GarryB wrote:Honestly the way the EU treats Russia I would say paying good money to get people to and from there faster is a waste of time and money and just another string they can cut.
I would say high speed rail links within Russia between major cities and areas is well worth the money and effort, but rather than rail links to the EU, I would direct them the other way and go for rail links to Asia and through Asia...
Set up a military park in the far east somewhere where you can drive a tank or fly a fighter or fire a machine gun or rocket launcher... they can use up old ammo and spend money having fun with their mates. You could have once in a lifetime things like firing a tank gun or artillery piece for $5K US it could all be videoed and you get to keep the empty shell case or whatever... there will be lots of ex army and ex military people who might like a job there that does not involve going to shit holes around the world and killing people...
You could add a few other adventure type things or nature things along the high speed route where you can stop for as long as you like and catch the next train to continue your journey or whatever...
That's the thing though.
What's Russia's value, fundamentally?
It's a country linking the whole of Eurasia, west to east, north to south
By itself it doesn't have nearly as much population as either Europe, or Asia or the Middle East though.
While the EU can always cut the strings, it would be to its own benefit, that say people in China can take a high-speed train all the way to the heart of Europe through Central Asia and Russia. And that they can use the same super highway to get to Asia.
And like I said, we already have a fast rail service with Helsinki; that's one thing the EU hasn't objected to at least.
Therefore Russia building high speed rail links with Europe cannot be taken in isolation. There should also be a high speed rail linking to Iran, and possibly beyond to Pakistan, and of course high speed rail lines linking to China. If the tunnel to Hokkaido to Sakhalin ever gets built (the bridge to Sakhalin itself from the mainland is assured in that case too), then we can connect Japan's railways to the trans-Siberian line too for logistics and travel. Ditto for South Korea; in case the US ever fucks off the construction of the inter-Korean railway can proceed all the way to Vladivostok.