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Geologists get high-speed look at future transportation

2

Comments

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,880 Mod ✭✭✭✭spacetweek


    No there will be no high speed trains between Dublin & Cork in 2050. The same lines will be used, but there will be a few more trains, possibly painted a new colour.

    No there wont be smart cars on automated roadways. I reckon in 2050 there will still be a section of single carriageway on the Cork-Dublin route.

    No there wont be a tunnel between Rosslare and Wales. Forget it.
    The Cork-Dublin road will be entirely a DC/Motorway within 5 years.

    Don't be so negative Chris. Remember all European countries were like Ireland once in terms of infrastructure, and now look at them. You have to start somewhere. We're talking about 2050 here! That's like someone in 1960 going "Ireland won't have any motorways within the next 50 years." At the time it seemed hard to imagine Ireland having things such as those. Yet here we are.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    spacetweek wrote:
    That's like someone in 1960 going "Ireland won't have any motorways within the next 50 years."
    ;)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_motorway_%28Northern_Ireland%29
    The M1 motorway in Northern Ireland runs for 61 kilometres (38 miles) from Belfast to Dungannon, bypassing Lisburn, Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown on the way. The road was constructed in stages between 1962 and 1968

    How much will it cost to go to Cork via motorways ?
    Just another stealth tax/backhander to private industry unless there are very clear conditions about maximum queue length and a buy back clause.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    I thought the road network in Northern ireland (to british standards) was inferior to Ireland's standard so i dont know if it would be fair to compare the two.

    But this thread is about future infastructure. It wouldnt be a pipe dream to expect a HSR network to be built in ireland by 2050 when you consider there is 35 years to do it after this T21.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,608 ✭✭✭✭sceptre


    dowlingm wrote:
    As for Rosslare-Wales tunnel, remember the Chunnel?

    1. Estimate tunnel cost
    2. Build tunnel
    3. Holy crap! It cost that much more???
    4. Holy crap! How can revenues be that low?
    5. Go bankrupt and screw the creditors.
    6. Profit!!!!
    It really shouldn't have come as news to the chunnel investors in the first place - financing any deep bore tunnel has always been a matter of starting the dig and then pouring money into it until it hopefully comes out the other end.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    Can anyone on this board say whether or not its engineering possible or not to build a tunnel from Rosslare to Wales ??


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_in_Ireland
    Several potential Irish Sea tunnel projects have been proposed, most recently the "Tusker Tunnel" between the ports of Rosslare and Fishguard proposed by The Institute of Engineers of Ireland in 2004. IEI report (pdf) BBC report A different proposed route is between Dublin and Holyhead, proposed in 1997 by a leading British engineering firm, Symonds, for a rail tunnel from Dublin to Holyhead. Either tunnel, at 80 km, would be by far the longest in the world, and would cost an estimated €20bn.

    IEI report - 2MB PDF (attached text export)
    http://www.iei.ie/Publications/GetPublicationDetails.pasp?PublicationID=69&Module=Papers&txt_freetext=&RecordsPerPage=1000&PageNumber=1&MenuID=24
    BBC
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/4121001.stm

    €20Bn ? - the chunnel cost €9Bn so ...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    Fantastic work Capt'n Midnight. I didnt know there were actual documents on it. Im just going to read through them now.

    i see the Chunnel is £9 billion GBP Pounds which is about €13 Billion Euro. Over a decade thats peanuts between the two countries.

    I have to question some of the math though. If there are already 5.7 million people on this island, i'd say there would be more than 8 million in 45 years. with all the immigration thats here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,191 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Maskhadov wrote:
    Can anyone on this board say whether or not its engineering possible or not to build a tunnel from Rosslare to Wales ??
    Technicly its possible (no major geological faults, etc.), its more a matter of is there an economic way of doing it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,548 ✭✭✭SeanW


    I imagine it's possible. It would cost a packet though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,107 ✭✭✭John R


    The areas in the direct catchment on both sides of the channel tunnel have in excess of 10million people each and the journey time from London-Paris is competitive with the airlines.

    A link to Ireland will at best have 2million in close proximity on one side and 100,000 on the other. Both Anglesey and Pembrokeshire are at least 4 hours from London by rail and there is little chance of that improving much in the forseable future. New HSR lines have been ruled out in the UK for linking their major population centres which have the potential for far more traffic than a link to Ireland ever would.

    A 5 hour rail trip Dublin-London via Holyhead or 6-7 Hours via Rosslare, how attractive is that?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,314 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    Exactly. Traffic to and from Ireland is all but irrelevant to UK road or rail planners. Took them long enough to build the dual carriageway A55 as a decent route between Holyhead and the motorway system.

