Next stop, Moscow? MN included in outrageous world superhighway plan

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Ever thought about hopping on a train in St. Paul and taking a trip to Moscow, Paris or London?

No? It's not surprising because, well, you can't right now.

But that trip would become a possibility under an outlandish, outrageous proposal from Vladimir Yakunin – the president of Russia's railway system.

The Siberian Times reported this week that Yakunin is proposing a "world superhighway" – which would involve building an 8,000-mile-long high-speed railway, road, oil and gas pipeline system, stretching from London to New York. (The long way, not across the Atlantic Ocean.)

And according to CNN, Yakunin's planned route would take people through the frozen tundra of Siberia, across the Bering Sea into Alaska, down through Canada where it bisects Minnesota before making its way to the East Coast.

"This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project," Yakunin told a meeting of the Russian Academy of Science. "The project should be turned into a world 'future zone,' and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies."

The cost of the project is unfathomable, with the Siberian Times quoting Yakunin as saying it would require "trillions of dollars." But he thinks the economic returns would outweigh the investments.

One of the motivations behind the proposal would be to connect isolated Siberia with the wider world.

And though Minnesota's involvement is based on CNN's speculation at this point, blogger Minnesota Brown has highlighted the romance of Yakunin's plan.

"It’s fascinating to think of European travelers and exotic trains passing along the route of the old Great Northern railway, stopping off at Bud’s Diner in Floodwood or Brewed Awakenings in downtown Grand Rapids, Minnesota," he writes.

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