The Chinese government have announced plans to build a rail line from their mainland to the Continental United States.
Dubbed the “China-Russia-Canada-America” line, the project would run 8,000 miles from northeast China through Siberia, under the Bering Strait, through Alaska and Canada and into the Lower 48 states.
Russia – and some in the United States – have discussed the possibility of tunneling under the 215-mile Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia for decades. (I lived in Anchorage in the 1980s and remember discussion of the project, even in the heat of the Cold War.) There’s even a U.S. website that discusses the possibility.
The state-run website Chinese Daily said the technology is already in place to build the line – which would be the most ambitious, and expensive, rail project in history. Cost estimates are in the many hundreds of billions of dollars. Experts say the rail could run at 200-miles-per-hour, meaning a trip from China to the United States could take less than two days.
Proponents of the project – many of which see high-speed rail spanning the two hemispheres as a real possibility – claim the economic benefits of such a rail are massive, including economic development in Siberia and interior Alaska, which offer vast natural resources.
China is actively pursuing four high-speed rail lines, connecting the communist state to Europe and the rest of Asia.