    The A5 through mid-Wales is a lovely scenic route on a nice day, but not when you're stuck in a snail's pace convoy of artics and caravans and have a ferry to catch... it used to be the main route.

    Here's what you could have won.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    I just read through that .pdf file on ireland by 2050. One massive point that you are missing is the fact that Rotterdam is going to reach capacity and there is huge scope for a deep port in Shannon. There are very few of them in the world.

    As far as I'm aware the government is pressing ahead with trying to get Shannon as a major strategic air hub for frieght among other things. Well that was the case when Romani Prodi was over (i think when we had the presidency).

    If the air hub went ahead combine with the deep port in Shannon the freight moved in by rail across the Tuskar (Rosslare - Pembroke) tunnel would be massive. One of the biggest in Europe and a strategic location in the world. The freight alone would be a case for the Tuskar tunnel and could probably pay for the whole thing itself.

    I would imagine that the tunnel would have to be high speed rail only. A H.S.R network running from Belfast, Dublin, near Waterford, Cork and Shannon would take in the vast majority of the (future) population of Ireland. the line would run across the Tuskar tunnel into Wales then London and then across into mainland Europe. So the popluations on both side of the tunnel would be extremely high.

    As for cost, well the Chunnel was built over a decade and was financed by two governments. It cost €13bn Euro which isnt a massive amount when you divide that by two and then pay for it over an extended peroid of time. It would be in the UK's intrest to have excellent access to a major shipping hub and they would build a HSR from London to meet the tunnel.

    They are building a 50km tunnel somewhere on mainland Europe through the Alps or somewhere. The cost of that must be massive but its being done.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Maskhadov wrote:
    I just read through that .pdf file on ireland by 2050. One massive point that you are missing is the fact that Rotterdam is going to reach capacity and there is huge scope for a deep port in Shannon. There are very few of them in the world.
    I refer you to my earlier post about it being cheaper to build a railway to Japan than to our deep ports and that a Japan to Russia link would probaly pump-prime a link to Alaska, thus meaning that train would be the fastest way to get stuff from the Pacific rim. (Large container ships tend to run at 25Kts - the bigger they faster they go to offset increased time loading/unloading - so no overall speed improvement with larger ones) reducing Rotterdam traffic.Also the Gibralter tunnel would cut down on some African traffic. And you can get a lot of dredging for €20Bn you could even make an artifical island like the Japanese airport.
    If the air hub went ahead combine with the deep port in Shannon the freight moved in by rail
    eh no it would be flown in to the nearest airport. Planes can move things that are too big to fit on a train. Also if they could wait for a train to arrive then they wouldn't use a plane in the first place. oddly enough the record for the heaviest payload in a plane was a CIE locomotive flown in from Canada in an Antonov, to give you an idea of how few trains would be needed.
    They are building a 50km tunnel somewhere on mainland Europe through the Alps or somewhere. The cost of that must be massive but its being done.
    The population of Central Europe is about 50 times the population of Ireland. AND the existing tunnels are at capacity so there is a guaranteed market. Also tunneling on land is a tad easier than at sea. One advantage is that you can halt work for a couple of years if there are funding/technical problems with less maintainance costs than a sea tunnel. AND there is no alternative route since they are at capacity, the Irish Tunnel would have to compete with ferries. If you price the tunnel too high people won't use it - c.f. a big bridge in Japan (not sure if it's the one that is now 1m longer since the Kobe earthquake) that was built after a ferry accident killed a lot of people in the Inland sea. The ferry gets used in good weather because it's cheaper.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    Regarding Shannon. Europe is setting out a number of strategic air transport hubs. Shannon is aiming to be that one. I dont have the exact details in front of me but the government was really pushing for it.

    This is Europe not Asia. There isnt a whole pile of major deep ports serving Europe with a whole pile of capacity left. There are numerous countries in northern Europe that are landlocked and the north sea is very shallow. Shannon would be able to help serve all of them providing the Tuskar tunnel went ahead.

    Plus the fact that any financing for the project will be done over more than the lifetime it took to construct it. A major peice of infastructure like that would have a lifetime of a 100 odd years. So any payment would be spread out. The tunnel is only 60 km not 500 / 600 FFS. (**edited, its 60km not 60 miles)

    Once your down that deep it doesnt make a whole pile of difference. Its still ultra hot, the only advantage is that its quicker because you can tunnel from more than two ends. They managed fine with the Chunnel although it took a decade.

    We will be lucky to have any ferries left so I dont know how that is relevant.

