From Paris to New York… by Land?!?!?

I was browsing’s new additions, and I happened upon this:

Many who read the following account of our long land journey will not unnaturally ask: “What was the object of this stupendous voyage, or the reward to be gained by this apparently unnecessary risk of life and endurance of hardships?” I would reply that my primary purpose was to ascertain the feasibility of constructing a railway to connect the chief cities of France and America, Paris and New York.

— From Paris to New York by Land
, by Harry de Windt (1903)

Eh? A transatlantic railway? Oh, no, they mean the LONG way, which I guess is (mostly, except that Bering Strait bit) by land. That’s what is described at this webpage:

Harding had accompanied the explorer Harry de Windt on his failed attempt in 1896 to travel overland from New York to Paris, travelling only as far the Siberian shores of Bering Straits. In 1901 another attempt was made by de Windt and Harding, this time attempting the route in reverse, i.e. Paris to New York. The “De Windt Expedition” left Paris on Dec. 19th 1901 and travelled to Moscow and thence to Yakutsk, Verkhoyansk, Nijni-Kolymsk, and the Bering Straits; travelling 11,263 miles and employing 808 horses, 887 reindeer and 114 dogs en route.

From East Cape, Bering Straits they travelled to Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, to Nome City, St. Michael”s, Dawson City and eventually to New York on Aug. 25th 1902, covering a total distance of 18,494 miles. During the journey they spent much time amongst the Inuit peoples of Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska….

… An account of the expedition by de Windt “From Paris to New York by Land” was published in 1904.

Makes one wonder, though, what might have happened in terms of this Trans-Eurasiamerican railway had commercial flight not developed, and had trains gotten fast and efficient enough for such a railway to have developed. And then, what would have happened if air travel suddenly became possible? Hmm. Something to tuck away for that glimmer of a story  about Australian zeppelin-terrorists that popped its nasty little head up a year or two back.

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