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If you could create underwater tunnels for rail travel...

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VTPreston_Tez

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Right, let's pretend we can bring in more Chunnel-esque services by using underwater tunnels to connect two towns. The thing is that you can't have anything much longer than the Chunnel for infrastructure reasons of course.

I would:
Fleetwood to Barrow tunnel to allow for Preston-Kirkham & Wesham-Poulton le Fylde-Thornton-Fleetwood-Barrow-in-Furness-Askham-Ravenglass for Eskdale and Whitehaven possibly up to Carlisle?
Russia to America '4-mile' underwater tunnel which is reportedly 27 miles shorter than the Chunnel. This would mark new cross-continent services and would allow for services such as Moscow/St. Petersburg-Anchorage or even further south to major stations in due time. Of course fact books are wrong as usual so 81 kilometeres, err...can be done if all the legal stuff is sorted :p
Feel free to propose and comment on your own ideas.
 
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MarkyT

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Right, let's pretend we can bring in more Chunnel-esque services by using underwater tunnels to connect two towns. The thing is that you can't have anything much longer than the Chunnel for infrastructure reasons of course.

Glasgow - Stranraer - Portpatrick - Tunnel - Bangor - Belfast.

Note I suggest connecting to Bangor rather than Larne branch, for less traffic over single line sections in Belfast to get to Central, and also entire Bangor line could be converted to standard gauge, with only a short section through Central to an enlarged Great Victoria Street equipped with dual gauge.

A tunnel under the Tees at Middlesbrough, allowing trains from Sunderland and Hartlepool to call there en route to York and south thereof.
 

142094

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Scotland - Ireland has been mentioned a few times and would be quite a good link, although I doubt it would be as well used as the Chunnel.
 

Cherry_Picker

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Harwich - Rotterdam would revolutionise the freight industry. It's the best part of 150 miles though, so dont hold your breath.

Stranraer to Northern Ireland would work too.
 

Waverley125

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Portsmouth-Ryde St Johns (England-Isle of Wight)

Stranraer-Belfast (Scotland-Northern Ireland)

Haverfordwest-Rosslare (Wales-Ireland)

Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire (Wales-Ireland)
 

DownSouth

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Russia to America 4-mile underwater tunnel which is reportedly 27 miles shorter than the Chunnel. This would mark new cross-continent services and would allow for services such as Moscow/St. Petersburg-Anchorage or even further south to major stations in due time.
I don't know where you're getting your figures from, but you probably need to try somewhere else. This is the closest point between the American and Asian (Russian) mainlands...

3yzHi.png


You'll see that the straight line distance is about 82 kilometres (51 miles) which is a significant amount longer than both the undersea length (38 km, 24 mi) and total length (51 km, 34 mi) of the Channel Tunnel. As with the Channel Tunnel, the total length of tunnel required would undoubtedly be much longer than that straight line distance of 82 kilometres. Then don't forget you need over 4,000 kilometres of new railway and paved highway before you have two networks linked together, plus a whopping trans-shipment and/or bogie exchange facility to account for the difference between 1520mm Russian Gauge and 1435mm Standard Gauge tracks.

If the plans approved by Vladimir Putin ever come to anything (remembering that you should look outside if he tells you the sky is blue) I expect that it would get downgraded to just an oil pipeline. If a rail link ever came to fruition, all it would carry would be 3,000+ metre consists of double-stacked containers with distributed locos run by Locotrol, probably electric traction because of the need to heat diesel fuel to keep it from freezing. There would be no incentive to have a line speed any faster than about 115 km/h because of the velocity squared relationship for aerodynamic forces making it prohibitively expensive to run container trains any faster.

As for passenger transport, it would be nearly useless. The distance involved means the manpower costs of staffing such a train for a non-existent market would be prohibitively high, even before you consider the break of gauge or the need for bespoke cold-proof stock. It's not as if there are any decently-sized cities in north-eastern Siberia or the whole of north-western North America to generate a passenger flow, and a non-air route from St Petersburg to a city on the west coast of North America like Vancouver would probably be faster by rail through Europe, ship across the Atlantic and rail across Canada. Adding a short rake of purpose-built coaches into a container train's consist for tourists would be the only way it could ever happen.
 

Manchester77

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A new undersea tunnel and high speed line. The route begins over HS2:
London Euston - redevelopment for HS2 with new platforms.
Birmingham Curzon Street - new station. Some terminating platforms, some through platforms.
Manchester Piccadilly - four additional platforms. Two terminating, two high speed through platforms.
Liverpool Lime Street - same as Manchester Piccadilly
** undersea tunnel **
Belfast Central - new terminating platforms.

