How a New Superhighway Could Link London and New York
If you thought a cross-country drive required lots of planning and patience, how about a 12,400-mile road trip across continents?
Thanks to a recent proposal, there's hope for any land-based nomad who's ever dreamed of trekking from New York to London.
According to the Siberian Times, Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin has unveiled plans for an extensive high-speed rail network and superhighway that would connect Europe and Asia with North America by way of Alaska.
Known as the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development (TEPR), the project would include a new train network alongside the existing Trans-Siberian Railway as well as the construction of major roads, oil and gas pipelines and electricity and water supply facilities.
"This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project. It should be an alternative to the current (neo-liberal) model, which has caused a systemic crisis," said Yakunin. "The project should be turned into a world 'future zone', and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies."
If Yakunin gets his wish, perhaps one day ambitious travelers could take a car or train halfway around the world from the East Coast of the U.S. to Western Europe, or vice versa.
While Europe and Asia are connected by land, the mega roadway would have to cross a portion of the Bering Sea in order to connect Russia and the U.S. The roadway would also have to connect Nome, Alaska with Fairbanks, Alaska, which would then allow drivers to access the mainland U.S. via Canada.
It's undoubtedly a bold proposal, but experts see a plethora of potential gains.
Vladimir Fortov, the Head of the Russian Academy of Science, described the project as "very ambitious and expensive," but also said "it will solve many problems in the development of the vast region," pointing out that "it is connected with social programs, and new fields, new energy resources, and so on."
"The idea is that basing on the new technology of high-speed rail transport we can build a new railway near the Trans-Siberian Railway with the opportunity to go to Chukotka and Bering Strait and then to the American continent," added Fortov.
It remains to be seen whether Yakunin's proposal will translate to reality, but the possibility that it could is exciting nonetheless.
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