Saturday, January 3, 2015

Russia is Building a Train that Will Zip from Moscow to Beijing in Just 48 Hours

At the moment, it takes about seven days to commute between the two cities and the route requires changes.  According to Romanian website Glasul, the Kremlin has awarded the project to China Railway High-speed (CRH), a subsidiary of the state-controlled China Railway (CR), which is working in a joint-venture with the local firm Uralvagonzavod. CR is famous in the train industry for operating the world's only magnetic levitation train in an urban area, the Shangai monorail.

The Moscow-to-Beijing direct route will measure about 7,000 kilometers (4,340 miles), effectively three times further than the longest high speed railway in the world, the Beijing to Guangzhou train, which is also operated by CRH (in red, above).

Glasul reports that the new railway is a top priority for both the Chinese and Russian governments, having been discussed directly by the prime ministers of the two countries, Dmitri Medvedev and Li Keqiang, in recent bilateral meetings. Glasul writes that other supporters include the German automobile corporations, Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes, which are all more than keen to speed up the shipping of their vehicles from China to Europe.

The new route will probably replace the mighty Trans-Siberian railway, connecting St. Petersburg to Vladivostok (the blue line in the map above). Firstly, the old route doesn't go through Kazan, a city that in recent years has become more and more central to the Russian economy. Secondly, and more importantly, it takes about 15 days to travel the Trans-Siberian route from start to finish, which compared to 48 hours for the new line, sounds like a heck of a long time.

(Via Business Insider)


  1. Aaahh the ties that bind! :)
    Well I guess the Nixonian China strategy is officially long dead.

  2. I'm curious what kind of freight capacity such a train would have. If it's substantial, and the railway could be expanded to Berlin, that means cargo would move from China to Europe by train in maybe 3 days rather than say 3 weeks by ship. And no foreign navy could interfere or threaten it. Wealth follows trade and commerce, which will be heading to Eurasia.

    1. i'm thinking the same thing: if this thing actually gets build it might be a serious competitor to the over-seas transport between europe and china. Probably not replacing it completely (ships are cheap because floating requires little feul), but definitely filling the gap between 'fast planes' and 'slow ships'.

  3. Extend it across the Bering Strait through the tunnel long envisioned (57 miles) for that location (which is seismically inactive, by the way) and at last the Old World and the New World would be connected, entirely eliminating the parasitic middlemen in Los Angeles and New York. This would empower all of South America and the entirety of Canada as well as the huge productive resources of the Mississippi Valley. Washington, D.C., ought to wake up and march into the future.