Thought some might find this proposal interesting. Russia wants to drop $12bn into building an underground tunnel across the Bering Strait.
Anything to keep the US awash in oil.
Three words I haven't seen mentioned in any of the articles about the various tunnel and bridge proposals through the years.
North America's railroads are entirely standard gauge: 1435 mm. Russia is 1520 mm.
Gauge-change is not as big of a deal as one would think. 'Run through' convertable equipment exists and is used on a daily basis (ie, between Spain and France). OTOH, braking and coupling systems are also incompatible between Russia and North America. Interestingly, the exact same incompatibility exists betwwen Russian and Chinese railroads, the latter of which are fully compatible with those of North America. Also, IIRC, work is under way on a standard gauge (1435 mm) trans-Asia railway running south of Russia to allow Chinese equipment to run through directly to Europe, eliminating the need for the 'ship-rail-ship' transloading routing via North America for China-Europe trade (a lot of those containers that one sees on the USA's transcontinental railroads are in fact traveling between China and Europe).
I would almost expect that should such a Russia-North America link be built that Russia would build most of the trackage on its end to be 1435 mm 'standard' gauge, better facilitating direct trade.
As for 'is this shorter/faster than the current ships?', the Bering Strait tunnel would be the most direct 'great circle' routing.
Of course, other issues would have to be addressed, too, many of them political in North America, not the least of which would be the need to use a ROW that passes through Federally designated 'Wilderness' lands in the USA (although I'd think that many Alaskans would not really have a problem with that).
As I say on such things "We shall see".
With a ferry between Colombia and Panama you could drive to any country on any major landmass in the world except Australia.
Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.
Interesting idea on several levels. US and Canadian west cost ports are often strained beyond their capacity, and are the greatest bottleneck on transcontinental shipping. A rail link might be an attrctive alternative, especially from the industrial cities of the Midwest and Northeast, for those companies already shipping by rail. There would be no down time during loading/unloading, or with ships waiting to enter ports.
It is also interesting to hear the potential for electrical generation from tides being used to power trains through the tunnel (no exhaust fumes to deal with) and potentially as an export to US and Canadian markets. Very green.
Anyone want to adopt a dog?
12 billion dollars sounds absurdly low. Even after the standard 100% overrun for something like this, that's still a paltry 24 billion dollars.
I'd wager 40 billion dollars as a reasonable lower bound.
Seems to me like Russia is hoping to get US money to fund one of their make-work programs.
I can't even begin to imagine what the EIS for that project would look like...
I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"
If Alaska's congressional delegation were to get its way, it'd probably be a blank sheet of paper.
What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.
WOW! But I have to wonder at 10-15 years to complete and $10B -$12B in cost how is it cost effective at all?
I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?
Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.
Six seasons and a movie!
Is this what you Americans call a White Elephant my comrade?
As ambitious as this project sounds, I don't really ever see it coming to fruition. However, if it did, apparently we'll be able to take a highway all the way to Africa
Well, i'd support it. IMO, trade with Russia is one of the major reasons Alaska has put so much development into the airport. If Russia would prefer to do it's trading by rail, a tunnel to the US would be a decent way to go. And if they started actively trading through it, it wouldn't remain "nowhere". A railway would give them access to the US markets, which would help the economy there and in Alaska. And as far as break in gauge, they could also solve it in the short term by simply moving the loads to different trains, i'm sure.
If they're thinking of doing this, we might as well get France involved and buy a 350mph TGV train to run through it. I'd buy that ticket.
Would the Russian Tunnel, or "Runnel", harm the migratory habits of the Alaskan king crabs, the opilio crabs or the (recently off of the federal protected list) baridi crabs?
Been watching too much "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel...
so the heck with global warming and environmental justice and natural resource preservation and CRAP like that, huh?!?!?!? WOW...
it amazes me that IDEAS like these are even considered! i hope we have something left so the next generations wont repeat history.
And now im done!
Last edited by dominimami305; 12 Jun 2007 at 2:47 PM. Reason: more ranting..lol