So you board a train in London, cross Europe, then Russia… and arrive in Tokyo? It sounds like something only possible in a distant sci-fi future, but now it’s looking it might be a reality.
Earlier this month, officials from Russia and Japan met to finalize a plan that would connect the countries by a tunnel. It would also enable direct rail transport from London to Tokyo. The Telegraph breaks down the planned route:
The scheme involves extending the existing Trans Siberian railway, with a bridge from the Russian mainland to the island of Sakhalin. The new train route will then continue south for 380 miles across the Russian island, before reaching the coast. A 25-mile tunnel will be constructed under the Soya Strait, taking the train onto Japanese territory.
Officials from both countries see positive developments coming from the route, as well as enhanced trade between Russian and Japan. Russian president, Vladimir Putin, says that “It is a grand project that will drastically improve our efficiency of physical distribution.” Officials in Japan, on the other hand, see it as an opportunity to access natural resources in Russia.
First phase of the Russian plan is set to start in 2016 and no target date for completion has been publicly announced.
The only downside to this awesome-sounding plan? The trip from London to Tokyo would take two weeks. But hey, if you love trains like me, that might not be a bad thing.