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postgraduate thesis: The role of railways in sustainable transport : a case study of China

TitleThe role of railways in sustainable transport : a case study of China
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Li, L. [李琳娜]. (2014). The role of railways in sustainable transport : a case study of China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5387980
AbstractBalance between mobility and environment is a key issue in sustainable transport. Railways are usually considered to have less impact on the environment than air and road transport; however, the transport system tends to evolve towards the latter modes of transport in pursuit of higher mobility. Recent railway development, high-speed rail (HSR) in particular, presents a potential solution for this dilemma by allowing a reversal of the modal shift trend. Using China as a case study, this thesis systematically examines the role of railways in sustainable transport, especially low carbon emissions, from the perspective of railway development and its relationship with other transport modes. At the national level, the spatial-temporal evolution of CO2 emissions from four passenger transport modes, i.e. rail, road, air, and water transport, in China since 1949 was estimated by both distance-based and fuel-based methods. These estimates show that railways had contributed significantly to China’s historically low carbon emissions, given the relative stability and lower emissions intensity of railway emissions compared to those of air and road transport. However, based on the decomposition analysis, the modal shift from railways to air and road transport after the 1980s had led to an emissions increase. It is thus recommended that strategies to encourage a modal shift back to railways be adopted, especially in the eastern coastal region with highly concentrated CO2 emissions from passenger transport. At the city level, the interrelationship between the development of railways, including conventional railways and HSRs, and the level of air flight patronage in China is explored. The panel data regression analysis of multiple city pairs since the 1990s shows that railway extension was positively associated with air flight patronage, while railway acceleration was negatively associated with air flight patronage, with the regression coefficient for conventional railway acceleration lower than that for HSR. The competition posed by HSR led to a great decline in air flight frequency and sometimes even discontinuation. However, this correlation relationship was only significant at short distance, less than 1000 km. At the station level, since railways have their own best operation scale, cooperation and integration between railways and other transport modes is also important for sustainable transport. While there has been some progress in China’s transport integration, it is limited at the infrastructural level. By establishing an evaluation framework for integration, this study investigates the service supply and passengers’ perception of interchange at Shanghai Hongqiao Transport Hub. It is found that multimodal integration in this hub generally performs well; however, further improvement is needed in the areas of operation, time coordination, interchange discount, and through ticketing. To realize higher levels of seamless integration, there are still some institutional barriers to break, mainly in organization, ownership and operation between different transport modes. This study has analyzed railway development and sustainable transport from the perspective of intermodal relationship, especially for developing countries. The findings provide insights for the development of transport systems with low carbon emissions and seamless integration.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectRailroads - Environmental aspects - China
Dept/ProgramGeography
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/208594

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLi, Linna-
dc.contributor.author李琳娜-
dc.date.accessioned2015-03-13T01:44:04Z-
dc.date.available2015-03-13T01:44:04Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLi, L. [李琳娜]. (2014). The role of railways in sustainable transport : a case study of China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5387980-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/208594-
dc.description.abstractBalance between mobility and environment is a key issue in sustainable transport. Railways are usually considered to have less impact on the environment than air and road transport; however, the transport system tends to evolve towards the latter modes of transport in pursuit of higher mobility. Recent railway development, high-speed rail (HSR) in particular, presents a potential solution for this dilemma by allowing a reversal of the modal shift trend. Using China as a case study, this thesis systematically examines the role of railways in sustainable transport, especially low carbon emissions, from the perspective of railway development and its relationship with other transport modes. At the national level, the spatial-temporal evolution of CO2 emissions from four passenger transport modes, i.e. rail, road, air, and water transport, in China since 1949 was estimated by both distance-based and fuel-based methods. These estimates show that railways had contributed significantly to China’s historically low carbon emissions, given the relative stability and lower emissions intensity of railway emissions compared to those of air and road transport. However, based on the decomposition analysis, the modal shift from railways to air and road transport after the 1980s had led to an emissions increase. It is thus recommended that strategies to encourage a modal shift back to railways be adopted, especially in the eastern coastal region with highly concentrated CO2 emissions from passenger transport. At the city level, the interrelationship between the development of railways, including conventional railways and HSRs, and the level of air flight patronage in China is explored. The panel data regression analysis of multiple city pairs since the 1990s shows that railway extension was positively associated with air flight patronage, while railway acceleration was negatively associated with air flight patronage, with the regression coefficient for conventional railway acceleration lower than that for HSR. The competition posed by HSR led to a great decline in air flight frequency and sometimes even discontinuation. However, this correlation relationship was only significant at short distance, less than 1000 km. At the station level, since railways have their own best operation scale, cooperation and integration between railways and other transport modes is also important for sustainable transport. While there has been some progress in China’s transport integration, it is limited at the infrastructural level. By establishing an evaluation framework for integration, this study investigates the service supply and passengers’ perception of interchange at Shanghai Hongqiao Transport Hub. It is found that multimodal integration in this hub generally performs well; however, further improvement is needed in the areas of operation, time coordination, interchange discount, and through ticketing. To realize higher levels of seamless integration, there are still some institutional barriers to break, mainly in organization, ownership and operation between different transport modes. This study has analyzed railway development and sustainable transport from the perspective of intermodal relationship, especially for developing countries. The findings provide insights for the development of transport systems with low carbon emissions and seamless integration.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshRailroads - Environmental aspects - China-
dc.titleThe role of railways in sustainable transport : a case study of China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5387980-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineGeography-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5387980-

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