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Plans for new transport route unveiled to link Pacific with Atlantic

By 0 and 0 and 0
23 March 2015


Cargo traffic on the railways is expected to grow by 56 million tonnes in 16 years. Picture: TraveLiving

Plans have been unveiled for an ambitious new transport route through Russia with a mega road and high-speed rail network to link Asia with Europe.

At a meeting of the Russian Academy of Science, the head of the Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin presented the idea for the Trans-Eurasian belt Development (TEPR).

Seen as a powerful and versatile transportation corridor it would join up to other networks and reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific, via the heart of Siberia and the Far East.

The project would see not only a new train network built alongside the Trans-Siberian Railway but the construction of major roads, pipelines for oil and gas, and the laying of facilities for electricity and water supplies.

Vladimir Yakunin

The head of the Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin presented the idea for the Trans-Eurasian belt Development (TEPR). Picture: ITAR-TASS

Mr Yakunin has been engaged in the development of the project with academic Gennady Osipov and the rector of Moscow State University, Viktor Sadovnichy.

During his presentation the head of the Russian Railways said that such a scheme was vital more than ever and would make Russia the new world centre for the creation and development of high-tech industries.

He also said that Western-style globalisation is no longer seen as an incentive but as a hindrance on the economic, scientific, moral and spiritual development of society.

He said: 'This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project. It should be an alternative to the current (neo-liberal) model, which has caused a systemic crisis. The project should be turned into a world 'future zone', and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies.'

The project aims to construct the mega transportation route to span the entire length of Russia, and link into existing networks in Europe and Asia. That would create the first ever modern route from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

Trans-Siberia railway

Trans-Siberia railway

Trans-Siberia railway

Amur-Yakutsk Railway

'Basing on the new technology of high-speed rail transport we can build a new railway near the Trans-Siberian Railway with the opportunity to go to Chukotka and Bering Strait'. Pictures:, Russian Railways, Krugobaikalskaya, Ministry of Transport and Roads of Yakutia

If the idea is successful, it is expected that could create 10 to 15 new industries, new cities and a huge number of new jobs, as well as further development of Siberia and the Far East. 

According to Mr Yakunin, TEPR could become the GOELRO of the 21st century, in reference to the large-scale electrification of Russia proposed and implemented by Lenin and Stalin between 1920 and 1935.

Talking about a rough estimate for the costs of the project he said that it will require trillions of dollars, but insisted the economic returns would outweigh these investments.

Viktor Sadovnichy, rector of the Moscow State University, said the network would help the Far East and Siberia feel more in touch with the rest of the world. He said: 'Recently I returned from Khabarovsk, where I met with rectors of universities of the Far East - about 100 of them in total.

'The main problem that we discussed was isolation. Up to 30 per cent of talented young people graduating from schools leave these regions.'

Road Kolyma

Road Kolyma

Road Kolyma

Road Kolyma

Kolyma motor road, goes through the Russian Far East and connects Magadan with the town of Nizhny Bestyakh in Yakutia. Pictures: Yakutia Info, Pavel Moiseenko, Anton Shelkovich

Vladimir Fortov, the Head of the Russian Academy of Science, said the project is 'very ambitious and expensive'.

But he added: 'It will solve many problems in the development of the vast region. It is connected with social programs, and new fields, new energy resources, and so on.

'The idea is that basing on the new technology of high-speed rail transport we can build a new railway near the Trans-Siberian Railway with the opportunity to go to Chukotka and Bering Strait and then to the American continent.'

Comments (60)

Why Doesn't Russia Build the World's First and Fastest Hyperloop Vacuum Tunnel from Pacific to Atlantic while they're at it ? at the Same Time. that would really be something and could be a big tourist thing,= You know Visit the Pacific and Atlantic in 40 minutes while traveling at at 900 miles per hour.
THEFORREAL, Grundy,Virginia
26/03/2015 04:01
Brilliant idea. I am old so build it soon. I would love to drive it.
Jim dye, Bristol uk
26/03/2015 02:00
I always dreamed that one day the world community will build a global superhighway across the Atlantic Ocean, connecting Europe and the Americas.
Eric, USA
25/03/2015 23:07
This is a brilliant idea. The number of Americans (and Canadians) that would make this trip would be substantial. Americans are drivers. We will load up our RV's to see Russia. If you build it they will come
Jon, New York, NY
25/03/2015 23:06
Thinking what a train journey costs in the UK Penzance to London Who's going to be able to afford a ticket to Alaska Once you got there you'd never get back
Antony Kufel, Truro
25/03/2015 22:32
With the present most-advanced technologies, it would probably take a week to cross uninhabited/run-down Russia. Then you end up in America, or to be more precise, in Alaska. The project does not make sense and the intention seems to be to distract and inspire. Good luck with that!
zulu, Poland
25/03/2015 20:20
Wonderful idea! This railroad/road combination could shape Russia for the next 100 years, just like the railroads did in the USA. Russia has VAST areas full of currently inaccessible resources. Russia could be a very rich country indeed and raise everyone's standard of living if this happens. And yes, I'd LOVE to ride that train!
Mike, Florida USA
25/03/2015 19:45
The Russian government is repairing less than one percent of its horribly deplorable roads but Moscow has now announced plans to build a superhighway and rail line extending across the Russian north to the Bering Straits with a tunnel to Alaska. Who are the numbskulls in the Kremlin who are making such idiotic plans? The Russian population that has waddled on muddy unsurfaced roads for decades is on the verge of a revolution against the dictators. Dream on, Putin! Your day will come!
Roads expert, Delhi, India
25/03/2015 18:18
This would be a fantastic opportunity for tourism & local development. I would love to make the trip. However, take care of nature, woods, tundra, permafrost, wildlife, and don't "spoil" what every tourist will want to see. Should also help develop the towns and villages along the way, local jobs for local people is always best.
Nige, Gurgaon, India
25/03/2015 10:56
I'm fascinated at the enormity of this project. It's a worthy idea, but I can't help but wonder how this will be financed. Please keep us posted.
Richard Meyer, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
25/03/2015 06:03
In Spain, high speed technology was shared between Alstom and Spanish manufacturers so now there is a native high speed industry (which, for example, won the Mecca-Ryad high speed contract in Saudi Arabia) Russia should have the best technology for low temperatures, permafrost etc. and needs a transfer of technology from Siemens, Alston or any other company which wants to participate in the TransEurasian High Speed train.
Enrique, Spain
25/03/2015 02:19
Very impressive project! But it can take decades to achieve and perhaps trillions of euros! Does Russia have this type of money? Or a adequate business environment for outside investors? Russia is having trouble gathering funds to build their bridge to Crimea. And the country's existing roadways could use a spot of repair - I read somewhere that "... less than one percent of the roads in some regions were being repaired in any given year."
trainspotter, ,
25/03/2015 02:17
Interesting only if Russia gets the high speed technology, because if tgat just means providing jobs for Siemens when Germany sanctions Russia, then better continué using and improving the present railways and Russian trains...
24/03/2015 22:31
This would be incredibly wonderful, if it were solar-powered. I hope to take a journey on this train some day!
Pam Gjertson, Wasilla, Alaska
24/03/2015 20:38
I for one am excited by this idea. Whilst the economic benefits of technological and industrial expansion along the route have been mentioned, another golden nugget should come from a huge expansion in tourism. The idea of being able to travel easily from Ocean to Ocean will be irresistible to many people. The sort of thing many will add to their bucket list.
Simon Robinson, Crewe UK
24/03/2015 13:44

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