The most ambitious railway project of all time, a 65-mile tunnel linking Asia and North America under the Bering Strait, has been endorsed by the Kremlin as part of its overall plan to exploit natural resources in Siberia and the Arctic Circle.
The $98 billion scheme, including the tunnel construction, is planned for completion by 2030.
A track expansion in Russia is needed of about 2,360 miles beyond where a current rail construction project ends, taking the train to the eastern tip of Siberia, before it tunnels under the Bering Sea twice the distance of Britain’s Channel Tunnel. Cape Prince of Wales could become the point of entry into the American continent.
East and West would meet at the international dateline at the mid-straits islands of Russia’s Big Diomede and the U.S. territory of Little Diomede.
The motivation behind the megaproject is for cheaper, faster, and more secure transport of goods around the world. Project promoters say it could carry about 3 percent of the world’s freight, earning $11.5 billion a year.