Feeds

China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

There's thinking big, and then there's thinking bat-shite crazy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Chinese officials have outlined a massive – no, that's an understatement; make that mind-bogglingly Brobdingnagian – vision of a globe-girdling high-speed rail network that would have as one of its legs a line that would run from northern China up through Russia, under the North Pacific, through Alaska, then Canada, and finally into the contiguous United States.

"Right now we're already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years," said railway expert Wang Mengshu, The Guardian reported on Thursday based on an article by Beijing Times reporter Han Xu.

The China-to-US link alone would entail laying about 13,000km (8,079mi) of track, with 200km (124mi) running through an underwater tunnel beneath the Bering Strait – that's a hair under four times the length of the Channel Tunnel. If the train could manage to average 350km (220mph) per hour, the trip would take less than two days.

The China Daily reports that the technology for the tunnel has been developed, and will be used to build a high-speed rail tunnel between the province of Fujian, on China's southeast coast, to Taiwan.

While the China-to-US line is ambitious indeed, it's only part of China's high-speed musings. Also under discussion or planning is a line that reaches from London to China via Paris, Warsaw, Kiev, and Moscow, at which point it would split into two lines, one running through Kazakhstan and the second through eastern Siberia.

Then there's the line that would reach to Germany, beginning in the western-China city of Urumqi and running through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Turkey. The final line seems quite modest by comparison, beginning in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming and ending up in Singapore.

No mention was made of the freight-carrying capacity of the high-speed system, just a glowing description of passengers enjoying "multi-country scenery" (多国风光), but we would not at all be surprised if the four-line system were also used to rapidly shoot Chinese manufactured goods to the four corners of the earth.

One problem remains, however. As Wang explains, "It is difficult to raise huge amounts of money."

We at Vulture Annex are not holding our breaths – or, for that matter, saving our pennies for a ticket on The 21st Century Orient Express. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.