Fancy a roadtrip? Plan unveiled to connect US and Russia by road
Imagine being able to drive from London to New York, via Russia. While such a trip would take a while and give you a carbon footprint the size of Bigfoot, The Siberian Times reports that it may soon be possible, thanks to the recently-unveiled Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, which would also include a high-speed rail route.
There are very little details available concerning the project at present, and thus we'd recommend treating the news with skepticism – it's by no means the first time such a plan has been in the works, after all. That said, according to The Siberian Times, political heavyweight and head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin unveiled the scheme to a meeting of the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow, so it at least appears to have some semblance of plausibility.
The Trans-Eurasian Belt Development would link Russia with Alaska by road and rail via the Bering Strait, which at its narrowest point measures 82 km (51 m). How exactly this would happen hasn't been explained, though perhaps a very large bridge or a tunnel similar to the Channel Tunnel that connects the UK and France could be constructed. The project would also include pipelines for oil, gas, electricity, and water, according to the report.
"This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project," Yakunin is quoted to have said. "It should be an alternative to the current (neo-liberal) model, which has caused a systemic crisis. The project should be turned into a world 'future zone', and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies."
As clear as mud, then, hence our skepticism. The Siberian Times further reports that Mr Yakunin guesstimates the project's cost at "trillions" of dollars, but that he reckons the economic return would be worth the investment. However, in addition to technical hurdles and cost, linking the US and Russia may well prove a very tough sell politically, too.
Source: The Siberian Times