China plans bullet train to America
Beijing, May 10, 2014
China plans to build an ambitious 13,000 km rail line to operate bullet trains to America through Russia passing through a tunnel underneath the Pacific Ocean to reach the continental US via Alaska and Canada.
The proposed line beginning from China's north east could go through Russia's eastern Siberia, the Bering Strait, Alaska, Canada and then reach the contiguous US, Wang Mengshu, a tunnel and railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the Chinese official media.
Once the line is put to use, bullet trains can run at 350km per hour, enabling passengers to travel from northeastern China to the US in less than two days, he said, adding that Russia, which is heavily dependent on rail transport like China, is also progressively advocating the idea.
Crossing the Bering Strait in between Russia and Alaska would require about 200km of undersea tunnel, the Beijing Times newspaper reported, citing Wang.
"Right now we are already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years," Wang said.
The project - nicknamed the 'China-Russia plus 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 speed of 350kmh.
Meanwhile, the official said the construction of ambitious Trans-Asian Railway Network connecting China with Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore is set to commence next month.
The plan will begin with the construction of a 30-km-long tunnel, stated to be the longest in Asia connecting China with Myanmar.
The National Development and Reform Commission approved the project, and engineers and worker representatives have come up with techniques to overcome geological complexities that could pose challenges, Wang said.
China has already built a rail network up to Xigaze close to Arunachal Pradesh border.
It has completed 11,028km of high-speed train network and another 12,000km tracks under construction.
Chinese officials in 2010 spoke of China's wish to build a high speed train network connecting India and Pakistan.
"Another important project, the Nujiang River Rail Bridge, will also be launched soon," Wang added, noting that both the bridge and the tunnel are elements of the Dali-Ruili Railway, which will extend up to 330km to link China with its neighbour Myanmar.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is currently touring Africa, has offered to construct a host of high-speed railway.-Reuters