In what could certainly be one of the boldest infrastructure developments ever announced, the Russian Government has given the go-ahead to build a transcontinental railway linking Siberia with North America. The massive undertaking would traverse the Bering Strait with the world’s longest tunnel – a project twice the length of the Chunnel between England and France. The $65 billion project aims to feed North America with raw goods from the Siberian interior and beyond, but it could also provide a key link to developing a robust renewable energy transmission corridor that feeds wind and tidal power across vast distances while linking a railway network across 3/4 of the Northern Hemisphere.
The idea is actually not very new — Tsar Nicholas II dreamed of the railway and tunnel in 1905. The on-again off-again scheme would provide a vital economic resource for both Asia and Americas by providing an efficient link of not only goods and passengers but also fiber optic cables and transmission lines. The key is a 65-mile-long tunnel that would pass underneath the Big Diomede and Little Diomede islands in the Bering Strait. The tunnel, at a projected cost of $10-12 billion, is to be built in three sections and would cross the International Date Line, reconnecting the two land masses.