A journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway is often hailed as the trip of a lifetime, mostly because the 6,152 mile route between Moscow and Vladivostok is believed to be the longest you can take on just one train. Yet the historic railway could soon become even more spectacular thanks to an ambitious proposal from the Russian government.
Russia has recently announced its plan to link the Trans-Siberian Railway from London to Tokyo, The Independent reports. Beginning in Britain’s capital, the 8,400 mile route would take travelers through Germany, Poland, and the Russian mainland before finishing in Hokkaidok, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, where it would link with the Japanese rail network.
To make this incredible route possible, the project would require the construction of 28-mile bridge to take trains from the Russian island Sakhalin over the East Sea into Japan.
“We are seriously offering Japanese partners to consider the construction of a mixed road and railway passage from Hokkaido to the southern part of Sakhalin,” Russia’s first vice-premier Igor Shuvalov explained, according to the Siberian Times.
The plan has been nicknamed the “bridge across history,” after Moscow and Tokyo failed to formally sign a treaty to end the conflict following World War II. Russia’s president is now said to be in serious talks with Japan to get the railway extension underway and strengthen relations between the two countries.
“The Far East offers a unique combination of opportunities and competitive advantages for the implementation of ambitious projects, including preferential tax treatment and streamlined administrative procedures, which are comparable to or even more comfortable than in the best development areas in Asia Pacific and the world,” Putin said in a speech at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum.
“Taken together with the development of the Northern Sea Route, modernisation of BAM and Trans-Siberian Railway and implementation of other projects, this will help us make the Russian Far East a major global logistics hub.”
The longest stretch of the Trans-Siberian Railway currently links Moscow to Vladivostok, and the trip traditionally takes seven days to complete. It’s said to be one of the greatest rail journeys in the world and covers the unique panoramas of the Russian landscape, from pine forests to the Ural mountains. There are two other routes that take passengers to the Chinese capital: the less-traveled Moscow to Beijing via Harbin, Manchuria, and the popular Moscow to Beijing journey that passes through Mongolia and through the Great Wall.