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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.