The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 11:51cat

China-Russia-Canada-America High-Speed Rail Line

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The rail line would cover 13,000 km and take two days to complete the journey The rail line would cover 13,000 km and take two days to complete the journey CRH

Last week Professor Wang Mengshu from Beijing Jiaotang University’s tunnel and underground engineering research center revealed that China is considering building a high-speed train that would travel between China and the United States. The rail line is being referred to as the China-Russia-Canada-America line. The train, averaging 350 kilometers per hour throughout the 13,000 km trip, would arrive in the United States from Beijing in less than two days. While Professor Wang Mengshu, also an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, believes the technology exists to build the world’s largest underwater tunnel necessary to complete the line, many question whether the Chinese government supports the proposal or has the funds to complete the project.

Completing the China-Russia-Canada-America line would be an impressive engineering feat.  The line is 3,000 km longer than the Trans-Siberian Railway and the project would require around 200 km of underwater tunnel to cross the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska. The tunnel would be four times the length of the Channel Tunnel. According to Chinese Daily, the technology to build the tunnel already exists and will be used to construct a high-speed railway line between Southeast China and Taiwan.

The Beijing Times published three other international high-speed rail lines China is considering building alongside Professor Wang Menshu’s China-Russia-Canada-America proposal. One of the lines would originate in London and then travel through Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev, and Moscow and then split into two lines. One line would travel through Kazakhstan to China and the other would go through Siberia. Another proposal would have a line start in western China and end in Germany.  The final route would begin in the south-western city of Kunming and end in Singapore.

While Professor Wang does not have the best track record for being credible when talking about proposed projects, it would be interesting to watch the planning progress for the proposal. He mentions dealing with the hurdles of having multiple countries and jurisdictions involved would be one of the hardest parts of making the rail line a reality. The cost, estimated around $200 billion, would also be difficult to overcome. The rail line between Southeast China and Taiwan, which would include the world’s longest underwater tunnel, does not have formal government approval and other large infrastructure projects that do have political backing move very slowly. It will likely take a long time before the China-Russia-Canada-America line is ever completed.

Sources: WSJThe Guardian

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