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Design

Would You Take An Underwater Bullet Train To China?

It's a very real proposal to use a deep-sea train to cross the Bering Strait. But if China builds it, will we ride it?
14 May 2014, 4:50pm

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In what sounds more like the plot of an Archer episode than a plausible, record-shattering feat of trans-national engineering, the Beijing Times announced details last Thursday on a major infrastructural proposal that would link Russia, Canada, and the United States to China via an 8,000 mile high-speed railway... that's underwater. Traveling at an estimated 217mph, the trip would take approximately two days to get from Beijing to Alaska.

According to the Washington Post, "Chinese officials are considering a route that would start in the country's northeast, thread through eastern Siberia and cross the Bering Strait via a 125-mile long underwater tunnel into Alaska. [...] The proposed 'China-Russia-Canada-America' line would be some 8,000 miles long, 1,800 miles longer than the Trans-Siberian railroad. The tunnel that the Chinese would help bore beneath the icy seas would be four times the length of what traverses the English Channel."

From elevators to space, to hydrogen-fueled airships, the future of transportation is rife with as much ingenuity as improbability, but given China's recent railway boom, few ideas are as feasible. According to state engineer Wang Mengshu, "Right now we're already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years."

One feature we're hoping for? Glass ceilings for sub-marine whale watching.

Could a border-crossing bullet train provide the transit revolution of the future? Would a wholly uncharted new trade route reinvigorate the global market? And, most importantly, would you ride it? We want to know! Post your questions, comments, and concerns in the comments below.

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