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Russian Railways Chief Puts World Rail Network on the Agenda

December 2009

Vladimir Yakunin
January 17, 2006, Moscow, before the working meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, with President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin. Photo by the Presidential Press and Information Office of the President of Russia.

Vladimir Yakunin, the president of Russian Railways, gave an extensive interview to Britain's Sunday Express on December 19, which the weekly summarized in an article today. Quotes follow:

Dreams of travelling from London to New York by train were evoked last night after one of Russia's most powerful men pledged a crucial tunnel linking his country to North America would be 'feasible' within 10 years.

Vladimir Yakunin, the president of state-run Russian Railways and Prime Minister Putin's closest confidant, said his ambition was to connect more than half the planet by train. He told the Express that American investors had already approached him about boring a 64-mile tunnel under the famous Bering Sea that separates Asia and North America. He said that 'With new rail links planned through Alaska and eastern Russia, the tunnel would help enable freight and passenger trains to run from the U.S. to London on uninterrupted tracks.' 

Yakunin also suggested that "governments should be responsible for rail infrastructure.'There should be a system that either demands the private investor should invest into these spheres or the state becomes the owner of the infrastructure and they invest budgets into infrastructure and that enhances the security of operations.' Yakunin said he had been negotiating with potential partners from around the world to trigger a 'renaissance of railways... We are in contact with countries in Latin America, Africa and with Arab countries and China. It's in everyone's interest to develop railways,' Yakunin said.

triple curve
Main routes of the World Land-Bridge. Existing routes are green, proposed routes are red, but the existing routes need improvement!
triple curve critical

A view of the routes from the north pole, showing the importance of the Bering Strait crossing.

See also: Maps of Great Infrastructure Development Projects Around the World

The Sunday Express interview has already circulated to other media, including an article in the Indian Economic Times. The Bering Strait project which Yakunin is referring to, was featured prominently at a Moscow conference on "Great Projects" in May 2007, which was also attended by Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and it was the guiding theme of an international conference on the "World Landbridge" that the Schiller Institute held in Kiedrich, Germany, in September of that same year. A maglev track running through the Bering Strait would allow uninterrupted travel at 450 km/hour from Europe's Atlantic coast to the southern tip of South America, it was proposed at the Kiedrich conference.

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