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

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DXMachina

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Portsmouth-Ryde has cost reductions compared to other projects as the stock's already ideal for tunnel conditions ;)
 
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DownSouth

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Of course fact books are wrong as usual so 81 kilometeres, err...can be done if all the legal stuff is sorted :p
No, the fact book was correct - but you had the wrong fact. The islands of Big Diomede (Russia) and Little Diomede (USA) in the middle of the Bering Strait are indeed about 3.5 km apart (2.2 mi), but with the population of Big Diomede being zero it's hardly a major trade route requiring an undersea railway. A dinghy for summer and a snowmobile for winter should be more than enough.
 

Waverley125

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With regard to the Irish sea crossing, I think it makes sense to build all three tunnels (i.e. Haverfordwest-Rosslare, Holyhead-Dublin & Stranraer-Belfast) as part of the eventual roll-out of high speed rail across the UK.

The Rosslare-Haverfordwest tunnel would be the western end of High Speed 3 (London-Bristol/South Wales) and would allow through trains Between London, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Waterford, Cork & Dublin. It would also form the quickest route for a London-Dublin service, and would probably be significantly funded by the Irish government, given that it would also allow domestic Cork-Dublin HS workings. An upgrade of the A40/Extension of the M4 would allow a Eurotunnel-like operation to work from Haverfordwest or Fishguard.

The Holyhead-Dublin route would allow trains from the North & Midlands to access Ireland, connecting into the most obvious transpennine route, branching from the existing HS2 alignment at Leeds, tunnelling under the Pennines to Manchester, travelling to an underground station in Liverpool, diving under the Mersey & onto the North Wales coast to Holyhead. I Imagine the through service would be Newcastle-Leeds-Manchester-Liverpool-Dublin as well as Birmingham-Dublin. A Eurotunnel-esque opertion could be based at Holyhead, as the existing roads should be sufficient, and if not, the M56 should be reasonably easy to upgrade to Llandudno.

The Stranraer-Belfast route would form HS2's link to Northern Ireland for London-Belfast services, being the shortest tunnel route, trains could run at highest overland speeds. This location would allow for services to Belfast via Birmingham International, Manchester Airport, Preston & Carlisle (my preferred HS2 western arm alignment), as well as allowing for a short spur to the Glasgow-bound HS2 line for through services from Edinburgh & Glasgow to Belfast.

If you look at the UK & Ireland as a single high speed railway entity, I think the end result would look something like this

HS2 (east): London-East Midlands-Sheffield-Leeds-Newcastle-Edinburgh-Dundee-Aberdeen

HS2 (west): London-Birmingham-Manchester/Liverpool-Preston-Carlisle-Glasgow/Belfast

HS3: London-Heathrow-Bristol-Cardiff-Swansea/Cork/Dublin

HS4: Cork-Waterford-Dublin-Dublin Airport-Belfast

HS5: Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds

HS6: Bristol-Birmingham

HS7: Glasgow-Dundee
 

Mutant Lemming

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How about following Arnie Sachmundsen's lead and taking the direct route from Accrington to Melbourne - not undersea granted but it would pass through something liquid on it's journey.
 

DynamicSpirit

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If we're in utter-fantasy-land, can anyone beat this 3-tunnels-idea.... Fareham-Gosport-(T)-Portsmouth-(T)-South Hayling-(T)-Wittering-Bognor Regis. (T) marks the tunnels.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Also somewhat fantasy-ish, but Prestatyn-West Kirby would give a very direct connection between Liverpool and the North Wales coast.

And I'm surprised noone has yet mentioned Blackpool-Southport (which could also connect to Liverpool)
 

VTPreston_Tez

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I still favour the idea of Fleetwood-Barrow if costs allow it. It would allow for diversions, new freight routes, and if a Blackpool-Fleetwood chord comes along and a line is made around the Fleetwood depot we're on to a winner.

We're not in fantasy land. It has to be viable.
 

yorkie

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I still favour the idea of Fleetwood-Barrow if costs allow it.
By "if costs allow it" I assume you mean a cost-benefit analysis suggests it's viable, then we can safely say the answer is no.

We're not in fantasy land. It has to be viable.
I'd put a Fleetwood-Barrow underwater tunnel in the category of fantasy rather than viable, but we can agree to disagree on that.
 

ReverendFozz

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DownSouth:1107901 said:
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!

For the Gibraltar idea, I was thinking about it as a way to open Gibraltar to the Spanish by linking them to Spains rail network and slap a tunnel in Gibraltar under the Med...Like I said before unlikely. I forgot about Algeciras being where it is and would probably be the position to put a Med Sea Tunnel...

