The Trans-Siberian Railway forms the longest railway track in the world by connecting Moscow to the far east city of Vladivostok on a route of 9,289 kilometers (5,772 miles). Being the longest, busiest, and one of the oldest, it is the most famous railway track in the world that creeps through 8 time zones. The seven-day journey on the historic route is a dream for many, and it may just come true with Russian government’s new proposal of a railway project that stretches from London all the way to Japan, passing through the Trans-Siberian railway path.
The railway track beginning in London will cross 10 different countries through the Trans-Siberian path, covering a distance of 13,500 kilometers to end in the Japanese city of Wakkanai. Moving from Europe all the way to the other end of Asia, the route touches the cities of London, Brussels, Cologne, Warsaw, and Moscow on its way.
The Trans-Siberian path begins in Moscow where the train will follow the ancient route right to the end. When the Russian route ends in the port city of Sovetskaya Gavan, the train will travel in a downward loop to the island of Sakhalin and enter Japan through a 45-kilometer bridge from the Russian island of Sakhalin.
The idea may sound hard to apply as it will require coordination between so many different countries. Igor Shuvalov, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, commented,
“We are seriously offering Japanese partners to consider the construction of a mixed road and railway passage from Hokkaido to southern part of Sakhalin.”
The Russian government first approached Japan about a year ago and proposed the project that would call for massive development in all the areas connected by the route. Various proposals have been submitted to Japan to get approval for the railway project.
There are a few hurdles to the proposed railway project mainly due to some land disputes between Japan and Russia. Japan is expecting a proper assessment of the technical aspects of the trail rail on its part, but the decades-long dispute over the chain of Kuril Islands can be a stopping wall. Also known as the Northern Territories, the Kuril Islands have been claimed by both the countries and are currently protected under Russian sovereignty.
Russia won’t be the only one benefiting from the economic perks that the project will offer. Who knows, it may never become a reality until Russia and Japan come together and put an end to the long standing dispute.