New hope for flying phobes!

Good news for anyone who is scared (i.e me!) of travelling by plane… they’re looking to expand the Trans-Siberian railway, which would mean that it’s possible to travel entirely by train from London to Tokyo.

The changes would see the route bypassing Vladivostok, currently the final stop on the Trans-Siberian route, with a four-mile bridge or tunnel linking the city of Khabarovsk to the Pacific island of Sakhalin.

The new rail connection would cross from Sakhalin to the northerly Japanese island of Hokkaido, using a 26-mile tunnel.

“The ventures are seen as leading to a revival of not only commercial traffic between the two countries, but also to increased tourism and other human contacts,” reported The Siberian Times.

The Kremlin is keen to develop the project because it wants to develop Russia’s far east economy, which lags behind the rest of the country. Japan is interested in the extension because it could increase tourism to the country.

However, the plan may never get off the ground because of a long-standing argument over the Kuril Islands. Both nations claim the four islands as their own. The issue is the reason the two countries never signed a peace treaty after World War II. Vladimir Putin is visiting Japan in December, and it is likely that the railroad extension will play a major part in talks between the two countries.