Direct Physical Link from Russia to Alaska

Speculist has picked this ball up, and commented on the Instapundit article.

Would there be traffic of a physical tunnel between the two continents?

It’s plausible.  Prior to the emergence of aircraft and the near-century of Russian society being raped by the Communists, there were railroad financiers who were thinking of doing precisely the same thing, on the grounds that it would allow one to link up almost all the world by rail.  Sure, you’d miss the Aussies (unless somebody got REAL impressive with bridges), and you wouldn’t be delivering pizza to penguins anytime soon, but think about it:  hop onto an Amtrak car or its equivalent, spend two weeks reading, writing, etcetera, and get out of your train in Tallinn or Mumbai or Johannesburg.

Instapundit doesn’t think there’d be traffic.  Speculist thinks there would be.  I think that such a thing COULD get a lot of traffic, but only if a number of governments were willing to pony up for it… containerized commerce has gotten so efficient that I don’t know whether rail could out-compete maritime shipping of products… and unless you’ve got a train going 350mph, I just can’t see most Americans having the vacation time to take advantage of it when compared to an airplane, especially if we’re soon going to start getting suborbitals.  The US railroad companies bet on cargo rather than passengers over fifty years ago, and for good reason.  TGV and the like aren’t likely to happen under North America’s significantly more difficult conditions.  (Plus, Amtrak sucks, and stays in business only because Congresscritters find it in their political interest to keep propping up the Boston-NYC-DC commuter route, without which.)

But I could be wrong…

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