Some other places I was thinking about a tunnel

A tunnel between Australia and Tasmania
A tunnel under the Rio De La Plata between Argentina and Uruguay
A tunnel from somewhere in Baja California to the rest of Mexico
A tunnel under the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to Florida
Or a Tunnel under the Suez Canal to go through the Sinai to Israel
 

QJ

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I like some of these ideas - would be fun digging a tunnel between Baja California and mainland Mexico given that they are slowly moving away from each other geologically.

Louisiana to Florida would be another fun one given the oil bearing strata it would likely encounter.

I do like the idea of a Trans Med link between Spain and Morocco though. I believe it has been given serious thought by both Governments. You could then start to fulfill the dream of various former colonial powers of high speed train links throughout North and West Africa.

The great and good couldn't achieve a viable tunnel between Gosport and Portsmouth to run trams through so what chance of Portsmouth to Ryde. A tunnel under the Itchen and one across the Harbour at Portsmouth to create a South Hampshire Metro would have been nice but a dedicated bus route scheme from Gosport to Fareham was the preferred option. :roll:

A tunnel from Devonport to link with the Cornish mainline to bypass Saltash would be my suggestion. As would one under the river at Barnstaple to re-instate the line to Ilfracombe.

Another grandiose tunnel scheme would link Barton on Humber with the line to Kingston upon Hull then reinstating the line from Grimsby to Spalding for an alternative route to London.

As there are so many under 25s unemployed at the moment buy them a spade and tell them to start digging.
 

Gareth

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Defintately a Dee Tunnel for me. From around Mostyn to Thurstaston. On the Flintshire side, it'd link with the North Wales Coast Line towards Holyhead/Llandudno. On the Wirral side, it would go eastwards to a 'Woodchurch' station near the M53, which would be an interchange station for Merseyrail (taking over the Borderlands Line northwards) and the remaining Borderlands Line towards Wrexham (and hopefully southwards from there). This new alignment (along with the Borderlands Line) would continue eastwards to new mainline platforms at Birkenhead Central.

Just have to write my letter to George Osborne to sign the cheques so it can happen.
 

DownSouth

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For the Gibraltar idea, I was thinking about it as a way to open Gibraltar to the Spanish by linking them to Spains rail network and slap a tunnel in Gibraltar under the Med...Like I said before unlikely. I forgot about Algeciras being where it is and would probably be the position to put a Med Sea Tunnel...

Some other places I was thinking about a tunnel

1. A tunnel between Australia and Tasmania
2. A tunnel under the Rio De La Plata between Argentina and Uruguay
3. A tunnel from somewhere in Baja California to the rest of Mexico
4. A tunnel under the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to Florida
5. Or a Tunnel under the Suez Canal to go through the Sinai to Israel
I don't think the Spanish want to do anything about Gibraltar other than ignoring it, certainly not building a railway line to it.

Anyway...

1. Bass Strait is way too deep and way too wide (shortest straight line distance of 225 km) for a fixed transport link from Victoria to Tasmania. Container ships do the job just fine at the moment, albeit a bit slower than a railway could.

2. There are fixed links between Argentina and Uruguay further upstream. The area of Uruguay opposite Buenos Aires is too rural to justify a new fixed link nearer to there, and if it did happen it would be best suited to a road and not a railway.

3. Most of Baja California is not populated enough to justify a fixed link, and the Gulf of California is also too wide.

4. Now we're just getting ridiculous! That would be way too long and wouldn't cut off enough of the distance for it to be worthwhile on what is mostly a freight railway.

5. A road bridge, a road tunnel and a rail bridge already exist over/under the Suez Canal.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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By "if costs allow it" I assume you mean a cost-benefit analysis suggests it's viable, then we can safely say the answer is no.


I'd put a Fleetwood-Barrow underwater tunnel in the category of fantasy rather than viable, but we can agree to disagree on that.

Thanks. There's always other ways around the issue which either most people know or are all about to find out :)
 

ReverendFozz

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DownSouth:1109515 said:
For the Gibraltar idea, I was thinking about it as a way to open Gibraltar to the Spanish by linking them to Spains rail network and slap a tunnel in Gibraltar under the Med...Like I said before unlikely. I forgot about Algeciras being where it is and would probably be the position to put a Med Sea Tunnel...

Some other places I was thinking about a tunnel

1. A tunnel between Australia and Tasmania
2. A tunnel under the Rio De La Plata between Argentina and Uruguay
3. A tunnel from somewhere in Baja California to the rest of Mexico
4. A tunnel under the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to Florida
5. Or a Tunnel under the Suez Canal to go through the Sinai to Israel
I don't think the Spanish want to do anything about Gibraltar other than ignoring it, certainly not building a railway line to it.

