Drive from Europe to the U.S.? Russia proposes world's greatest superhighway

BLACKEAGLE

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By Chuck Thompson, CNN

Updated 0623 GMT (1423 HKT) March 25, 2015


Route as roughly interpreted by CNN. The proposed plan for a massive trans-Siberian highway would link Russia's eastern border with the U.S. state of Alaska.

(CNN)London to New York City by car?

It could happen if the head of Russian Railways has his way.

According to a March 23 report in The Siberian Times, Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin has proposed a plan for a massive trans-Siberian highway that would link his country's eastern border with the U.S. state of Alaska, crossing a narrow stretch of the Bering Sea that separates Asia and North America.

The scheme was unveiled at a meeting of the Moscow-based Russian Academy of Science.

Dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development (TEPR), the project calls for a major roadway to be constructed alongside the existing Trans-Siberian Railway, along with a new train network and oil and gas pipelines.

"This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project," the Siberian Times quoted Yakunin. "The project should be turned into a world 'future zone,' and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies."

"Are we there yet?"

The road would run across the entirety of Russia, linking with existing road systems in Western Europe and Asia.

The distance between Russia's western and eastern borders is roughly 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles).

Yakunin said the road would connect Russia with North America via Russia's far eastern Chukotka region, across the Bering Strait and into Alaska's Seward Peninsula.

The road would likely enter Alaska some distance north of the town of Nome, where the famed Iditarod sled dog race ends.

How would drivers span the ocean gap between Siberia and Alaska? Ferry? Tunnel? Bridges?

The report didn't offer specifics on the route across the sea.

The shortest distance between mainland Russia and mainland Alaska is approximately 88 kilometers (55 miles), according to the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers.



The main route of the Trans-Siberian railway runs from Moscow to Vladivostok and covers 9,258 kilometers.

A theoretical drive (as fancifully calculated by CNN) from London to Alaska via Moscow might cover about 12,978 kilometers (8,064 miles).

Relatively isolated even by Alaska standards, no road connects Nome with the rest of the state's road system.

About 836 road-less kilometers (520 miles) across desolate terrain separates Nome from the closest major city and road network in Fairbanks, the unofficial northern terminus of the Alaska Highway.

From Fairbanks, Canada and the 48 contiguous U.S. states can be reached by road.

Assuming a road to Nome were ever built (the idea has been studied by the state of Alaska), a fantasy road trip from London to New York might cover a grueling but presumably photo-op-laden 20,777 kilometers (12,910 miles).

Facebook posts from forlorn Siberian rest stops might alone make the trip worthwhile, though the journey would also easily establish irritating new records for "Are we there yet?" gripes from the kids.

Who's gonna pay for this thing?

Yakunin has been described as a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Some sources have speculated that he could be Putin's likely successor as president.

TEPR would reportedly cost "trillions of dollars."

According to Yakunin, however, massive economic returns would more than make up for the massive cash outlay -- about which the report also included no details.
Road from Europe to U.S.? Russia proposes superhighway - CNN.com
 

kana_marie

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I think it's a really good idea. If people are going to travel then they should have an option other than flying or boats. If time and money weren't an issue I would drive to London. Sitting on a plane and trusting it to not crash for 15 ( or however many) hours is not worth it.
 

missbishi

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That's really quite something and I'd love to see it become reality. It wouldn't be of much use to me personally, it seems as though it's going the long way around but I imagine would be a real boost to trade around the world.
 

Redheart

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Does Russia want to trade more the U.S and the rest of N. America? Maybe the Russians aren't so interested in war after all. They want peace, want to trade with others and improve the living conditions of their people? It'll be interesting to see how all this pans out.
 
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The main question I have is "How would plate tectonics affect the concept?" Any connection that crosses the Bering strait would have to deal with the question. I can see the benefit of having such a roadway, but ferry service for this portion may be the only viable option.
 

orangesunset

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China and Russia are funding transcontinental railways together. In this case China will foot the bill. They can then dump Chinese products into American markets a lot quicker and then on haul natural resources back. China and Russia have already made a transcontinental railway that can ship products by rail from China to Germany at twice the speed of a ship at the same price. This is an extension of this.
 
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Makes no sense. Who on earth would be using this road? Cheaper to move cargo by rail or ships, rail also being faster. Would take a couple of weeks to drive the distance alone, making it silly for regular tourists.
 

pwarbi

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While I can see the sense behind it, just, I very much doubt that this will ever be built. What is the main reason? They said trade? Isn't it more viable to save the trillion dollars, and maybe spend that money on aircraft, trains and ships if they want to increase trade to other regions?
 

vegito12

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I wander if this taxpayer money, as the people who pay tax should know and have a right as well to know where the money is going and should have a vote and see who wants it and who does not want this to happen. I wander what the petrol costs will be for travelling and hope, it is cheaper to travel as if it is too high than people will only travel to Russia when they can afford it and also will be interesting to see this happen and hope the highway does occur in the future. People who live near the higway or a hour away would benefit as they can travel for business or for trips which are for family or friends ones and should work out if it is built.
 
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