Road Trip to Russia? New Tunnel Might Make it Possible

August 29th, 2011

A 64-mile-long tunnel beneath the Bering Sea might be more torturous than relaxing for the more claustrophobic of road-trippers, but a proposed tunnel from Russia to Alaska might open the possibility.

The Russian government has apparently given the green light on a new tunnel project that would double the length of the England-to-France Channel Tunnel and connect Siberia with Alaska. If completed, the $65 billion project would be the longest underwater tunnel in the world.

The bad news for possible commuters between Uelen, Russia and Nome, Alaska is that the tunnel would strictly be a high-speed rail line that could move up to 100 million tons of freight per year.

Road-tripping in Siberia

In addition to transforming the shipping industry, the tunnel could eventually provide an efficient transmission route for clean energy developed by tidal energy stations and wind plants in Russia to the worldwide energy grid. In addition, the rail system would complete a high-speed network that could stretch around the world from London to New York City.

The real draw, though, for me at least, is the possibility of traffic passing through the tunnel. A tunnel connecting the United States to Europe opens the possibility of crazy after-college road trips to Moscow. Imagine leaving Seattle, driving almost 3,000 miles to Nome, Alaska, catching the tunnel to Uelen and then making the 6,000-mile jaunt across Siberia to Moscow and maybe even continuing on another 1,400 miles to Rome, Italy.

Or starting in London with the goal of driving to New York City.

That, my friends, would be the trip of a lifetime. Crazy, expensive, time-consuming and maybe even life-threatening, but amazingly cool.

Should Russia build a tunnel connecting it to the U.S.?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    | #1

    I guess nobody noticed that it will go right through a very active earthquake/volcanic zone?

    Some of the other aspects are routing this traffic through some very remote areas that are subject to extreme weather. And the problem with railroads is although they are efficient, they can only handle a certain amount of traffic. (especially in mountains where speeds and tonnage are greatly reduced.) That means that you’ll never achieve more than a small fraction of the current tonnage moving by sea (which is also very efficient but slower) and air. As a last thought, is it faster to move freight in a circular route over the top of the Pacific, or straight through the center? The circular route and EXTREMELY expensive tunnel and mountain railroad construction will eliminate any advantage in speed. I’d like to have a solid gold toilet, but that’s a stupid idea too.

  2. jgoods
    | #2

    @ Randy
    Randy, you deserve a solid gold toilet.

  3. Randy
    | #3

    I know, that’s why I want one.

    BTW, these kinds of “projects” are just the results of government pork funding think tank projects, like investigating the aerobic capabilities of hamsters.

  4. link
    | #4

    it is a good idea to make a tunnel russia. It will make more traid with the two countries and possilbe others as will. great britain and France as a tunnel that go thuogh that body of water. so we need to make a tunnel that will leaded to russia and russia will help out to.

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