consequence of this is that farms in Brazil
    tend to owned by corporations rather than individuals because only corporations have
    the money to build farms. That therefore increases the level of wealth disparity in Brazil. According
    to the World Bank’s Gini index, Brazil is the 11th most economically unequal country
    in the world. Lower wealth disparity and the emergence of a middle class are indicators
    of economic development so the country should want to fix this. Brazil’s government has
    recognized its infrastructure problem as a source of its wealth disparity and has therefore
    worked to build roads in the interior so that more individuals can run farms but the government
    only has so much money to spend and it’s a big country.
    Brazil does, though, understand the importance of its core. It understands that the coastal
    cities are constrained and that economic development will come from the center. It was partially
    for that reason that the country decided to move its capital from Rio de Janeiro to here—Brasília.
    The thinking was that putting the capital in the core would stimulate the economically
    underdeveloped region and, in many ways, it worked. The city simply did not exist before
    1960 yet today more than 4 million people live in its metropolitan area. Being located
    on relatively flat land unlike Rio, the city can just grow and grow and grow without hinderance.
    Brazil has potential, but its defining issue is that it’s an expensive place. It’s a
    vicious cycle. In order to make money, Brazil needs to invest in its infrastructure but
    without people making money it doesn’t have the tax money to build what it takes t o transition
    into the first world. The question of why tropical countries are less developed is an
    enormous one without a clear answer, but Brazil is one of the most likely candidates to break
    this trend. It certainly lags behind other developing countries like China, but as its
    agriculture industry develops it will become a bigger and bigger exporter which will bring
    more money in. With time, its average income will inch up. The country already does have
    major companies in other industries such as banking, manufacturing, and oil but with how
    big Brazil is, agriculture is the one that’s the world’s focus right now. Only France,
    Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States export more agricultural products per year
    which is good company to be in. Brazil may not have the explosive growth rate of some
    other less developed countries but by continuously taking what it earns and reinvesting it to
    open up more of the country to agricultural production it will continue its path to superpower
    status. One of the common questions I receive is how
    I started making these videos. The first step was learning the skills needed from writing
    to research to sound design and editing, but for each and every one of them there’s a
    course on Skillshare. Skillshare, you see, is an online learning community that has more
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    months exclusively by going to skl.sh/wendover3. Skillshare makes this show possible and its
    a great place to learn or improve your skills so please do check them out, once again, at
    skl.sh/wendover3. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again in three weeks for another
    Wendover Productions video.