Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Siberia/Alaska railway tunnel

The Russians announce a plan to build $65 million (to start) railway tunnel to connect the bleakest, least inhabited part of Siberia with the bleakest, least inhabited part of the United States.

Makes perfect commercial sense to me.


Ironmistress said...

It actually makes sense, considering that it will save several weeks of time on shipping. If you draw a grand circle over the Strait of Bering, you will note the point.

Russia basically runs on railways. They have very few port facilities on their Pacific coasts, and even of those, most are military. The Russians' interest is to move as much of the maritime cargo to railways as possible.

Neil A Russell said...

Just wait until the enviros start screaming about the disruption of crab migration from their breeding grounds, that should hold the project up until the money and interest runs out.

Oh, the Russians are doing it? No problem then, carry on

Bryan said...

This idea has been bandied about forever. I'm not sure it will ever get off the ground but I've always had a soft spot for huge, impractical engineering projects. I'm big on damming up the straits of Gibraltar, too.

Ironmistress said...

Neil and Bryan, the point is that Russians are doing it. It does not make sense for US, but it makes perfect sense for Russia.

Not that Russians weren't into megalomaniac mammoth projects, but that the tunnel will shorten the route for cargo from Russia and China to US and Canada for several weeks. Freight trains really do not care of the climate or habitation of the area they go through.

David said...

Ironmistress: True, but if the Americans don't see any value in it, then this goes nowhere.