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Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
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ehbowen
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Posts: 242
Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« on: Mar 29th, 2008, 8:48pm »
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Bridge-building Vladimir Putin wants tunnel to US
 
I can't wait to hear George's take on this. Here's mine, as posted on an unrelated forum where I first saw this story:
 
"I hate to be a wet blanket, but there is no rail service between the "Lower 48" and Alaska, even via Canada. (The Alaska Railroad only connects Fairbanks with Anchorage and Seward). It would require some twelve hundred miles of new railroad (through undeveloped territory, and much of it permafrost) just to connect to the US rail system. If built to the normal US 79 MPH passenger standard, you would still be looking at a 9- or 10-day rail trip between London and New York. If you wanted to build to European high-speed standards, you would be looking at rebuilding everything between New York and Vienna (the long way 'round) and you would still face a 5 day long train trip. Faster to take the Queen Mary 2 if you prefer not to fly."


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CHESSIEMIKE
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #1 on: Mar 30th, 2008, 1:01am »
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Did you se this thread?
http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=Infrastructure;action=display;num=1177675938
 
CHESSIEMIKE


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ClydeDET
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #2 on: Mar 30th, 2008, 5:29pm »
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I dinna' think it is a guid idea, laddie.

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George_Harris
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #3 on: Apr 7th, 2008, 7:00pm »
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ChessieMike has pointed to the previous topic on this subject.  If I knew how to tack these posts onto that topic I would rather than have two topics going on the same subject.
 
Here is a quick summary of facts and my opinion on this thing:
 
The idea has been around a long time and appears to be feasible from an engineering perspective.  
 
At this time it would be a tunnel from no where to no where.  It would take a couple of thousand miles of construction on each end through some of the most inhospitible terrain and climatic conditions in the world to connect it to the existing railroad systems.  
 
My opinions:
 
Most of the studies I have seen were done with wishbone not headbone numbers based on construction in Kansas or more southerly climates that that, not the arctic.
 
Economically this project is hopeless.  Transoceanic shipping is so cheap that no significant freight volume will ever go this way.Passenger demand would likewise be almost nil.  Maybe a century from now we could revisit the concept.  
 
Of things needing doing for the benefit of mankind, this project would probably fall several pages beyond the end of the list.  
 
I would expect to see construction on Mars first.  
 
These links were in the other thread.  Don't know if they still work.  
biz.yahoo.com/ap/070424/russia_tunnel_to_somewhere.html  
and  
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/8811965p-8712739c.html  
this last is from the Anchorage Daily News, April 21, 2007.


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Espee9180
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Posts: 633
Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #4 on: Apr 9th, 2008, 9:16pm »
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I agree oceanic shipping is much easier/cheaper. There is or was a plan to build a bridge (part of a "global" highway system) across the strait with tuck and train travel on it, but the fierce Bering Strait storms will demolish (or damage) a bridge. But to the tunnel, if they were to build it. Ice would halt construction for all but a few weeks in the summer months. And the building cost would be sky high. If it was all possible I would rather see this get built...

« Last Edit: Apr 9th, 2008, 9:17pm by Espee9180 » Logged
ClydeDET
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #5 on: Apr 10th, 2008, 3:55pm »
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I don't think the Atlantic Tunnel is a great deal superior to the Bering Strait version, but at least there are connections at each end and people and things to be put on them.
 
Harry Harrison wrote a novel (serialized in ANALOG SF/SF and then published as a book) some decades ago - A TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL, HURRAH! a/k/a TUNNEL THROUGH THE DEEPS proposing such a thing. Not a bad book.


« Last Edit: Apr 10th, 2008, 7:01pm by ClydeDET » Logged
Henry
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #6 on: Apr 10th, 2008, 5:23pm »
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There is another thread (now locked) about a Bering Strait Tunnel. For reference, it is here:  
http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=Infrastructure;action=display;num=1177675938
 
Henry


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ClydeDET
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #7 on: Apr 10th, 2008, 7:12pm »
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Somebody asked about muskeg as a factor in building costs. Refreshed my recollection on the matter and suggest that it would be a genuine PITA to build across muskeg. Looks like the best way would be to excavate to bedrock and fill the trench with gravel. MAYBE you could build on piling driven to bedrock or refusal, but the impact of the annual freeze-thaw cycle on that would be  problematic.
 
Strikes me that the practical impediments are such that (as already suggested) building the connections at each end, and especially across Alaska and Canada (and can you imagine to screams of the tree-huggers? it would sound like a whole herd of bull caribou being gelded with dull knives),  would preclude recovery of the costs in a period measured in anything but geological ages. I agree - we'll see major engineering works on Mars first. And they'll probably pay off faster, too.


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George_Harris
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #8 on: Aug 20th, 2011, 11:13pm »
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Here we go again!
 
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44212283/ns/world_news_-europe/?gt1=43001
 
"The greatest railway project of all time' would enable trains to travel from NYC to London, England"
 
"The Times newspaper in the U.K. said that idea to construct a $60 billion tunnel under the Bering Strait was this week backed by some of President Dmitry Medvedev’s top officials."
 
Some of the same players as in the last cycle.
 
 


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Lfire83
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Posts: 1503
Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #9 on: Aug 21st, 2011, 8:24am »
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Well, the ARR has moved forward with its Delta Junction project, one step closer to linking them with Canada. Once I am foreman qualified that may be a very enticing project to jump on board with.

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George_Harris
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Re: Putin Wants a Bering Strait Tunnel...
 
« Reply #10 on: May 17th, 2014, 1:46am »
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Nothing has the durability of a bad idea.  Here it is again.  This time being promoted by the Chinese and reported in a British newspaper.  Note that they are talking about a high speed line.
 
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/08/chinese-experts-discussions-high-speed-beijing-american-railway
 
The article contains such jewels as:
 
Quote:
Crossing the Bering Strait in between Russia and Alaska would require about 200km (125 miles) of undersea tunnel

and
Quote:
The project – nicknamed the "China-Russia-Canada-America" line – would run for 13,000km, about 3,000km further than the Trans-Siberian Railway. The entire trip would take two days, with the train travelling at an average of 350km/h (220mph).

The Guardian is picking this up from the Beijing Daily, which it rightly describes as a state run newspaper.  Their source is Wang Mengshu, who is referred to as a "railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering."
 
Also mentioned in the article is the "yet to be finalized" plan to finance and build a high-speed railway between  Fujian Province and Taiwan.
 
This last may be a way to slide in a thought that they would rather not make a headline.  However, technically this line would be far less feasible due to seismic issues.


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