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Railway tunnel across Bering Strait

  1. Apr 20, 2007 #1
    The Russians think that a tunnel should be built across the Bering Strait to form a railway link from London,England,to Mexico.The cost is $65 million.Is it going to be worth such a large investment?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2007 #2

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Based on the Channel Tunnel between France and England,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Tunnel#Statistics
    I think the project cost will be more like $65 billion, unless Russia is planning on using slave labor.

    Any structure across the Bering Sea must consider the geologic structure and seismic activity in the region. One concern would be the magnitude of any upthrust or lateral displacement.
     
  4. Apr 20, 2007 #3
    $65 million? That seems way low. The Chunnel cost $15 to $21 billion (depending on source). Shipping is cheaper and not a national defense issue.

    Edit: Doh! Johnny on the Spot beat me, and with better info!:biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  5. Apr 20, 2007 #4
    Speaking of long tunnels and Russia:

    Mount Yamantau
    Such a tunnel would be over 800 miles in length.

    Who knows if it is true, but it would be quite an achievement.
     
  6. Apr 21, 2007 #5
    That's an interesting link. All the post-cold war activity there is disconcerting. This might not be the right thread for a discussion on this, but it almost seems like Putin and whatever other powers-that-be are in Russia have decided that they aren't going to be able to compete economically in the global marketplace, and are therefore making other plans. Let's hope that's not the case.

    A couple of months ago chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov was interviewed by Maria Bartiromo of the Wall St. Journal Report. He had some interesting things to say about Putin. Here's a link to the transcript.

    http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publishe...&topicId=100010488&docId=l:573808929&start=16
     
  7. Apr 21, 2007 #6

    wolram

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    Just so much pie in the sky, these guys are just having a laugh, i remember
    seeing a project to connect the UK with America with a supersonic
    railway, well ok maybe after we have teraformed mars :smile:
     
  8. Apr 21, 2007 #7

    Astronuc

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    Well, if it got to Mexico, one could then traverse Guatemala, Hounduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, then on through S. America to the southern tips of Argentina y Chile.

    Starting in England, the trip traverses the Channel Tunnel, France,Germany, Poland, then Russia all the way to the Bering Strait. Of course, the US and Canada must cooperate.

    So the effort requires an international railway (InterRail), which requires the cooperation of many nations. From England to Mexico may not be practical, given the distance.

    Several commercial matters need to be resolved, e.g. apportionment of revenue. Would it be by t-km (ton-miles)? What of interchange and port fees? Is it practical to ship by rail in Siberia and Alaska in the middle of winter?

    The InterRail concept might be more practical in Europe and Asia, Middle East, and Africa, but there are still the matters of cooperation/agreements among the various national governments. On the other hand, lorry drivers traverse the continents, so in theory it would be practical for rail.
     
  9. Apr 21, 2007 #8

    Art

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    Lorry drivers don't have to change their wheel axles each time they cross a national border :-)
     
  10. Apr 22, 2007 #9

    Astronuc

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    That perhaps is one of the main technical impediments. The idea goes back to the last century or more where the goal was to prevent use of the rail to transport troops and material.

    Canada, US and Mexico have a common gauge, Standard (Stephenson) gauge, 1.435 m (4' 8-1/2"), which is also shared with much of W. Europe and now E. Europe. This gauge is the international standard.

    Russia and former SU republics, and some of E. Europe have a wider gauge, 1.519, 1.520, 1.524, 1.525 m (~5'), with 1.520 m the main gauge.

    Ref: http://parovoz.com/spravka/gauges-en.php
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rail_Gauges
     
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