    At the end of the day, there will be a need to develop Shannon and the Tuskar tunnel. It will be enginerring and financially feasible. Its just a matter of when.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,191 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Maskhadov wrote:
    If the air hub went ahead combine with the deep port in Shannon the freight moved in by rail across the Tuskar (Rosslare - Pembroke) tunnel would be massive.
    Air and sea ports rarely handle the same cargoes. It costs to much to fly coal from Australia and it takes too long to ship computer parts from the Far East.

    Of course the problem with Shannon as a port for Europe is it is 500km too far away. And given that one ship can carry many times more than a train, I'm not sure if its worthwhile.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    Yes it does cost more to fly goods but that hasnt stopped the EU pressing ahead with strategic hubs across Europe for this purpose.

    At the end of the day, the fact that most of the ports in the belalux region will reach capacity in the next half of this century highlights the fact that somewhere else needs to be found. Distance isnt a major issue when you measure it in time.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Re: Northern ports at capacity. The Baltic and North seas are very shallow so not much they can do there. However, Norway has deep water ports and a rail link to Denmark and so is better placed for a large part of Europe than we are. The Gibralter tunnel would be more cost effective than the Irish one if anyone needs a deep water port 500Km away from Europe. Planning laws / Cheap Labour in North Africa means this is also doable.
    - Point being that Shannon is with a tunnel is no more attractive than existing ports or those likely to be on line in the near future.

    Also why is there a port in Rotterdam, because it's close to where the goods need to go to. Shannon would not be.

    Maybe they could offload the oil trading to Bantry and use pipelines to France. This would free up a lot of traffic/tonnage/space in Rotterdam. And pipelines are cheaper than tankers. It was done for D-Day back in '44 c.f. PLUTO pipeline under the ocean. Do I think they will move the oil imports there - no, but its a far more feasable way of getting extra capacity than a irish sea tunnel.

    Don't get me worng I'd like to see one, but I think a lot of other mega projects will get done first.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,042 ✭✭✭Metrobest


    Ireland is playing catch-up with the rest of Europe. While we concentrate on mickey mouse road and rail projects that Europe completed decades ago, the scale of projects happening in mainland Europe is mind-boggling. The high speed rail line that will allow you to travel from Paris to Barcelona in two hours, for example,

    Rotterdam and Antwerp are mega huge ports in the centre of Europe with the infrastucture in place to make distribution simple. I believe that solutions will be found to increase their capacity. I don't think Ireland, sited on the fringe of Europe, has much potential to capture any of that business.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    I agree with your analysis about this Island being decades behind the rest of mainland Europe when it comes to infastructure and we couldnt plan a picnic let alone any major peices of infastructure of any significance.

    Still, the fact remainds that there isnt a whole pile of options for a deep port to serve the north of Europe. The nordic countries are pretty far away and the the whole debate was based on the fact that existing ports will run out of capacity.
    Rotterdam and Antwerp are mega huge ports in the centre of Europe with the infrastucture in place to make distribution simple. I believe that solutions will be found to increase their capacity. I don't think Ireland, sited on the fringe of Europe, has much potential to capture any of that business.

    Yes they are, but they WILL run out of capacity. The IEI arent clowns and based their report on this fact.

    At the end of the day, 2050 is a very long time away and no one really knows what will take place between now and then.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,042 ✭✭✭Metrobest


    I just cannot see the Netherlands allowing Rotterdam lose out to a new port...In Shannon! A solution to increase capacity at Rotterdam will be found. Netherlands is a country of engineering innovation, down through history. The visionary nature and scale of the housing project on the river Ij in Amsterdam is a prime example.

    Rotterdam is too big an asset for Holland to let slide away.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    I think you are missing my point .... its not that they lose out. Its the fact that they have reached their capacity and cant fit anymore cargo through. Of course they will still continue to operate (all of them).

    Ireland has a sound economy and is on the up. If the muppets in charge could only figure out infastructure projects then we would all be laughing.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    looks like there is already business back for the Tuskar tunnel
    Business survey reveals transport criticism

    05 December 2005 12:32
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/1205/transport.html


    A survey of business people has shown high levels of dissatisfaction with Government investment in transport.

    The results of the study by the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland show four out of ten were dissatisfied with investment in national roads.

    The report also says Ministers should plan for a tunnel from Tuskar, Co Wexford to Wales linking Ireland to mainland Europe by road.


    The survey conducted by MORI Ireland of 600 business people showed almost one third were unhappy with investment in ports.

    More than half were dissatisfied with investment in passenger and freight rail services.