My little fantasy idea of the UK linked by high speed rail;)
 

LE Greys

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  • Obviously, at least one of the GB-Ireland routes, coupled to an improved 125mph rail link with potential for a 200mph link if there is enough traffic
  • An additional Bristol-Newport route to ease congestion through the Severn Tunnel
  • Leith-Kirkaldy, possibly using an Archimedes bridge because of the depth, plus a 125 link to the Tay and an upgrade beyond there, speeding up Aberdeen-Edinburgh to 2 hours
  • An improved Mersey and Dee tunnel, allowing Irish services to run via Liverpool and connecting the Wirral to London
  • Hull-Barton-on-Humber, with the East Lincs reopening to allow faster services from Grimsby and improved freight links from Cleethorpes
If the Archimedes bridge under the Humber works, upgrade HS2 to Maglev, run it via Liverpool and Dublin, then Sligo-Mýrdalshreppur (Iceland), surface running to Reykjavík, then Keflavík-Tasiilaq (Greenland), surface running to Nuuk (Greenlandic capital), Nuuk-Torngat (Labrador), surface running via Goose Bay, Pinware River-Watt's Point, surface running via St John's (Newfoundland), Marystown-Glace Bay (Nova Scotia), surface running via Halifax, Yarmouth-Portland (Maine), surface running via Boston and New York to Washington D.C. You could cut out a lot of the intermediate steps by going direct to St John's from Ireland, or even to Boston, but that would lose the connectivity.
 

Ivo

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What is it with all of these "if you could do xxx" threads all of a sudden? :p

My first objective would be an additional Severn Tunnel. That much should be obvious. But speaking of estuary routes, second on my list would be a link between Southend and Sheerness. It's not especially deep - reportedly only 25m - and not especially far either. Currently the first rail crossing is the DLR at Woolwich - 30mi upstream.

Elsewhere, not considering those that have been proposed already, I really can't think of anything obvious.
 

anthony263

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No need for another tunnel under the river severn if they get on and build the severn barrage.

I wouldnt mind seeing a tunnel built between the uk & ireland together with a tunnel to the isle of wight (However the ferry companies wont be pleased)
 

VTPreston_Tez

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"At the nearest point America and Russia are less than four kilometres apart" maybe explains that my fact books are faulty.
I like the idea of Scotland/Liverpool to Ireland, and an additional Severn Tunnel. I like everything proposed though including Portsmouth to Ryde, it slipped my mind completely.
 

LE Greys

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What is it with all of these "if you could do xxx" threads all of a sudden? :p

My first objective would be an additional Severn Tunnel. That much should be obvious. But speaking of estuary routes, second on my list would be a link between Southend and Sheerness. It's not especially deep - reportedly only 25m - and not especially far either. Currently the first rail crossing is the DLR at Woolwich - 30mi upstream.

Elsewhere, not considering those that have been proposed already, I really can't think of anything obvious.

I forgot that! Link it to a London Outer Orbital route for passengers and freight, Southend-Whitham (needs some junction changes and four tracks to Colchester)-Stansted-Cambridge-Sandy-Bedford-Bletchley-Bicester-Oxford-Reading-Redhill-Tonbridge-Strood-Sittingbourne-Sheerness-Your new tunnel. Trains don't have to complete the circle, but it's an option. Half the route is already there.
 

ReverendFozz

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A tunnel from South Shields to either Tynemouth or North Shields under the Tyne on TW Metro and a new Tyne Tunnel from Jarrow to Howden creating South Tyneside/North Tyneside Loop
 

LE Greys

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Not likely, but at least its an intelligent proposal worthy of further analysis.

AIUI, a Bering Strait tunnel was proposed initially by one William Gilpin in the 1890s, and has been under occasional consideration ever since. Personally, I think it's unlikely under current circumstances, but it's quite possible at some point this century. A likely precursor would be an oil pipeline, likely because of Siberian oil and the American appetite for it.

I admit my idea of trying to cross the Atlantic in stages was far-fetched, especially since it would depend on technologies that are only partly developed yet and the collapse of the airline industry, but it wasn't really my idea, and there have been serious studies.
 

DXMachina

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I wouldn't tunnel to Ulster from Scotland - as it would cause the rail route to Dublin from Europe proper to have to go a long way north then a long way south on the primitive Irish rail infrastructure.... and I'm sure Dublin's the only destination over there worth reaching for financial purposes.

Holyhead Dublin is where the existing major travel route goes.. and its not as far from the HS2 railhead at Brum with HS links to the continent then possible
 

ReverendFozz

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DaveNewcastle:1107299 said:
A tunnel from South Shields to either Tynemouth or North Shields under the Tyne . . . .
Not likely, but at least its an intelligent proposal worthy of further analysis.

Your right it aint likely, especially as it looks like the shields ferry does well enough...

I completely agree with the US-Russia Rail Link is utterly daft, could the Americans and Russians ever read off the same page and be able to trust each other, I very much doubt it, and if anybody wanted to throw money at a feasibility I would just say give me the money, I will find something better to waste it on...

Another couple of ideas i had, would an undersea tunnel from Gibraltar to Morocco work, on the downside to that, the Spanish may not like the idea.

How about a railway connecting the Canary Islands with undersea tunnels and also an tunnel Italy and Sicily...

