Chinese engineers have outlined an ambitious plan to build a high-speed railway line stretching from China to the USA.
Beijing is currently “in discussions” over the link proposed by the Chinese Academy of Engineering, which would start from the north-east region and cross into Siberia, state-run newspaper Beijing Times reported.
It would then pass into the Bering Strait, cross the Pacific Ocean through an undersea tunnel to reach Alaska, then head into Canada before reaching its final destination in the US.
Overall the ‘China-Russia-Canada-America’ rail line would stretch 13,000km. With the train travelling at an average of 350km/h the journey would take two days, engineers said – shorter than some train journeys between China’s thriving east coast cities and the rural western provinces.
It is unclear whether the governments of Russia, the US and Canada have been consulted. An undersea tunnel stretching 200km between Russia and Alaska would be required, according to railway expert Wang Mengshu at the Academy.
“Right now, we’re already in discussions,” Wang said. “Russia has been thinking about this for many years.”
The technology to build the tunnel already exists due to China’s plans to build a high-speed rail link between the south-eastern province Fujian and Taiwan, China Daily said. “The project will be funded and constructed by China. The details of this project are yet to be finalised,” the report read
If successful, it would be the world’s longest undersea tunnel – four times the length of the Channel Tunnel that connects England and France.
Three more international high-speed railway links are in the pipeline according to Wang. The first ‘Eurasian’ project will link London to China through Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev and Moscow.
The second ‘Central Asia’ route will link Germany to Urumqi in north-west China via central Asia.
Construction on the domestic side is already under way on these two projects according to the Beijing Times, while negotiation was taking place on the sections outside China.
Work is due to start in June on a third route, the ‘Pan Asian’ line linking Kunming in south-west China to Singapore via Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.