China considers plans to build rail tunnel under Mt. Everest

China considers plans to build rail tunnel under Mt. Everest

China is now considering extending a railway line to connect the country with Nepal by passing it right through Mount Everest. Well under the mountain, really, using “some very long tunnels”. The plan is obviously still in its earliest stages of development.

According to the Guardian:

The Qinghai-Tibet railway already links the rest of China with the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, and beyond, and an extension running as far as the international border is already being planned “at Nepal’s request”, the China Daily quoted a railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering as saying.

The project is expected to be completed by 2020, the newspaper cited a Tibetan official as saying. Extending the line would potentially forge a crucial link between China and the huge markets of India. It was raised by the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, on a visit to Kathmandu in December, according to Nepalese reports.

“The line will probably have to go through Qomolangma so that workers may have to dig some very long tunnels,” railway expert Wang Mengshu told the China Daily, referring to Mount Everest by its Tibetan name.

This is the latest of several ambitious railway projects being mulled over by Beijing, including a proposed high-speed rail linking China to the US via 125 miles of undersea tunnel.

Other notable schemes include a line running from Beijing to Moscow, from China to Singapore via Laos and a line from China to England. The Thailand National Council for Peace and Order last year approved a 143 billion yuan rail project linking China and Thailand.

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