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(Guardian)   Chinese looking to create a high-speed rail. FARK: from Beijing to the U.S. mainland   (theguardian.com) divider line 110
    More: Strange, Beijing, high-speed trains, railroads  
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3257 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 May 2014 at 7:05 AM (10 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-09 07:01:02 AM
The entire trip would take two days

I'd go visit. With a thumb drive full of movies.
 
2014-05-09 07:12:11 AM

fusillade762: The entire trip would take two days

I'd go visit. With a thumb drive full of movies.


I wonder how much of that time is spent waiting in the TSA's security theatre.
 
2014-05-09 07:19:32 AM
Everybody, sing!


"This land is your land
This land is my land
From California to the Chinese mainland
They'll build a bridge here
Chinese invaders
You'll hear them march over the sea"
 
2014-05-09 07:23:29 AM
This should speed up the invasion. I mean, redeployment of Walmart and Macdonalds employees.
 
2014-05-09 07:24:56 AM
Two days.  Assuming the train had accommodation and such, sounds fine.

The idea sounds pretty damn cool.
 
2014-05-09 07:25:44 AM
High speed rail for "short" distances like Tokyo to Osaka in under 3 hours (i.e. faster than a plane and no security theater) is great. Continental rail at only 200 mph is not.
 
2014-05-09 07:31:25 AM
This sounds like more of a Shelbyville idea.
 
2014-05-09 07:33:40 AM
Straight down? Genius!
 
2014-05-09 07:34:19 AM
I'd hate for that train to break down in the middle of the pacific.
 
2014-05-09 07:48:14 AM
How often will the tunnel need to be rebuilt due to seismic activity?
 
2014-05-09 07:48:16 AM

DubyaHater: I'd hate for that train to break down in the middle of the pacific.


Or Siberia.

All in all though, it would be a pretty cool idea. There are other quite long train lines and having a more physical connection to Asia would be quite nice.  Then again, I thought the 14 hour flight from Chicago to Beijing was bad. Will the train have a bar??
 
2014-05-09 07:52:38 AM
 
2014-05-09 07:53:54 AM

DubyaHater: I'd hate for that train to break down in the middle of the pacific.


Without RTFA yet, that was my first thought. What if it breaks down? Will there be a "Rollercoaster" chain pull to get it the rest of the way? That is gonna make a Carnival Cruise Line break down look like a day at the beach. What about a derailment? Will the cars become boats?
 
2014-05-09 07:56:56 AM
This would probably be a better idea for frieght than for passengers.  They once did a special on the Discovery channel about this very idea, and such a train would be buttloads cheaper than shipping by sea.
 
2014-05-09 08:08:47 AM

Piizzadude: What about a derailment? Will the cars become boats?


No, its going to be a tunnel.

Either way, I've been hearing plans about some type of road/rail across this path for decades. Its not going to happen any time soon. The guardian is shiat for having actual facts to back up its pie in the sky "this is a plan someone wrote in a notebook somewhere", articles.
 
2014-05-09 08:11:11 AM
Good luck clearing environmental regulations to plow through the Alaskan wilderness.
 
2014-05-09 08:26:37 AM
DubyaHater:
I'd hate for that train to break down in the middle of the pacific.

The article calls it "the Pacific," but it's really the Bering Strait.

The good news is that, while the tunnel would be the longest in the world, it wouldn't have to be that deep - the ocean is only about 170 to 180 feet deep there, at most. It's also possible to make it a two-part tunnel, coming up at an island in the middle of the strait.

They could also build a bridge, but the problems with six foot thick ice floes can be pretty dramatic.
A freight rail link between North America and Asia seems like a good idea, in general, but the big question is cost and return on investment...
 
2014-05-09 08:30:08 AM
That's going to take a while.  I hope you built your Formers on the Rover chassis.
 
2014-05-09 08:31:20 AM
As mentioned up-thread, one good seismic event and this thing is screwed. We will see flying cars before this happens.
 
2014-05-09 08:33:54 AM

dittybopper: This will not end well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Beneath_the_Earth


First, we have to finish development of the Radium drill (The Tunnel).

:-)
 
2014-05-09 08:34:29 AM

Altman: This would probably be a better idea for frieght than for passengers.  They once did a special on the Discovery channel about this very idea, and such a train would be buttloads cheaper than shipping by sea.


I find that hard to believe.

http://truecostblog.com/2009/11/23/is-local-really-greener-than-glob al /
Cost of Shipping by Land, Air, and Sea [1]
Transport Mode    Cost (Cents Per Ton-Mile)    Emissions (CO2 Grams Per Ton-Km)
Airplane            81                               570
Truck               27                               252
Railroad             2.24                            200
Barge/Ship           0.72                             52


There really isn't much that is more efficient than shipping via a modern container ship, except perhaps for a modern bulk ship.
 