    Some 47% are unhappy with Government investment in airports.

    It shouldnt be by road though. It would have to be rail:v: they obviously dont know much about tunnels

    from the chamber of commerce webite
    http://www.chambers.ie/news/article.php?newsid=357
    Tuskar Tunnel
    Dunned added, “Nearly three quarters of companies (74%) felt that a tunnel linking Ireland’s road network to the UK and Continental Europe was important to Irish business. With a view to seizing control of Ireland’s destiny in the future and with a view to making Ireland the entrepô of choice for pan European trade with the arrival of super large container vessels we should commence now at planning for the design, commissioning and completion of a Tuskar Tunnel, linking Ireland to continental Europe via Wales by 2025.”


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,772 ✭✭✭Lennoxschips


    There are already plans afoot to expand the Rotterdam port into the sea.

    And the port of Amsterdam (seriously underused) is getting in on the act too.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    Rotterdam cant expand for ever. It will be soon reaching its maximum capacity.
    Hurrah for us


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    €11bn does seem a bit cheap
    Firms demand €11bn rail link to Europe


    Treacy Hogan

    Environment

    Correspondent

    PLANS for a €11bn rail tunnel spanning 60km across the Irish Sea linking Ireland with mainland Europe via Wales were unveiled yesterday.

    The high-speed rail link would carry both cars and freight across the channel.

    Fed-up business leaders demanded that the Government sign up to the ambitious project as they also lashed out at the poor state of our roads and bad public transportation.

    Congestion

    Traffic congestion is now costing them heavily in lost sales and late deliveries, they also complained.

    The proposed Tuskar Tunnel between Tuskar Rock, Co Wexford, and Pembrokeshire, Wales, could be built by 2025, said the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland (CCI).

    It would be part bridge over the Irish sea, and part sub-sea tunnel.

    The rail proposal came as the nationwide survey of business people revealed high levels of dissatisfaction with the state of our roads, particularly non-national roads in the west of Ireland.

    The business organisation's survey revealed that three-quarters of companies (74pc) felt that a tunnel linking Ireland's road network with continental Europe was vital.

    John Dunne, CCI chief executive, said the tunnel would enable Ireland to seize control of its destiny by making the country the port of choice for most pan-European trade.

    Super large container vessels were arriving on the scene and these required very deep water.

    "We should commence now planning for the design, commissioning and completion of a Tuskar Tunnel, linking Ireland to continental Europe via Wales by 2025," he said.

    Ice Age

    A similar rail tunnel stretching 18.5km was built between Malmo in Sweden and Copehagen in Denmark at a cost of €3.5bn. That bridge is a combination of over-sea bridge and under-sea tunnel.

    The bridge links Denmark and Sweden together for the first time since the Ice Age and now physically links together Sweden and the rest of Western Europe.

    The ferry that goes between Malmo and Copenhagen takes three-quarters of an hour while travellers using the bridge can get across in a car in just over ten minutes.

    The CCI said yesterday that the Tuskar Tunnel could be built at a conservative estimate of €11bn, but could rise to €15bn. The rail link would cater for freight and car traffic.

    Research

    Sean Murphy, the body's head of research said: "It isn't that expensive overall. It is a case of build it and they will come to it. We now have the chance to dictate our own future."

    The results of the study by the CCI show the vast majority were unhappy with the state of the country's non-national roads.

    Over a third (34pc) of companies had delivered goods late to their customers because of congestion.

    Four in ten (41pc) were late for a meeting with clients, while over half lost working hours because of increasing traffic delays.

    The survey, conducted by MORI Ireland, of 600 business people showed that 70pc were dissatisfied with the standard of non national roads while 40pc were unhappy with the state of national roads.

    Dissatisfaction with our roads was highest in the west, where 78pc of companies complained about the non-national roads and 56pc lashed out at the state of the main roads.

    Unhappy

    According to the survey four out of ten were unhappy with the Government's investement in national roads.

    More than half of companies complained that road signs were not adequate.

    The organisation called on the Government to publish a definite schedule for the contruction of the proposed Atlantic Roadway, from Letterkenny to Waterford, with a 2011 completion date at the very latest being asked for by members.

    Almost one-third of companies surveyed were unhappy with government investment in ports.

    More than half were dissatisfied with government investment in passenger and freight rail services.

    Some 47pc were unhappy with government investment in airports.
    http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1520528&issue_id=13372


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    from the irish times
    Tunnel to Wales sought by business group
    Ruadhán MacCormaic




    The Government should build a tunnel linking Ireland and Wales by 2025, a business lobby group has said.

