Those keen to cast off the shackles of air travel will one day be able to drive all the way from London to New York; if Russian Railways has its way.
Russia is reportedly planning to make the seemingly far-fetched dream a reality, making the almost 21,000km journey possible by road.
This isn’t an April Fools prank as far as we can see, as The Siberian Times reported the announcement a few days back following a meeting at the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow.
The road - dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development - would complement the existing Trans-Siberian railway line while adding new oil and gas pipelines.
A narrow section of sea between Russian and Alaska has been identified as a potential crossing for the project’s most important link - a connection between Asia and North America.
Whether this link would be a pair of bridges, a tunnel, a ferry or otherwise is unclear, but the minimum distance would be nearly 90km.
"This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project," Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said.
"The project should be turned into a world 'future zone,' and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies."
Besides the intercontinental link, another hurdle would be Alaska itself, with many residents preferring light planes to get around over long-haul road distances (much like Australia).
Parts of the state lack the necessary road infrastructure to complete a London to New York roadway, and around 840km of additional black top would be required to link the ocean crossing to Fairbanks, Alaska.
From Fairbanks, existing road infrastructure is in place to reach Canada and the USA.
The Russian crossing alone would be around 10,000km, and the entire project has been vaguely estimated at “trillions of dollars”.
It’s a cost, however, that Russian Railways believes will be more than recovered through economic benefits.
Header image by Howard Russell
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