January 1 marked the day the first electric train ran along a newly electrified section of the Trans-Siberian railway, which will eventually link the two Koreas and Japan with Russia.
At 6,000 miles long, the railway is the longest continuous rail line in the world. The length of the electrified section of Russia’s main railway was extended by about 50 miles and the remaining length will be electrified by 2002.
The extension took about four months to complete and uses 4,000 supports. The electrification makes it possible to increase the freight weight and speed of the trains.
The construction of tunnels and bridges to link Russia with Japan will start in 2001. Railway connections will also be restored between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. A connection between Tokyo and London may also be built sometime this decade.