London to USA by rail? Russia approves £60bn Bering Stait scheme


London to the US by rail? Russia approves £60bn Bering Stait schemeTravelling by rail through Siberia would be in sub zero temperatures - PA

Travelling by train from London to America via Siberia and Alaska could one day become a reality.

Russia has given the go ahead to a £60bn project which would see a 65-mile tunnel dug under the Bering Strain, connecting Asia with North America. If the plans materialise, the journey could take three weeks in sub zero temperatures and cover three continents along the way.

The proposed tunnel which would be twice as long as the Channel Tunnel would take 15 years to complete. It would pass under the Big Diomede and Little Diomede islands and straddle the international dateline to link East and West.

According to a report in the Mail, engineers have said there is no technical reason why the tunnel could not be completed and it could provide a cheaper way of shipping freight around the world.

The route would however require US engineers to create through train lines in Alaska, linking them with cities in Canada and beyond.

Aleksandr Levinthal, deputy federal representative for the Russian Far East, gave the go ahead this week at a conference on developing infrastructure in the country's remote north-east.

He told The Times: "We should see advanced development of road and rail infrastructure here (in the Russian Far East) and improvement in the investment climate in Russia as a key aim."

Delegates from the US, China and Britain attended the conference in Yakutsk which was aimed at capturing the economic potential of the resource-rich region.

A £900 million, 500-mile railway line from the existing Trans-Siberian line to Yakutsk is due for completion in 2013 and is part of the Kremlin's plans to extend rail lines 2,360 miles to the north-eastern tip of Siberia by 2030.

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