Speed Reads

Choo Choo

China outlines plans for outrageously grand and incredibly unlikely undersea train to the U.S.

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Claiming officials are "already in discussions," the Beijing Times outlined an alleged plan for a train line that would connect China to the United States, via eastern Siberia, the Bering Strait and finally Alaska.

In theory, the train line would start in the northeast part of China, then eventually run along a 125-mile-long underwater tunnel toward Alaska. And, good news: "Russia has already been thinking about this for many years," Wang Mengshu, an engineer at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the Times.

The plan currently sounds more like a Jules Verne novel than a viable project: For one, the proposed path underwater would be four times the length of the tunnel beneath the English Channel; For another, China seems to have forgotten that the U.S. would need to get onboard to make the project a reality; Perhaps most importantly right now, "Russia has already been thinking about this for many years," is not likely to be a strong selling point in Washington, D.C. at the moment.

Then again, The Washington Post notes that China has focused much of its efforts in the last decade on completing rail construction projects of impressive scale. So dream big, Beijing, but maybe have a backup project that's a bit more feasible, you know, just in case.