China Considering High Speed Rail Project—to the United States

Reports from Beijing are that Chinese officials are considering a high speed rail project that would connect China to North America. The project sounds like science fiction—but the question remains whether China would or could pull off the project.
May 11, 2014, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"China is considering building a high-speed railway across the Siberia and Bering Strait to Alaska, across Canada to the US," according to an article in China Daily. The consideration were made public in a Beijing Times article citing Wang Mengshu, a railway expert and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"The proposed journey will start from China's northeast region, cross Siberia to Bering Strait, and run across the Pacific Ocean by undersea tunnel to reach Alaska, from Alaska to Canada, then on to its final destination, the US. To cross Bering Strait will require approximately 200km undersea tunnel, the technology, which is already in place will also be used on Fujian to Taiwan high-speed railway tunnel."

Lily Kuo provides some additional analysis of the news, including a cost comparison that estimates the cost of such a route to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 billion—if it were to become a reality. Kuo's take: "China may be one of the best examples of countries that love mega-infrastructure projects, but even this may be too much."

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Published on Thursday, May 8, 2014 in China Daily
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