2014-05-09 08:34:43 AM
This is not a repeat from 1869
 
2014-05-09 08:37:57 AM

cirby: The good news is that, while the tunnel would be the longest in the world, it wouldn't have to be that deep - the ocean is only about 170 to 180 feet deep there, at most. It's also possible to make it a two-part tunnel, coming up at an island in the middle of the stra


It would be nice if the article would have mentioned the depth.  It makes it seem a lot less dramatic and much more feasible,

I had imagined it would be much deeper.
 
2014-05-09 08:59:23 AM
dittybopper:
http://truecostblog.com/2009/11/23/is-local-really-greener-than-glob al /
Cost of Shipping by Land, Air, and Sea [1]
Transport Mode Cost (Cents Per Ton-Mile) Emissions (CO2 Grams Per Ton-Km)
Airplane 81 570
Truck 27 252
Railroad 2.24 200
Barge/Ship 0.72 52

There really isn't much that is more efficient than shipping via a modern container ship, except perhaps for a modern bulk ship.


...when shipping from a coastal area to another coastal area, over open oceans, in a relatively straight line.

When you start looking at things like shipping from the middle of Siberia to the middle or east coast of the US, trains suddenly get a lot cheaper, especially since you can route the cargo without transshipments.

You also get into the realm of time-sensitive cargo - while a container ship is relatively fast for the price, it takes a good solid two weeks just to get from a Chinese port to San Diego- as opposed to a two to five day train trip. Heck, even at slow-ish freight train speeds, you're looking at less than a week from Beijing to Chicago or New York.
 
2014-05-09 08:59:53 AM

dittybopper: There really isn't much that is more efficient than shipping via a modern container ship, except perhaps for a modern bulk ship.


It's hard to beat water shipping in terms of moving bulk but it's sloooooooooooow. Terrible lead times. That's not a problem for the vast majority of goods but a rail connection would give another option for those who don't need a product overnight but also can't wait months. Probably would never see the rail link carrying Wal-Mart's annual pile of artificial Christmas trees but for a tech companies, it would be a great way of getting several million units of their latest product to market weeks or months faster.
 
2014-05-09 09:04:31 AM
If an earthquake happens, that could be really, really bad
 
2014-05-09 09:07:55 AM
This sounds freaking awesome. Wonder if you could connect it to a route to Europe and have a trans-global railway system.
 
2014-05-09 09:10:59 AM
You know, I would love to see them try it.  Just to figure out the technological hurdles to overcome would be worth it.
 
Skr
2014-05-09 09:11:53 AM
If they can find a way to float the rail line just under the surface of the ocean they could make a fairly decent sea train if they put their minds to it.
img2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-05-09 09:12:24 AM

pag1107: How often will the tunnel need to be rebuilt due to seismic activity?


That was my thought as well.
 
2014-05-09 09:15:00 AM
Rock Ridge, Rock Ridge, splendid!
 
2014-05-09 09:21:21 AM
Interesting idea, but the US side will never get built, even if China funds it.

Hell we can't even build a desperately needed new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
 
2014-05-09 09:24:20 AM
machoprogrammer:
If an earthquake happens, that could be really, really bad

Yeah, it's not like anyone has ever built a long rail tunnel in an earthquake zone before.

Well, other than Japan.
 
2014-05-09 09:26:28 AM

MindStalker: Piizzadude: What about a derailment? Will the cars become boats?

No, its going to be a tunnel.

Either way, I've been hearing plans about some type of road/rail across this path for decades. Its not going to happen any time soon. The guardian is shiat for having actual facts to back up its pie in the sky "this is a plan someone wrote in a notebook somewhere", articles.


I did read that (eventually), still have some doubts. I guess in 50 years when this actually gets off the ground I will have to wait to see the actual route.
 
2014-05-09 09:30:16 AM

EngineerAU: dittybopper: There really isn't much that is more efficient than shipping via a modern container ship, except perhaps for a modern bulk ship.

It's hard to beat water shipping in terms of moving bulk but it's sloooooooooooow. Terrible lead times. That's not a problem for the vast majority of goods but a rail connection would give another option for those who don't need a product overnight but also can't wait months. Probably would never see the rail link carrying Wal-Mart's annual pile of artificial Christmas trees but for a tech companies, it would be a great way of getting several million units of their latest product to market weeks or months faster.


Unless someone is planning on running out of Jet A before 3D printing makes those factories obsolete, it'll be easier to fill 747 cargo jets with this months iThing than to build a 200 mile under sea tunnel.

The Chunnel works because it replaced existing local ferry traffic.
 
2014-05-09 09:31:10 AM
It's been done. Didn't go well.

vincentchongart.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-05-09 09:32:12 AM

Bob Down: This should speed up the invasion. I mean, redeployment of Walmart and Macdonalds employees.


