20th CENTURY
RAILROAD CLUB

Members Meeting

  • Wednesday, June 13, 2018
  • 7:00 PM
  • Founder's Room at Chicago Union Station

Presenter: Harry Lepinske One Belt One Road and Its Rail Systems

China's S $43 trillion initiative, called "One Belt One Road" is history's largest economic and transportation project ever conceived. It is divided into seven different geographical regions throughout Russia, all parts of Asia and Northeast Africa. The six land regions include plans to rehab old roads and rail systems and build new roads and rail systems.

The maritime program includes rehabbing, and expanding old ports and building new ports. In May 2017, the Chinese shipped cargo for the first time by its new rail system extending from Southeast China to Western Europe in 23 days. By November, trains made the trip in 10-12 days. China's early major concentration was billions being invested in Pakistan for new roads, new rail systems, and expanding old ports for an integrated transportation system.

Central Asia also is its highly prioritized region because of plans for new rail systems throughout the region. Plans for new and expanded rail systems in the region is not new.

When the Soviet government failed and the former Soviet republics became independent, these nations began to search for new markets and new transportation routes. Iran's plan to build a railroad from Tehran to Shanghai began some twenty years ago. Now it has China's support.

Turkey began to expand its rail systems and also had planned to connect with new rail systems throughout Central Asia and Iran. Now it also has the support of China. Americans should understand these developments and realize this expansion could be a serious matter of national security.

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