China is considering building a high-speed railway across the Siberia and Bering Strait to Alaska, across Canada to the U.S. In a not so distant future, people can take the train from China to the U.S., according to the Beijing Times, CRI reported Thursday. This would be the longest railway line in the world, almost 3,800 kilometers longer than the Trans-Siberian Railway.
The proposed journey will start from China’s northeast region, across Siberia to the Bering Strait, and run across the Pacific Ocean by undersea tunnel to reach Alaska, from Alaska to Canada, then on to its final destination, the U.S. To cross the Bering Strait will require approximately a 200km undersea tunnel, the technology, which is already in place will also be used on Fujian to Taiwan high-speed railway tunnel. The project will be funded and constructed by China. The details of this project are yet to be finalized.
See 21st Century’s The Pacific Development Corridor: Maglev Through The Bering Strait
If constructed, people traveling to the U.S. from China will have a viable travel alternative to aircraft. With average speed of 350km per hour, passengers will complete the 1,3000km journey and reach the U.S. in less than two days.
Wang Mengshu, railway expert and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, proposed a route going from an unspecified location in north-eastern China, through eastern Siberia, across the Bering Strait dividing American and Russian soil, past Alaska on to Canada and southward to mainland U.S. The project, if undertaken, would be entirely funded by the Chinese government and constructed by Chinese contractors.
It remains unclear if Chinese authorities consulted with Russian, American or Canadian governments about the project as details are reportedly yet to be finalized.
The biggest challenge for the proposed railway construction would be crossing the Bering Strait. The massive undertaking in engineering would require an undersea tunnel at least 200 km in length in some of the coldest waters on Earth, just south of the Arctic Circle.
If constructed, it would be the world’s longest undersea tunnel by far, four times the length of current record-holder the Channel Tunnel connecting France and the United Kingdom.
China has experience with undersea tunnels, notably the 8.7km traffic tunnel connecting Fujian in mainland China to Xiamen Island, which opened in 2010.
See also: EIR’s North Eurasian Infrastructure and The Bering Strait Crossing
Another previously proposed tunnel is the Taiwan Strait tunnel, which is still pending approval from the Taiwanese side. The tunnel would be 122 kilometers in length, would cost an estimated $65-$81 billion, and would connect Taiwan with mainland China as part of the partially completed G3 Beijing-Taipei expressway.
Despite approval by Chinese authorities and widely publicized lobbying for its construction, however, the China-Taiwan tunnel is unlikely to ever be made due to outspoken resistance from Taiwanese authorities, insistent on their continued independence from mainland China.
Since June 2013, Chinese officials have been testing the first intelligent high-speed trains by CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive Co., Ltd. The train features capabilities such as self-test, self-diagnosis and intelligent decision-making intended for safe use in complicated environments. There is no official confirmation, however, if the train would be intended for use in the planned China-U.S. line.