Anyway...

1. Bass Strait is way too deep and way too wide (shortest straight line distance of 225 km) for a fixed transport link from Victoria to Tasmania. Container ships do the job just fine at the moment, albeit a bit slower than a railway could.

2. There are fixed links between Argentina and Uruguay further upstream. The area of Uruguay opposite Buenos Aires is too rural to justify a new fixed link nearer to there, and if it did happen it would be best suited to a road and not a railway.

3. Most of Baja California is not populated enough to justify a fixed link, and the Gulf of California is also too wide.

4. Now we're just getting ridiculous! That would be way too long and wouldn't cut off enough of the distance for it to be worthwhile on what is mostly a freight railway.

5. A road bridge, a road tunnel and a rail bridge already exist over/under the Suez Canal.

Some suggestions in this thread have been ridiculous, A tunnel from Alaska to Russia for example...

As for my other suggestions, guess I should do some research before posting :D
 

Badger

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Since somebody mentioned Sodor, here's an idea: create Sodor. Or, rather, an artificial island (or chain of) between Barrow and Mann, with tunnels between the them, and then a tunnel between Mann and Ireland. The new island would contain a new city.
 

DownSouth

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Since somebody mentioned Sodor, here's an idea: create Sodor. Or, rather, an artificial island (or chain of) between Barrow and Mann, with tunnels between the them, and then a tunnel between Mann and Ireland. The new island would contain a new city.
Sounds interesting, creating a new island might be a viable idea.







But only in Abu Dhabi. :D
 

Donny Dave

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  • Hull-Barton-on-Humber, with the East Lincs reopening to allow faster services from Grimsby and improved freight links from Cleethorpes

Yes, I know it's local to me (something that myself and others have criticised people for before), but I would like to see something like this happen as well.

The reason being that while the distance by road** is 23.7 miles via Winterton or 30 miles going via the motorway, it's still 45 minutes minimum by car, and 1 hour 30 if using the bus (which goes via Winterton and Barton).

It's also 33 miles from Grimsby to Hull** and a journey of 50 minutes. If a tunnel could be built it will cut journey times a lot between Hull and Scunthorpe/Grimsby, as well as give the potential for improved services along the Barton line, or connecting Winterton to the railway network, taking cars of the A1077, A15, A63, A180 and M180.

A further flight of fancy also will also see a decent conection between Lincoln and Hull.** While it is basically a straight shot up the A15 to the Humber Bridge, it's still 51 miles taking 1 hour and 13 minutes (according to the AA Route Planner). In reality, it will take a lot longer than that, as it is almost certain you will be stuck behind a HGV doing 40mph between Lincoln and where the A15 meets the M180.

** Distances measured using the AA Route Planner from Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Lincoln stations to Hull station
 

VTPreston_Tez

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PR1Berske

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DynamicSpirit

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Since somebody mentioned Sodor, here's an idea: create Sodor. Or, rather, an artificial island (or chain of) between Barrow and Mann, with tunnels between the them, and then a tunnel between Mann and Ireland. The new island would contain a new city.

Boris (London) Airport Sodor....

(Only a teensy bit more ridiculous than London Oxford Airport)
 

ushawk

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With whats happened today, i think the Central Line from Stratford to Bethnal Green would be good :lol:
 

DynamicSpirit

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On a slight tangent to this - does anyone know what the factors are determining whether you build a bridge or a tunnel?
 

Gwenllian2001

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On a slight tangent to this - does anyone know what the factors are determining whether you build a bridge or a tunnel?

Well the obvious one is shipping. Imagine a bridge across the English Channel. With the amount of shipping it wouldn't be long before something crashed into it in fog or rough weather. Remember what happened to the Severn Railway Bridge. That was effectively destroyed by a small barge.
 

HSTEd

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Thurso/Wick to the Orkney Islands... to support that proposed container port in the Scapa Flow Anchorage.
 

rf_ioliver

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How about Stockholm via the Åland islands to Turku? A highspeed connection between Helsinki-Stockholm and there down to Copenhagen would be very nice.

However, the amount of duty-free alcohol (and partying)* that is enabled by Åland being a duty-free zone and an 18 hour ferry crossing dilutes the cost-benefit of the about (and a minor issue regarding Finnish loading and track gauges)

Ian

* has to be seen to be believed...especially as some don't get off for fresh air in Stockholm...
 
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