My mind going into overtime here I reckon
 

Ivo

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No, the first rail crossing up the Thames is HS1 between Purfleet and Ebbsfleet.

Oh of course. My mistake. It's not much use when the first station on the north side is beyond the Woolwich DLR tunnel though is it?
 

MrPosh

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  • Obviously, at least one of the GB-Ireland routes, coupled to an improved 125mph rail link with potential for a 200mph link if there is enough traffic
  • An additional Bristol-Newport route to ease congestion through the Severn Tunnel
  • Leith-Kirkaldy, possibly using an Archimedes bridge because of the depth, plus a 125 link to the Tay and an upgrade beyond there, speeding up Aberdeen-Edinburgh to 2 hours
  • An improved Mersey and Dee tunnel, allowing Irish services to run via Liverpool and connecting the Wirral to London
  • Hull-Barton-on-Humber, with the East Lincs reopening to allow faster services from Grimsby and improved freight links from Cleethorpes
If the Archimedes bridge under the Humber works, upgrade HS2 to Maglev, run it via Liverpool and Dublin, then Sligo-Mýrdalshreppur (Iceland), surface running to Reykjavík, then Keflavík-Tasiilaq (Greenland), surface running to Nuuk (Greenlandic capital), Nuuk-Torngat (Labrador), surface running via Goose Bay, Pinware River-Watt's Point, surface running via St John's (Newfoundland), Marystown-Glace Bay (Nova Scotia), surface running via Halifax, Yarmouth-Portland (Maine), surface running via Boston and New York to Washington D.C. You could cut out a lot of the intermediate steps by going direct to St John's from Ireland, or even to Boston, but that would lose the connectivity.

The Boston Boston line?
 

jon0844

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Another couple of ideas i had, would an undersea tunnel from Gibraltar to Morocco work, on the downside to that, the Spanish may not like the idea.

It would make it quicker to get the drugs over I guess (from Morocco)!
 

asylumxl

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I'm glad to see someone suggesting this - I think that there's definitely a market for a through service from Knapford to Manchester, though I guess that depends on the TPE recast after the Bolton line is electrified.

I don't know if I like the idea. Sodor seems to have rather poor levels of track maintenance judging by all the accidents!
 

Ivo

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I don't know if I like the idea. Sodor seems to have rather poor levels of track maintenance judging by all the accidents!

It wasn't the fault of the Fat Controller sorry, PC people, Sir Topham Hatt that someone thought it sensible to open a barber's shop at the end of a siding! It's true though - how often do you see maintenance there? I can only think of one episode!
 

asylumxl

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It wasn't the fault of the Fat Controller sorry, PC people, Sir Topham Hatt that someone thought it sensible to open a barber's shop at the end of a siding! It's true though - how often do you see maintenance there? I can only think of one episode!

The whole island is in desperate need of modernisation in my opinion. The benefit to cost ratio must be fantastic.
 

DownSouth

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Another couple of ideas i had, would an undersea tunnel from Gibraltar to Morocco work, on the downside to that, the Spanish may not like the idea.

How about a railway connecting the Canary Islands with undersea tunnels and also an tunnel Italy and Sicily...
A link directly from Spain to Morocco would be better, leave Gibraltar out of it as it has no rail link to Spain. The whole thing could actually be built entirely within Spanish jurisdiction, the nearest Spanish city Algeciras being both closer to the narrowest point of the Strait and already equipped with a rail link. Then on the African side, there is the small Spanish exclave which could have the tunnel portal and a station before a land border crossing into Morocco. See the attached image, with 17 kilometre line marked.

As for linking between the Islas Canarias, don't even think about it. The volumes of passengers and freight involved might only just make a case for new railways if they were towns the same distances apart on a mainland area.

The Strait of Messina between Sicily and mainland Italy will not be getting a tunnel for one very good reason - a combined road/rail bridge is currently under construction. It has been criticised by Sicilians for being a wasteful project, saying that even more time could be saved by keeping the current ferries and improving the local roads!
 

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AndyLandy

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I like everything proposed though including Portsmouth to Ryde, it slipped my mind completely.

This appeals to me, but I don't know whether there'd be the demand for it. For myself in Southampton, it's hard to see it being a better option than getting the ferry to Cowes...
 

tbtc

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I don't know if I like the idea. Sodor seems to have rather poor levels of track maintenance judging by all the accidents!

It wasn't the fault of the Fat Controller sorry, PC people, Sir Topham Hatt that someone thought it sensible to open a barber's shop at the end of a siding! It's true though - how often do you see maintenance there? I can only think of one episode!

The whole island is in desperate need of modernisation in my opinion. The benefit to cost ratio must be fantastic.

True, but some of the stock they run is going to be better than the 153s etc that run through Barrow at the moment - a joint service might mean an upgrade in some services.

Then again, there'd need to be some turntables sorted out on the English side which might add to the overall costs of the project.

It's still better than some proposals I've seen on here.
 
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