It’s true. China is apparently considering high-speed “doomsday trains” capable of darting throughout the country while carrying powerful missiles.
The plan is to utilize a high-speed railway to transport intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), moving them at high speeds to keep them from being located by enemies.
The so-called “doomsday trains” will even have the ability to act as launch pads for missiles, with massively reinforced railway rails and foundations to withstand the blast’s impact on take-off. These ICBMs might theoretically be armed with nuclear weapons.
While the plan may sound dystopic, it is still in the early stages of blueprints. It is, however, the center of a national research project funded by the central Chinese government led by Yin Zihong, an associate professor of civil engineering with Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Reportedly, they just published a peer-reviewed study weighing the pros and cons of the plan in the Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University.
During the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union had similar ideas about utilizing trains to transport or launch nuclear weapons. The concept of railcar-launched ICBMs has slowed in recent years.
However, there seems to be a resurgence in its conception. In 2015, China showed an ICBM “cold launch” on a railway, while North Korea performed its train-launched ballistic missiles in 2021.
China, along with the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea, is one of nine nations acknowledged to have nuclear weapons. As per the Union of Concerned Scientists, China has kept a stockpile of an estimated 350 warheads since successfully testing nuclear weapons in the early 1960s.
Their nuclear arsenal is small in comparison to that of the United States and Russia, which have roughly 5,500 and 6,300 nuclear warheads, respectively.
Despite what advancements they made in this field, China also became the first nation out of those that own nuclear weapons to propose and pledge their “no first use” nuclear policy. This policy is instated alongside detaching nuclear weapons from missiles during times of peace.
In contrast, you will find that most countries, including the United States and Russia, have policies that permit them to use nuclear warheads first in case a conflict may arise, though its probability is most unlikely.
Despite their nuclear arsenal being comparatively “minimal” to their geopolitical rivals, China is indeed miles ahead when it comes to the domain of high-speed rails. The country boasts itself as home to the world’s biggest high-speed railway network.
With 40,000 kilometers (24,854.8 miles) of connected tracks, it gives route to trains that are zooming at high speeds of 200 to 350 kilometers per hour (120 to 220 miles per hour).
Provided that the Chinese government is serious about this project, there is a very high possibility that China could utilize these systems of high-tech railways to hurl ICBMs through the country at an incredible speed.
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