China has always been at the top of the game when it comes to public transport but could an 8000-mile underwater train all the way to the US be a stretch too far? At first glance, it seems like it might be. But looking a little closer, it might not be quite so out of the question.
Let’s take a step back—China has always been ambitious. That’s why it’s at the top of the leaderboard for a wide number of industries: manufacturing, construction, mining, and many more. Take gambling, for example. With cities like Macau raking in the cash and Chinese software developers making some awesome casino games, China is competing with the likes of Thailand to be the best country for casino gaming in Asia.
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China and Thailand are neck and neck when it comes to the race to be the best country for online casinos in Asia. But China is a lot further ahead when it comes to transport. Who’s to say China couldn’t build an 8000-mile train track underwater? Stay with us as we find out just how likely it could be for this project to happen.
What are the plans?
The initial idea for the project that emerged in 2014 was for an 8078-mile train track to be built under the ocean, from the city of Shanghai, through Russia, and then into Alaska, through Canada, and then onto the US. This would enable some of the fastest trains in the world to travel through the US, something the US is certainly lacking at the moment.
How much would it cost?
The price for such a project would be a sum of $200 billion, making it literally the most expensive project the world has ever seen. And therein the problem lies. Critics aren’t happy about the plans as they say it would be ‘economically redundant’.
They don’t think that there is enough of a benefit to the train line existing, for it to justify the immense amount of money it is going to cost. And we can see why. Airplanes and cargo ships have been working fine up until this point.
That being said, there are many benefits to a train as opposed to these other travel methods. Trains are a lot faster than cargo ships and a lot less expensive to run in terms of fuel than an airplane. The train does have the possibility of becoming the best method of trade between the US and China. And that could make both countries an awful lot of money in years to come!
An underwater train would be a lot greener than boats and planes, that’s for sure. Of course, the actual building process wouldn’t exactly be environmentally friendly but in the long term, a train would send a lot less CO2 into the atmosphere and that could not be more important right now.
When could this project be completed?
Right now, the project is ‘temporarily’ on hold due to a lot of pushing back from various people regarding the cost and how much that can be weighed against the potential benefits. So, it’s almost impossible to say when and if it will happen. We certainly hope it does as it would be super exciting!
It would be a huge step forward in China’s journey to become the world’s digital economy leader. But it remains to be seen whether it will actually happen — we’ll just have to wait and see! It might be a while yet before we can travel these great distances by train.