The Transcontinental Railway aka ICL-World Link (Intercontinental link) is a planned 6,000-kilometer link between Siberia and Alaska providing oil, natural gas, electricity, and railroad passengers to the United States from Russia, which should be ready by 2030.
With the Eurostar, this means you could go straight from New York to London, Or with the European rail network one could get to Madrid, Lisbon, Milan, Lyon.. With this system, one day you’ll be able to go from New York to New York! I look forward to seeing a bunch of New Yorkers in New York.
Joking apart, is this connection even possible?
According to a Voice of America article, the Russian government plans to create a “super agency” to develop the Far East, with Vladimir Putin vowing “to spend $17 billion a year for new and improved railroads.Personally, I would love to take a nice long vacation and ride from Paris to New York.
$110 billion is a lot of money obviously, but if you split it three ways (Russia, US, Canada) and charge tolls for freight from Europe, I’m sure it would be a better way to spend our money than buying F-35s and weapons. It could also be four ways though: the EU could pay as well. So should China, they’ve got a leg in there.
We’re assuming here that these rails would be more efficient and useful than moving cargo over the ocean, which has traditionally been incredibly inexpensive relative to over-land routes. Some say it definitely isn’t.
Let’s keep dreaming anyhow. To reconnect Asia and North America — after a 15,000-year separation — engineers would dig two 103-kilometer long tunnels, each about twice as long as the rail tunnels opened under the English Channel in 1999.
About 3,000 miles of track need to be laid on the North American side.
The bridge over the Bering Strait has already been designed. If you haven’t watched the Extreme Engineering episode it’s worth the time.
What people seem to neglect though, if the infrastructure is built we could not only transport goods but also electricity via HVDC and oil and gas through pipelines making the project more feasible by increasing redundancy in the mentioned markets and facilitating even more trade.
Obviously flying is faster for people who need to get from one place to another. But, if you have to ship large stuff, trains could be cheaper than a boat. Actually, I know almost nothing about shipping large quantities of things or large items.
Not to mention it would just be an enjoyable train ride. These days people travel the Orient Express, not because they need to get from Paris to Istanbul or vice versa, but for the experience. And travelling across the vast tracts of the US, Canada, Russia and Eastern Europe to end up in Turkey would certainly be some experience.
I was interested to see why El Paso makes a major connection and not the 30 or so American cities larger than El Paso. Did some other research and it turns out that El Paso is a huge international trade hub – something like $100 billion/year. If some deal like this were to happen it’d make a lot of sense to have a link to Mexico’s booming export economy.
If you’re wondering where the line going South into China ends up, the Trans-Siberian ends in Beijing, but it’s easy to get a train south to e.g. Guangzhou, and from there a train to Hanoi, but I think HCMC is about as far south as you can get. There’s no trains in either Laos or Cambodia, so you couldn’t connect to Thailand. Sigh.
According to this other site this connection should all be done by the 2040’s. This article talks all about future bridges and tunnels. By the way, the site is a whole timeline of relevant future events. Pretty interesting and credible, you might want to give it a look.
Have in mind we are only talking about passenger trains links here. The Yiwu – Madrid Railway line is the longest cargo goods railway line in the world, at 8,111 miles (13,052km). It connects the Spanish capital to France, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan all the way to Yiwu, a trading centre 300 km south of Shanghai. Talked about as the “New Silk Road”
Talking about this whole connecting the world via rail can’t be cut off without mentioning speed. So here’s a video of one of the world’s fastest trains – MAGLEV “capable” of 3,500 km/h. Yes, 3,500 hm/h (2174mi/h). Plus, It’s the not too distant future, which amazes me deeply. A train that will probably be running like the fastest modern jet of our times. I find it amazing.
This technologic revolution we are being witness of is incredible.
If we but ask our grandparents if they remember, they’d probably say that when the first locomotive started running at 15 k.p.m. powered by steam, people were immensely impressed by the enormous and “dangerous” high speed this invention could develop and keep up hours at a time. It never got tired even! Then cars were invented that managed to run even faster, and people were shocked!
Well, the difference between a powerful futuristic mind and one that thinks things are impossible demonstrates the great gap between the handful of geniuses and the masses of ignorant individuals, of which the latter group tries to rule the world. Fortunately, this majority usually fails, and brains like Einstein’s prevail making progress possible.
We youngsters will probably personally bear witness to these high-tech inventions, because the trains will start running at those incredible speeds in no time at all.
Engineers are only experimenting now, but before long they will announce the first record-breaking mag-train running at 1000 k.p.h. It will take some time, though, before they have finished preparing the specially elevated rails where the train will run on. They could never keep it on ground level. That would be too dangerous for both friends and foes.