Because one missile aimed at the center wouldn't stop it?  Let them build it, cheaper for us.  We don't foot the bill but also benefit from it.
 
2014-05-09 09:32:28 AM

cirby: The good news is that, while the tunnel would be the longest in the world, it wouldn't have to be that deep - the ocean is only about 170 to 180 feet deep there, at most. It's also possible to make it a two-part tunnel, coming up at an island in the middle of the strait.


I figured the Bering Straight would be relatively shallow, but no idea it was THAT shallow.  This sounds like a good idea.
 
2014-05-09 09:37:18 AM
200km tunnel under the Bering Strait?  Yeah, should be fine, not like that area has any earthquakes or anything.
 
2014-05-09 09:39:31 AM

Skr: If they can find a way to float the rail line just under the surface of the ocean they could make a fairly decent sea train if they put their minds to it.
[img2.wikia.nocookie.net image 350x200]


What movie is that from?

Also, I think our primary concern should accidentally waking those people living within the hollow earth.  I forget the name of the book but I vaguely recall there being some story about hollow earthers coming into conflict with topside dwellers and there being some terrible war or something.  Anyway, the important thing is to not get transformed into some sort of devil looking creature by their science.

So you think about that!!!
 
2014-05-09 09:43:01 AM

GoldSpider: I figured the Bering Strait would be relatively shallow, but no idea it was THAT shallow.  This sounds like a good idea.


FrozbozFTFM, thank you.
 
2014-05-09 09:45:18 AM
US has been bought and sold. Corporations have no allegiance to any country.
 
Skr
2014-05-09 09:53:09 AM

Gergesa: Skr: If they can find a way to float the rail line just under the surface of the ocean they could make a fairly decent sea train if they put their minds to it.
[img2.wikia.nocookie.net image 350x200]

What movie is that from?



From the "One Piece" anime.  About a 1/3rd of the way into the series.
 
2014-05-09 09:53:20 AM

wxboy: Good luck clearing environmental regulations to plow through the Alaskan wilderness.


Alaska has environmental regulations?


EngineerAU: It's hard to beat water shipping in terms of moving bulk but it's sloooooooooooow. Terrible lead times. That's not a problem for the vast majority of goods but a rail connection would give another option for those who don't need a product overnight but also can't wait months. Probably would never see the rail link carrying Wal-Mart's annual pile of artificial Christmas trees but for a tech companies, it would be a great way of getting several million units of their latest product to market weeks or months faster.


Toy manufacturers as well... their products usually need a ton of lead time, and many media tie-ins still fail to hit the right marketing window because of shipping issues.
 
2014-05-09 10:03:03 AM
Forget China!

There's an American company with detailed plans already that I just stumbled across.

Here's the tunnel part:

http://www.interbering.com/Bering-Strait-Tunnel-Plan.html

You can click back to the home page for other parts.

And the train is faster at 300 MPH.
It would create up to 50,000 jobs on each continent.

Anyway, they don't mention anything about seismic activity which is what I was hoping to find, but I thought the tunnel crosssection was cool:

www.interbering.com
 
2014-05-09 10:05:31 AM
China is trying to cement themselves are the center of commerce 50 years from now.  If all (rail)roads lead to Beijing, it just brings a ton of de facto power.

I'm not saying this particular grandiose plan is the smartest, just that the US has lost sight of grandiosity.
 
2014-05-09 10:08:59 AM
Ah, sorry for the double post, they do mention it:

So all this sounds great, but can the tunnel and railroad actually be built?

When we compare this project to the rail tunnel under the English Channel from France to England, we find that the Bering Strait is no deeper than the English Channel, and, because of two islands in the Bering Strait, the longest continuous underwater distance is no longer than the English Channel tunnel.  The Bering Strait is not a highly seismic zone, and the rock does not appear to present any special problems.


(emphasis theirs)
 
2014-05-09 10:10:15 AM
This will probably happen before we ever finish Interstate 49 here.
 
2014-05-09 10:10:51 AM

clkeagle: wxboy: Good luck clearing environmental regulations to plow through the Alaskan wilderness.

Alaska has environmental regulations?


Well, the U.S. does, and Alaska is part of the U.S., so...
 
2014-05-09 10:12:37 AM

cirby: When you start looking at things like shipping from the middle of Siberia to the middle or east coast of the US, trains suddenly get a lot cheaper, especially since you can route the cargo without transshipments.


Trains would have to be part of that no matter what, because unless you're going to build the mother of all canal systems in the US, ships need to dock at a port on the ocean*.

Also, the majority of manufactured goods in China that come to the US are produced within easy shipping distance of a water port:

cdn.theatlanticcities.com

*Mississippi excepted
 
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