Featured Image: A map of the global subway system. Click here for a magnifiable map.
Saturday, 31 March 2018, New York, NY – If you remember our last blog post, we mentioned the possibility of a global highway system that could exist by the year 2050. This potential highway system also reminded us of another massive engineering project. A man named Chris Gray, from West Yorkshire, England, created a proposal for a global metro system that is meant to make travel quick and seamless. The system connects pretty much every city of note in the world, and, when you take a look at the proposal, is actually pretty cool.
So obviously, this proposal is currently impossible with modern construction technology. The proposed lines would traverse huge mountain ranges and cross oceans thousands of metres beneath the waves. These underwater tunnels would also have to traverse deep ocean abysses and tectonic plates, so this proposal is not feasible.
Take the Atlantic Ocean, for example. With modern technology, we can build, at most, 20 to 30 metres of tunnels per day. The Atlantic Ocean, between London and New York, is over 5500 km wide. At our current rate of tunnel construction, a tunnel traversing the Atlantic Ocean alone would take around 508 years to construct. Possibly more due to the additional challenge of building a tunnel thousands of metres beneath the ocean surface.
Another problem is the sheer cost. There is no official estimate on the cost of building this global system, but DC Blogs estimates it to be in the hundreds of trillions of dollars.
So yeah, an idea costing hundreds of trillions of dollars and over half a millennium of humanity’s blood, sweat, and tears, isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But of course, it’s still fun to think about. According to Gray, he was inspired by a visit to Australia to watch a cricket match.
He was in Australia and he thought it would be great to be able to “nip home”, so he came up with the global subway system as a result.
“I was sat in Melbourne after watching England lose another test and thought it would be great to nip over to England for Christmas and New Year and then go back to the sun, so I came up with the idea of a world Underground and started drawing it” – Chris Gray
It would be awesome if this metro system actually existed, but unfortunately, the proposed system faces an infinite amount of problems preventing its construction, including lack of technology, expense, infeasible routes and environments, and unprecedented international cooperation. And besides, there isn’t very much demand for international rail travel in the first place.
Probably the best way to sum up this global metro system proposal is with a quote from a YouTuber named JJ McCullough: “No matter how cool or creative you think you idea is, if it conflicts with basic common sense, [then] it’s probably not gonna work”.
Source: Daily Mail