Underwater Railway

Underwater Railway

13 May, 2014
Will it work?
China unveils plans for a 13,000km underground railway to the US
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News alert: China’s official press has revealed plans to build a high-speed underwater railway line... to America - a 13,000km railway under the sea  to transport passengers and goods across the globe in a mere two days, without ever coming near an airport.
 
As implausible as it may sound, Russia is already onboard to support the project, which aspires to connect China, Russia, Canada, and the U.S. with an undersea tunnel spanning the Bering Strait into Alaska. The tunnel would measure almost double the length of the world’s current largest underwater tunnel – something that has many engineers questioning the probability of the project's success.
 
But if the tunnel does get the green light, there are huge factors (other than the considerable feat of engineering it) to be considered. Perhaps most importantly, a thorough Environmental Impact Assessment would need to take place. Under whose ‘territory’ does the middle of the deepest depths of the Pacific Ocean fall? And how much will our oceans suffer as a result? Will fish migration be affected? And where will the disposal sites be located?
 
On the upside, the savings in carbon dioxide emissions as a result of travellers opting for rail travel over flying could be astounding – and there is also word of the network providing a key link to developing a robust renewable energy transmission corridor, to feed wind and tidal power across vast distances.
 
If and when this project does kick off, let's just hope the environmental impact is considered as carefully as the potential benefits of the railway are.

By: Lauren Cameron
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