Beijing ( AsiaNews) - From Washington to Beijing, across the Siberian steppes, the Pacific Ocean , Alaska and Canada: this is the project of a high-speed rail line that China "is considering". The project was disclosed by the government Beijing Times newspaper, citing statements by Wang Mengshu, an expert from the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
The high-speed line would be financed by Beijing and would start from Northeast China then cross Siberia. From there the train would pass under the Pacific Ocean with an underwater tunnel similar to the Channel Tunnel that links Britain and France. Finally, it would resurface in Alaska and Canada, to conclude its run in Washington (see photo) .
Nicknamed the "China-Russia-Canada-America line" it would run 13 thousand kilometers long, about 3 thousand more kilometers than the Trans-Siberian railway. To cross the Bering Strait, which separates Russia from Alaska, it would need an underwater tunnel about 200 kilometers long. Overall, the journey would take two days, with a traveling speed of 350 kilometers per hour.
However, no other experts - with the exception of Wang Mengshu - confirm the project. Neither is it clear if Beijing has already consulted Russia, the United States or Canada. Just the idea of building a tunnel under the Bering Strait is an ambitious plan, given the fact it would be the longest underwater tunnel in the world, four times that of the English Channel Tunnel.
According to the Beijing Times, the China - United States line is only one of the four major international high speed projects in the pipeline. The first is a London- Beijing line via Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev and Moscow. From this point it would follow two routes to get to China: Kazakhstan or eastern Siberia. The second is the Urumqi (Chinese town in the far west ) - Berlin line, via Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey. The third is a high speed rail line connecting Kunming and Singapore.