This may be a great news for those of you who always yearned to cross continents by road. And we literally mean, Continents. If reports are to be believed, the Russians are imagining a dream project which shall link two of the biggest cities in the world, London and New York. It’s called the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development project and yes, it is a mouthful. And so will be the distances and costs involved.
A rough depiction of the route shows the sheer scale of this dream project. Image courtesy – CNN.
An almost 20,000 km (12,500 mi) long mega highway sounds like flight of fantasy, doesn’t it? However, according to some Russians, this London-New York superhighway could become reality. If that is to happen, the two superpowers, namely America and Russia, would finally be connected via a stretch of tarmac. This connection would link the eastern border of Russia with the western tip of Alaska. Vladimir Yakunin, who is the President of Russian Railways, is the man behind this stupefying idea/dream. Apart from the massive stretch of tarmac, which would span half of the planet’s circumference, Yakunin also plans to develop a high-speed railway network. This proposed Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, if materialised, could be three times the width of the Atlantic Ocean! For comparison’s sake, the Atlantic Ocean, at its most widest, spans 6400 km (4000 mi).
Flying from London to New York takes between 6.5 to 7 hours. How about in a car?
If this superhighway comes to life, it would almost run parallel to the existing Trans-Siberian Railway. This massive railway network would be extended, along with the proposed Trans-Eurasian Belt. These would also be accompanied by a new oil and gas pipeline. To put the vast distances into perspective, the distance between the west tip of Russia and its east, is greater than the total distance between London and New York. The latter even has a massive ocean in between. Currently, the Trans-Siberian Railway connects the west and the east of Russia, covering over 9000 km in the process.
The Veyron Super Sport can top 430 km/h. But it will still take you 2 days to cover this highway.
Of course, covering continents in a car is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, that’s just what is possible if this dream project were to take shape. And that requires money, truck loads of money! We are talking about several Trillion dollars, here. That is easily more than the GDP of India, plus some other smaller nations. Would this come to fruition. And even if it did, would you actually care to drive from London to New York? Many would just catch a flight, less time, less effort and less money. That said, the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development could change the way we travel, forever. Or maybe not. Only time will tell.