The Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway (HSR) is one of the most important railways in China, but it also has impacts on the economy and the environment while creating social benefits. This paper uses a life cycle assessment (LCA) method and a life cycle cost (LCC) analysis method to summarize the energy consumption, carbon emissions and costs of the Beijing-Shanghai HSR from the perspective of life cycle, and proposes some corresponding suggestions based on the results. The research objective of this paper is to analyse the carbon emissions, energy consumption, and costs of the rail system which includes the structure of the track and earthwork of the Beijing-Shanghai HSR during four stages: conception stage, construction stage, operation and maintenance stage, and disposal stage. It is concluded that the majority of the carbon emissions and energy consumption of the entire rail system are from the construction stage, accounting for 64.86% and 54.31% respectively. It is followed by the operation and maintenance stage with 31.60% and 35.32% respectively. In contrast, the amount of carbon emissions and energy consumption from the conception stage is too small to be considered. Furthermore, cement is the major contributor to the carbon emissions and energy consumption during the construction stage. As for the cost, the construction stage spends the largest amount of money (US$4614.00 million), followed by the operation and maintenance stage (US$910.61 million). Improving production technologies and choosing construction machinery are proposed to reduce the cost and protect the environment.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited