Back in 2014, China has announced an ambitious engineering plan to build a bullet train railway to America trough Russia. This plan might seem ridiculous to virtually everyone, but if Beijing gets its way that’s exactly what will be possible in the future. The idea is to drive a railway route from Beijing to America via Russia, running under the Bering Strait to Alaska, Canada and America.
The proposed line would begin in north-east China and run up through Siberia, pass through a tunnel underneath the Pacific Ocean then cut through Alaska and Canada to reach the continental US. According to a report in the Beijing Times, the country is considering building a new high-speed railway that would ultimately connect it with the lower 48 states of the United States. Specifically, the route currently under consideration would begin in northeastern China and run through Siberia to the Bering Strait. At this point, there would be an underground tunnel that cuts through the Pacific Ocean to connect Russia and Alaska, from which the train would continue south through Canada until arriving again in the United States.
The mega railway network, called “China-Russia-Canada-America,” would run for 13,000km, about 3,000km further than the Trans-Siberian Railway, including a 200km (125-mil)e undersea tunnel across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. The entire trip would take two days, with the train travelling at an average of 350km/h (220mph), as the international date line splits the islands, which are known as Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle.
The most massive part of the project would, of course, involve constructing the undersea tunnel that would make traveling across the Bering Strait possible. At 200km (125 miles) long, the tunnel would represent a daunting engineering challenge but China Daily stated the technology is “already in place” and will be used in a separate high-speed rail project. Additionally, China Daily “the project will be funded and constructed by China,” though the details have yet to be ironed out. Wang Mengshu, a railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as saying, “Right now we’re already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years.”
According to the Beijing Times, the China-US railway is just one of four ambitious projects currently in the works. The first is a line that would run from London via Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev and Moscow, where it would split into two routes, one of which would run to China through Kazakhstan and the other through eastern Siberia. The second line would begin in the far-western Chinese city of Urumqi and then run through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey to Germany. The third would begin in the south-western city of Kunming and end in Singapore.
Aside from financial challenges, many are skeptical of whether the engineering required to build such a massive network is feasible. Although a 200km tunnel is probably feasible in theory, the cost versus the potential return would surely make it one of the world’s most spectacular follies. It would be the world’s longest undersea tunnel – four times the length of the Channel Tunnel connecting the United Kingdom and France.