In order for the economy to maintain the country’s internal resources, international trade efforts are always put on top. With big projects such as building a 13,000 km long train line connecting China and the US, humanity will witness a “silk railway” bringing unimaginable benefits. But apparently, things are not that simple…
In 2014, a series of major newspapers reported on the railway being built by China. If successful, this will be a great achievement connecting the friendship between the two powers, while boosting trade and tourism activities and improving a variety of environmental factors. However, many years later, the future of the project remains a mystery.
From China to America in two days
The 13,000 km long track will go from China to Russia, to Canada and then to the US terminus. When passing through the Bering Strait, the narrow water connecting the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, the ship will have to use an underwater track to complete the journey.
When asked, Chinese officials confirmed the feasibility of the project. According to China Daily, China already possesses enough resources and high technology to carry out the utopian route.
“Right now, we’re talking. Russia has also been considering this project for many years”, Wang Mengshu, a railway expert working at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told The Guardian.
Take a shortcut across the Bering Strait to North America, we will be able to travel across the continent in just 2 days.
Is the train line connecting China with the US eco-friendly?
Normally, trains on rails are still considered the most environmentally friendly public transport. Trains can hold up to tens of thousands of passengers and have significantly lower emissions than cars. It is estimated that ships emit 14g of CO2 when carrying a passenger 1 kilometer, with aircraft this figure reaches 285g.
High-speed rail lines, used to carry both people and goods, are efficient. A train powered by renewable energy will deliver even more efficiency.
But how feasible?
According to The South China Morning Post, the estimated cost is up to 200 billion USD. The large amount of money is one of the many reasons the project has been delayed until now. But considering the already impressive Chinese rail system, with a total length of up to 37,000 km, the ambitious project is still theoretically viable.
In addition, China has the fastest commercial maglev train system in the world. Connecting Shanghai Pudong Airport with the Shanghai metro system, the train line is powered by superconducting magnet technology to help Chinese people move quickly between the inner city and the suburbs.
From an environmental perspective, using trains as public transport will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that transport activities generate. A report published in 2019 found that high-speed rail helped “reduce environmental pollution in China by 7.3%”.
Despite the benefits, the China-Russia-Canada-US rail link is still an expensive project. Many people think that railways are useless when air routes, sea routes serving the same purpose still exist, it is better to continue to use them than to spend $ 200 billion to build intercontinental railways.
Furthermore, the project will be a collaboration between countries with complicated political relationships. Another obstacle to making the dream train line come true.
At the present time, the intercontinental train line, with a section of track below sea level is still a dream.
See Washington Post, The Guardian, Euro News