China Wants a Trans-Pacific Railway Tunnel
Kyle Maxey posted on May 15, 2014 |
Could a Chinese proposal to build a Trans-Pacific railway tunnel come to fruition? If so, how would ...
China, railroad, pacific, tunnel, Alaska, AmericasIf Chinese-state media reports are to be believed, experts in the world’s most populous nation are considering building a Trans-Pacific rail line that would link the Americas to Asia via the Bering Strait.

Named the “China-Russia-Canada-America” line, the uninspiringly named infrastructure project isn’t short on imagination. Stretching some 13,000km (8077 mi) the tunnel would run from north-east China through Siberia. Once at the border of the Asian land mass the rail line would plunge underwater and span a 125km (78mi) long stretch (some four-times longer than the Chunnel) and emerge in Alaska. From there the line could branch to any number of railways connecting Canada, the United States, Mexico and other southern points.

At the time of this writing no concrete map of the railway has been published but Chinese sources say the entire trip from North-Eastern China to the US would take two days, with the train speeding along at 350km/h (220mph).

While the whole idea of a trans-Pacific railway seems a bit of a farce, according to Wang Mengshu, a tunnel and railway expert at Beijing Jiaotong University, “Right now we're already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years.”

Granted that discussions are just the beginning of any engineering feat and they’re a far cry from the first tie spiked to the ground, it’s amazing that an endeavor of this nature is even being considered. Given the fact that China is currently building out roadways, housing developments, energy projects and even trips to the Moon and Mars, it’s amazing that they have the resources to even contemplate this super-engineering notion.

Since I’m not one to scoff at a major engineering endeavor, no matter how absurd it may seem, I’m going to throw my lot in with the crowd supporting this project. Imagine being able to travel from middle-America, Mexico City or even Buenos Aires along a continuous train line that stretches through to Asia. That would be incredible. What’s more, a rail line that could connect the world’s two largest land masses might completely transform shipping, and that could be great news for businesses and consumers alike.

Source: The Guardian

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