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The remarkable Pan-Himalayan Railway

One of the world’s greatest railway journeys is set to open in 2007 with the news this week that the Pan-Himalayan Railway has been completed, taking the title of the World’s highest railway from Peru’s Andes Railway. The first section of line from Xining to Golmud, began in 1958 and was finished in 1984. The second 1142 kilometre section, which completes the planned 1956 kilometre railway from Xining in Qinghai province, to the capital of Tibet, Lhasa was finished last week at a cost of US$3.0 billion. At its highest point the railway is 5,072m (16,640ft) above sea level and runs across the “roof of the world” with 960 kilometres of the journey above 4,000 metres. Carriages used on the journey will be sealed like passenger aircraft to protect passengers from altitude sickness and workers constructing the line had to breathe from special oxygen bottles.  Read More

World's largest bridge to connect Italy and Sicily

The long-standing project to build the world’s largest bridge between Sicily and mainland Italy has cleared one of its final remaining obstacles and now seems certain to go ahead – the announcement of the winning tender by the Italian construction company Impregilo was made late last week. Impregilo will begin work on the project next year and is expected to finish construction of the world’s largest bridge by 2012. The 3.8 billion euro bridge will cross the Strait of Messina with a single 3300 metre central span, eclipsing the current longest span of the Akashi Kaikyo bridge in Japan (1991 metres) by two thirds again. The bridge’s total length will be 3,666 metres, with a deck of 60.4 metres, six traffic lanes, two service lanes and two railway lines. The bridge’s statistics dwarf all of the World's Greatest Bridges.  Read More

The Luggage Passport checks in

August 31, 2005 European think-tank BDi has released the Luggage Passport, the first “HandsOn” luggage product. The Luggage Passport is being featured today at the Standards Australia Luggage Forum, where the first prototypes will be made available to industry professionals. First featured here on Gizmag the Luggage Passport provides the missing link in ensuring personal security and safety when travelling. It helps in all situations of Theft, Tampering and most importantly Smuggling.  Read More

Private Voyage to the Moon – US$100 million per seat

August 12, 2005 Space Adventures has announced the availability of a commercial spaceflight to the far side of the moon. Space Adventures has previously organized spaceflights for the world's first private space explorers, American businessman Dennis Tito and the ‘First African in Space’ Mark Shuttleworth, disclosed the details of the mission, called DSE-Alpha, during a press conference. DSE-Alpha, the first in a series of lunar missions to be featured in Space Adventures' Deep Space Expeditions (DSE) program, is made possible through the company's long-standing partnership with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA) and the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia). The mission will be aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, piloted by a Russian cosmonaut, and could launch as early as 2008. Two commercial seats are available priced at US$100,000,000 (USD) each. Before the mission is flown, the required research and development, spacecraft modifications, as well as, the required manned and unmanned test flights will have been completed.  Read More

AirTrack enhances looking out the window

July 10, 2005 No doubt we’ve all experienced it at one time or another – looking out the window of an international aircraft en route from and to well known ports but over completely unknown territory and wondering what life might be like just a few thousand feet below. The usual plane-on-a-map features of international aircraft don’t help much but a new service -AirTrack - is expected to set a new standard for in-flight entertainment moving map systems. AirTrack is based on satellite imagery and provides 2D and 3D detailed topographical maps and satellite imagery, as well as new aerial scenes of views from the outside. Resolutions of 10 meters or 1 meter per pixel can be provided, with the latter providing unsurpassed detail even for city street views.  Read More

Hualapai Tribe Building Skywalk 4,000 Feet above Colorado River

May 20, 2005 “Life is either a great adventure or nothing”, said Helen Keller and though Sir Richard Branson is paraphrasing it rather more succinctly in promoting the Yahoo! Think Big Contest, the message is the same. With a stunt worthy of Sir Richard himself, (the final judge of the Yahoo! contest) adventurer, author, and publisher Mark McMahon strung a banner across the Grand Canyon to get the attention of Yahoo's! "Think Big" Contest judges. The contest winner, chosen for its business plan and ability to "Think Big" will get 10 million free ad impressions across the Yahoo! Network. Helping him in his feat was the Grand Canyon’s indigenous residents, the Hualapai (WALL-ah-pie) tribe, who run the Grand Canyon resort and have promotional plans as big as Mark’s. The Hualapai Tribe is building a Skywalk over the Grand Canyon (pictured) to enhance the tourist experience.  Read More

Building a tropical resort in Northern Germany

February 10, 2005 Where do you find a tenant when the world's largest self-supporting building suddenly becomes vacant? You think outside the square! That's what Malaysian businessman Colin Au did. He decided to build a tropical paradise with X Y and Z, and create a holiday destination for the locals who wanted relief from the cold and grey weather in Germany. "Not many people do not have enough time or money to go on extensive holiday trips abroad. That's when I had the idea for Tropical Islands." A former cruise line operator, Au reversed the principle of cruising: Instead of taking people to the tropics, he took the tropics to where they were most needed.  Read More

World's tallest building and largest mall announced

December 14, 2004 The construction of what will become the world's tallest building - the Burj Tower in Dubai - will commence in January, 2005, with plans for the 800 metre tall, 160 floor skyscraper to be completed by 2008. The building will also contain residential, commercial, hotel and entertainment facilities, including the largest shopping mall in the world. Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, the complex will contain a city within a city - a planned Old Town with intimate streets and architectural detail to create a special ambience with the mystery of yesterdays Arabia, in what is expected to be the centrepiece of the Gulf region's most prestigious urban development.  Read More

Manufacturing Real Estate - Dubai shows the World how to make Artificial Realty

God made the world in seven days for an undisclosed cost, and now man has recreated it for a steal. Artificial reality has taken on a whole new slant with developments in habitat and ecosystem creation by the Dubai based Nakheel Corporation, which is creating their own customised islands for sale. Once the stuff of science fiction, terraforming is now an affordable reality as real estate can be designed and shaped to the most outrageous whim. Nakheel have gone so far as creating an artificial archipelago that replicates a scale model of the world with all major land masses, as well as replicas of lost cities from different parts of the ancient world that have to be seen to be believed.  Read More

New Freedom Ship design unveiled

July 30, 2003 In the year since Gizmo first examined Freedom Ship - an ambitious project that aims to create a floating city almost a mile long with a full-scale airstrip on the roof - engineers and architects have developed a new exterior design. The extensive changes in the evolving appearance of Freedom Ship are particularly noticeable at the stern, where a new port authority and large docking area for smaller leisure craft and visiting vessels has been incorporated. The sides of the massive ship have also undergone significant design changes with three extended bays carved out of the decks on the port and starboard sides of the vessel creating unique open-air promenades.  Read More

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