RUSSIA has plans to extend its Trans-Siberian railway network, which could mean that passengers can travel from London to Tokyo via an ambitious 13,518km route. The project would require a 45km bridge to be constructed to allow trains to pass across the East Sea.
Departing from London, the route would take travelers through the heart of Russia before concluding in Wakkanai, Japan, The Independent reported. The route would also cover Germany, Poland, Eastern Europe, and the Siberian Mountains.
The project was proposed in hopes to boost investment in the eastern parts of Russia, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to be in “serious talks” with Japan to kickstart plans.
“We are seriously offering Japanese partners to consider the construction of a mixed road and railway passage from Hokkaido to [the] southern part of Sakhalin,” Russia’s first vice-premier Igor Shuvalov was quoted in The Siberian Times.
“At the same time, we are close to starting our part of the job, which is extending the railway to the Pacific shore and the construction of passage of the same complexity from mainland to Sakhalin.”
The project is being hailed as a “bridge across history” as Russia and Japan have not signed a formal peace agreement ending the World War II due to a dispute over the Kuril Islands.
Despite this, relations between the two countries seem to be cordial with many joint projects in the pipeline.
At the moment, the Trans-Siberian journey cuts through Russia from Beijing through Mongolia, and ends in Vladivostok. The route is popular among young travelers and gap year students.