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Plans for new transport route unveiled to link Pacific with Atlantic

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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)

I would love to be able to visit Russia! I think an RV trip the whole way, all the way to Yokosuka, Japan to visit my Navy boy, would be a dream come true, however i would settle on a posh train ride. I think David Engel on here has the right idea. It would make people realize that the people in Russia are more like us then we are programmed to think, just because we don't have close relations doesn't make them the enemy. Fear of the unknown is always something we have to work to overcome and this would give us ehe opportunity to do just that.
Staci Claybrook, Austin, Texas
08/02/2018 00:18
Creo que siempre es positivo que las personas realicen proyectos que contribuyan a beneficiar la comunicación.....
Esta ruta la tengo en mente desde que me he retirado del trabajo, si existe alguien que me pueda facilitar una información fiable de las carreteras actuales, le rogaría me lo indicara, ""
Juanjo, España
09/05/2016 02:24
I think it's a great idea it will boost the world's economy but the only thing that I'm worried about is terrorist they can get by security checkpoints.
Bruce baldree, Texas
16/04/2016 08:18
this is stupid. the logistics would be a nightmare. just give us our flying cars and stop wasting time on 20th century ideas and technologies.
chuckles, usa
04/01/2016 09:16
Has anyone asked Canada?
John Martin, Richmond Hill, Canada
14/12/2015 02:17
If Russia builds the road to the Bering Strait, how could the US not build their portion? The tourism possibilities could be too great to not build it. The section in Alaska seems fairly easy from Fairbanks. As for crossing the Bering Strait, perhaps a summer ferry might be the more reasonable priced option at first. Hopefully, this project can be realized earlier rather than later as I would love to ride a motorcycle along it. Most of all, the interactions between Russians and Americans can only help us realize we have far more in common than what pulls us apart.
David Engel, Santa Rosa, California
06/10/2015 22:02
It's a good idea from many perspectives. Probably the best reason is that it will serve to bring North Americans and Russian's together. This sort of tourism will encourage peace and better relations between our countries. It is already reasonably easy to drive across Russia from Saint Petersburg to Magadan in the far east. There remains a section of some 1,500 to 2,000 km between Magadan and the Bering Strait that has not been built. Certainly difficulties with permafrost, mountains, rivers and bogs will create difficulties for construction. Yet, Russia has faced those problems before. It would be easier to build the road first as has been done along the former "Road of Bones" or M56 and construct the railroad as another project.
David Engel, Santa Rosa, California
06/10/2015 21:57
I would like to inquire what the possibility of a JV on constructing a railway line from Windhoek to Okahandja, a town about 70km from Windhoek. We would like to look into the possibility of constructing a railway line with speed trains driving every hour between the two towns.
Andre Diedericks, Windhoek, Namibia
05/10/2015 16:03
Leading technology? It must be the MagLev train powered with renewable energy sources.

U.S.WAY Corp. in Chicago has the plans.
Bob, Chicago, Illinois
10/08/2015 00:50
I don't understand why people are discussing the potential security risk if Russia becomes attached to AK via a high speed rail network. Can someone please tell me where you are surmising this information from? I can only presume that the tracks would run to and end in Vladivostok. So I don't think the US needs to worry about being connected to Russia!!!

This was the most interesting piece of the article for me though:

"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". - Hmmmm.
Gareth Marshall, St Petersburg, Russia.
15/07/2015 00:29
According to the Spanish Minister of Construction, Ana Pastor, for every € invested in high-speed train there is a return of 2 € as it creates a more cohesive and connected national infraestructure which increases economic and human interaction (trade, tourism, business) But Russia needs to develop first, or at the same time, the basic infraestructure. The essential high-speed railway in Russia is simple: from St. Petersburg to Sochi, and from Moscow to Vladivostok.
Enrique, Spain
11/04/2015 07:33
Make it so...Russia!!!
Eleni Jousma, Buffalo US
09/04/2015 00:36
The new AIIB is an interesting tool for the development of this infraestructure.
Enrique, Spain
08/04/2015 07:48
Very good, stimulating proposal. The last G20 summit (Brisbane, Nov.2014) committs to support worldwide economic growth and employment also with special programmes for infrastructures. See the Brisbane Action Plan. Such Russian proposal could be one of this programme, a sign and result of great, peaceful and positive international cooperation, that we all need in this hard period. We shall see what the Chief of States and Government will be able to produce as proposals in the next coming G20 Summit (Antalia, Turkey, Nov. 2015)
Marco Ricceri, Roma, Italy
04/04/2015 16:24
@Lela Markham, Fairbanks, Alaska Just to be fair, Lela give us please the exact Putin's quote, when he said this. Are you sure it was Putin, but not some crazy Russian nationalist?
Alexander, Russia
03/04/2015 02:35

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