The Chinese government has looked at plans that would construct an underground high-speed rail from the mainland, underground through Siberia, into Alaska, and possibly even to the U.S. West Coast. That’s according to the Chinese news outlet Sina.
It may sound farfetched. But a pan-Asia railway built and funded by China is set to begin construction this summer. And they are negotiating a project that would connect China all the way to Germany. That route would start in Urumqi, and traverse Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, and other countries, before culminating in Germany. Domestic construction of that line is already being built.
The China to America rail would be the most expensive and technically difficult project, apart from the political hurdles. Conservative estimates have placed the project at $200 billion.
But, in current times, when nations like the U.S. are proposing and spending trillions on infrastructure and pandemic relief, the amount doesn’t sound so daunting.
The Chinese have dubbed the pan-American rail idea the “China-Russia-
Canada-America” line. It would run 8,000 miles if fully constructed as envisioned. A more abbreviated version might go from China, through Russia, and into Alaska.
SINA reported some interesting details on China’s far-flung aspirations to bind the rest of the world in a global rail transportation network:
“The three transnational high-speed railways are all under preparation. As the construction of transnational high-speed railways involves many countries, it also involves the problems of capital construction and operation after completion by countries along the route. In this regard, Wang Mengshu revealed that the construction of these transnational high-speed rails has a principle: China will contribute funds, technology, and equipment for the construction, and after completion, countries that pass through will also participate in the operation…
In this process, China will negotiate with relevant countries to replace local resources with the construction of high-speed railways, such as oil and gas resources in Central Asia and Europe, and potassium mines in Myanmar, thereby establishing a long-term cooperation mechanism to protect my country’s resources.”