Beijing’s official media has unveiled a swath of ambitious international high speed rail plans, one of which envisages connecting China with the continental United States via an undersea tunnel running below the Bering Strait.
State-run news outlets report that Beijing is considering plans to build a high speed rail link in the country’s far north, connecting China to Russia, the United States and Canada.
The proposed “China-Russia-Canada-America” line would extend for 13,000 kilometres across the territory of the four countries it traverses, making it over 3,000 kilometres greater in length than the world’s current longest train route – the 9,300 kilometre Trans-Siberian Railway.
Trains on the proposed high speed railway line would run at an average of 350 kilometres per hour, which would mean a one-way trip along its full continent-spanning length could be completed in just two days.
Wang Mengshu, a railway expert from the prestigious Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that discussions in relation to gigantic high speed were currently underway, with Russia already having considered the plan for a number of years now.
According to Wang the key challenge for the project would be the construction of an undersea tunnel across the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska, which would need to be approximately 200 kilometres in length.
The China Daily, a state-owned English-language newspaper, claims that the technology required for the realisation of the project is “already in place,” and will soon be employed for the development of a high-speed rail link between Fujian province and Taiwan, which will necessitate the construction of a 150 kilometre undersea cross-strait tunnel.
According to another state-owned media outlet, The Beijing Times, the China-Russia-Canada-America line is one of four international high speed rail projects that China hopes to launch and which are currently at various stages of planning and development.
The first such project will connect the UK directly to China, running from London through Paris, Berlin, Warsaw and Kiev to Moscow, where it will split into two lines, one of which will pass through Kazakhstan to China while the other traverses eastern Siberia.
A second line will provide a direct line between Germany and western China, running from Urumqi in Xinjiang province through the Central Asian states of Kazkhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, before ducking south to pass through Iran and Turkey.
A third line will seek to better integrate southern China with the rest of continental South-east Asia, running from the Yunnan province capital of Kunming to the finance and logistics hub of Singapore.