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JAD_333
09 May 14,, 16:37
Talk About Ambitious.



Chinese experts 'in discussions' over building high-speed Beijing-US railway
'China-Russia-Canada-America line' would run for 13,000km across Siberia and pass under Bering Strait through 200km tunnel


Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing
The Guardian, Thursday 8 May 2014 15.00 EDT


China is considering plans to build a high-speed railway line to the US, the country's official media reported on Thursday.

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 state-run Beijing Times newspaper.

Crossing the Bering Strait in between Russia and Alaska would require about 200km (125 miles) of undersea tunnel, the paper said, citing Wang Mengshu, a railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"Right now we're already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years," Wang said.

The project nicknamed the "China-Russia-Canada-America" line would run for 13,000km, about 3,000km further than the Trans-Siberian Railway. The entire trip would take two days, with the train travelling at an average of 350km/h (220mph).

The reported plans leave ample room for skepticism. No other Chinese railway experts have come out in support of the proposed project. Whether the government has consulted Russia, the US or Canada is also unclear. The Bering Strait tunnel alone would require an unprecedented feat of engineering it would be the world's longest undersea tunnel four times the length of the Channel Tunnel.

According to the state-run China Daily, the tunnel technology is "already in place" and will be used to build a high-speed railway between the south-east province of Fujian and Taiwan. "The project will be funded and constructed by China," it said. "The details of this project are yet to be finalised."

The Beijing Times listed the China-US line as one of four international high-speed rail 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. The routes are under various stages of planning and development, the paper said.

Wang was not immediately available for comment. A man who picked up the phone at his office said he was traveling and would not respond to interview requests."

This article was amended on Friday 9 May 2014. The project is nicknamed the "China-Russia-Canada-America" line, not the "China-Russia plus America line" as we said first. This has been corrected.


Chinese experts 'in discussions' over building high-speed Beijing-US railway | World news | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/08/chinese-experts-discussions-high-speed-beijing-american-railway)

Doktor
09 May 14,, 18:06
Heard this on the radio today nd first thing on my mind was... who's gonna travel 200km under the ocean or 13k total?

But then I had a relief moment... Greens wont let this happen in our lifetimes.

Pedicabby
09 May 14,, 18:11
Heard this on the radio today nd first thing on my mind was... who's gonna travel 200km under the ocean or 13k total?



I would. Train travel rocks IMHO and if this was a passenger route with hop on hop off rail passes like Euroraill were available it would be a way cool travel option.

Doktor
09 May 14,, 18:24
I would. Train travel rocks IMHO and if this was a passenger route with hop on hop off rail passes like Euroraill were available it would be a way cool travel option.

I would, too. Once. But it needs to be something on a regular basis. My guess is this is for shipment of goods. Wonder if it would be cheaper, faster, safer then with ships.

SteveDaPirate
09 May 14,, 18:44
36617
I would, too. Once. But it needs to be something on a regular basis. My guess is this is for shipment of goods. Wonder if it would be cheaper, faster, safer then with ships.

It might be faster, but I don't see any way that it would be cheaper. Large container ships can carry 15,000 TEUs which would be roughly equivalent to a train 50 miles long. When it comes to moving massive amounts of stuff, ships can't be beat by anything on land (with the exception of bulk pipeline transport).

As far speed is concerned, a passenger train might be flying along at 220 mph, but I would be pretty surprised to see a heavy cargo train pulling that kind of speed. Safety is probably a toss up as both ships and trains are very safe when operated reasonably.

JAD_333
10 May 14,, 02:48
Tend to agree with Steve...not for bulk freight...but on the other hand new rail lines open up remote areas to settlement and commerce. Not all the trains using the line would have to be high-speed passenger trains. There could be shorter haul freight trains in between heading to ports or nearby cities; these can be shunted aside when a high-speed passenger train comes along.

Officer of Engineers
10 May 14,, 03:07
Not going to happen. There's nothing Canada wants from China to justify the expense.

Stitch
10 May 14,, 04:07
Not going to happen. There's nothing Canada wants from China to justify the expense.

Maybe they could run it through the Aleutians, then west of the Canadian coast?

Officer of Engineers
10 May 14,, 04:08
An airport is cheaper and faster.

S2
11 May 14,, 15:54
Fascinating engineering concept. Shipments of my company's product (fishing rods and blanks) are a real difficulty for us right now. Air freight is our only option and the only price relief we see is via some space-available programs. Otherwise I'm looking at a box containing 1-25 rods max for $200 shipping costs (rough average). Bulk freight is a non-starter. We don't have that volume yet possess a global presence into some of the most remote places on the planet. Southern Chile, central Russia, central Africa. Our global distribution is in its infancy and is complicated by the difficulty of serving warranty obligations.

Still, this is likely no answer. How many lines? One each way? Only one for both directions? If so, this becomes a massive undertaking of considerable risk for absolutely minimal upside absent the novelty factor. Even there, this is no "giant leap" for mankind.

Doktor
11 May 14,, 17:55
One box by rail?

I must have missed something.

Warranty issues can be solved by sending n rods extra for free. I know some big tv producers solve the issue this way.

DOR
12 May 14,, 04:35
This is truly worthy of The Onion.

gunnut
12 May 14,, 20:44
I feel like I've seen this before... Give me a minute...I'm about to achieve Total Recall...

tuna
13 May 14,, 18:35
I don't know. I love traveling by train, but I cringe when I see plans for tunnels now. After looking at the construction problems, delays and cost overruns of the Ted Kennedy Tunnel in Boston - I always get a mental picture of the Three Stooges and their plumbing company.

DOR
14 May 14,, 01:42
CNN ran the story this morning, attributing it to an engineer.
The reporter seemed to have a hard time keeping a straight face.

JAD_333
14 May 14,, 07:49
Dor:

We've all had a hard time keeping a straight face. But never say never. The first trans-Atlantic cable defied belief at first, and flying machines...

Skywatcher
14 May 14,, 14:06
I suppose that building a railway with a gap at the Bering Straits (to be filled in by a bunch of freighters) still won't be able to compete with most maritime freighters?

DOR
15 May 14,, 02:16
Dor:

We've all had a hard time keeping a straight face. But never say never. The first trans-Atlantic cable defied belief at first, and flying machines...

Fair enough. I wrote a piece some years back on breakthroughs in transport and communications having a decisive effect on global development. After setting the scene so everyone "knew" I was talking about 747s and the Internet, I explained that it was really based on steamships and the telegraph.

But, the economics of transporting things, let alone people, that distance by rail have yet to be proven. High-speed rail works pretty well in a specific distance, where the extra time taken to get to (and from) an airport is off-set by the slower train speed. I think the optimal distance was something like 500 miles.

JAD_333
15 May 14,, 05:02
Fair enough. I wrote a piece some years back on breakthroughs in transport and communications having a decisive effect on global development. After setting the scene so everyone "knew" I was talking about 747s and the Internet, I explained that it was really based on steamships and the telegraph.

But, the economics of transporting things, let alone people, that distance by rail have yet to be proven. High-speed rail works pretty well in a specific distance, where the extra time taken to get to (and from) an airport is off-set by the slower train speed. I think the optimal distance was something like 500 miles.

I agree. For now the whole idea seems more like "because we can" as opposed to "because it's economical".

The only avenue to explore at this point would be the prospect of opening up new areas for development, much as the US transcontinental railroad did in the late 1800s. I don't know if the geography of the route lends itself to that kind of development. The US was already experiencing a westward expansion.