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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Russia to Alaska... by rail



I don't remember a time when I wasn't enchanted with the idea of overnight train travel. But the trip that took my long-held-but-abstract love of sleeper trains and made it real was our 2008 honeymoon journey on the transmongolian line, from St Petersburg to Beijing. Indeed, we've often talked about going back to do it - or the transsiberian line to Vladivostok - again in the winter.

Even then, there were rumours of possible Russian investment in opening up a tunnel to the Americas. It didn't seem likely to happen, but the idea caught my imagination. A couple of days ago, the story was suddenly in the news again.

If it does ever happen, I'll be first in line for a ticket. I'd take the train from London to Paris, through Europe to Moscow, across Siberia to eastern Russia, through the new tunnel to Alaska, and down (eventually) to New York and the week-long sail back to England. I think the whole trip would probably take three to four weeks, even without sightseeing breaks, so it would take quite some planning.

But don't hold your breath - even if everything happens on schedule, the line wouldn't be open before 2041.

Meanwhile, if the idea attracts you as much as it does me, go and watch the BBC video that shows the proposed route in detail.

13 comments:

BECKY said...

Rachel, I too LOVE the idea of going far and wide on trains. That's mostly because I did ride a few trains in my youth, never in a sleeping car, but still some overnight adventures! I think your first sentence in this blog post would make a fabulous first line in a book!!

Tabor said...

As much as I love travel I would certainly want to be around for this. Maybe, I will.

liliannattel said...

I doubt I'll be taking it in 2041, but my kids might. What a wonderful honeymoon!

Emma said...

That would be awesome! I would love, love, love to do the Trans-Siberian express.....just need to wait for the girl to be a bit older :-) x

Elisabeth said...

Oh the joys of train travel, especially sleeping on them: the clickety clack of the wheels on the rails to soothe you to sleep.

Slamdunk said...

Whoa that would be something. I off to check out your BBC link.

Christine said...

I love long rail trips. I may be around for 2041...but I'd be a grande dame then!! I'd like to think it would be fund

becky said...

What an awesome idea...a tunnel from Russia to Alaska!!! There's future thinking for you...once all the ice melts away, there will be lots of new lands to explore.

Rachel said...

It's a fascinating idea, isn't it. I'm just going to hope I'm still around and in good health...

Fly Girl said...

Hmmm, it's an interesting concept, I think the travel experience is rendered more romantic by rail but I've never considered it personally. I grew up right next to the railroad and I still have an everyday, unexciting, association with them.

Jenny Woolf said...

I hadn't heard of this tunnel but it sounds breathtaking. I'd want to go on it too. My goodness!

Usually, I find train travel palls after a while, but I suppose part of the point is to get off en route.

Charlotte said...

I am also obsessed with train travel. And long rail trips are good for the soul :) Sounds neat and thanks for sharing the link!

christine said...

what a journey that would be, don't think I'll be around for it, though:( x

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