    Chambers Ireland also proposed the construction of a major new port in the south of Ireland to cater for future sea-carriers that are expected to be too large for European ports to accommodate.

    The policy proposals were made after the publication of the results of Chambers Ireland's Transport Users Survey 2005, a nationwide survey of business people regarding investment by the Government in all areas of transport.

    Despite heavy investment in the sector, the survey found that many businesses are still dissatisfied with the level of spending on roads, railways, ports, public transport and airports. Of particular concern was the country's road network, with 70 per cent of businesses unhappy with non-national roads, while 40 per cent thought national roads were below standard.

    According to the survey - which was conducted by Mori and sought the views of 600 senior business people - 71 per cent of companies had suffered as a result of traffic congestion, with an average six hours lost a month per respondent. The survey, which was undertaken before the Government's Transport 21 plan was unveiled, found that four out of 10 were dissatisfied with the level of investment in roads.

    It also found low use of public transport. Sixty-four per cent of those questioned said they did not use buses, trains or trams, and more people said they use it for leisure activities (27 per cent) than for travel to work (16 per cent). A strong majority (86 per cent) favoured more competition in the sector.

    Chambers Ireland's chief executive John Dunne identified a number of areas that needed urgent attention: public transport competition, the Atlantic Roadway and the improvement of non-national roads.

    "If we're serious about driving regional development then the Minister must publish a schedule for the construction of the Atlantic Roadway from Letterkenny to Waterford with a completion date by 2011 at the latest," he said.

    Mr Dunne added that, when it was suggested to them, some 74 per cent of companies thought a tunnel linking Ireland to Wales would be important to Irish business.

    "With a view to making Ireland the entrepot of choice for pan-European trade with the arrival of super large container vessels we should commence now at planning for the design, commissioning and completion of a Tuskar Tunnel, linking Ireland to continental Europe via Wales by 2025," he said.

    He also put forward the idea that a large-scale port should be built in the south of the country to improve trade links with Asian markets in particular.

    "As long as ships can fit through the Malaccan Strait, they'll make them big up to that point. But ships of that size really won't fit up the English channel, won't fit into ports like Rotterdam. So the question is: what are we going to do about that? We're trying to increase our trade with Asia. The more direct that can be, the more efficient it is."


    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2005/1206/1052605062HM5WALESTRANSPORT.html

    © The Irish Times


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,331 ✭✭✭MarkoP11


    Wonder how they dreamt up the €11 billion price tag

    Depending on who you talk to the Channel Tunnel which is only 50km cost anything from 15-20 billion in mid 1990's dollars

    There may be only 60km under water but there is several km of tunnel underland required as well.

    They of course have forgotten the rail link to Rosslare is possibily the slowest in the country is only single track and to a different guage, if this was to work you would require a situation where you drive off the motorway in Wales onto a train which then goes non stop to the M50 in Dublin or cross country towards Limerick

    The numbers won't stack up its simply too expensiveand the banks after the chunnel experience won't be eager to fund and remember you need the UK to play game as well

    Anyone who took 5 minutes to think about it would realise this is not practical


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    Marko11, you failed to take in some important points of the project.

    When they built the Channel Chunnel English rail was in a mess and there was no high speed connection from the english side of the tunnel. That was not a reason not to go ahead with the Chunnel.

    The rail link to Rosslare is irrelvelant. Even if it were double gauge running new locos it still wouldnt meet the HSR and the Tuskar Tunnel requirments. Seperate track would have to be laid along with proper segregation anyway.

    The numbers, €15bn maybe on the low side but when you take the life time of the project, its good value for money. Several banks financed the Channel Chunnel and the repayments where over a very very long time. Even if it were €30bn it would be good value (over 100 years). Plus there would be two governments invovled. No single country would own the project.

    Ask any Spaniard or shipping company how deep the English channel is and they will tell you its pretty shallow. The same applies for the north sea. Large freight ships wont be able to fit. There is scope for a new deep port in Shannon and a direct line over via the Tuskar Tunnel to mainland Europe.

    The UK government would back a scheme. So would the Irish government. The deep port has to go ahead in Shannon, so too does the Tuskar Tunnel and a high speed rail connecting Shannon , Cork, Tuskar, Dublin and Belfast. 2025 is a good time scale (if they can get the T21 finished by 2016).


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Maskhadov

    You still haven't addressed the issues of distance/cost from the market.
    You can buy a LOT of ferries for €15Bn and always remember our record for going over budget on PPP. The M50 toll bridge being a classic example - the private company puts up just 10% of the cost of the entire project , yet their £30m will allow then to generate a gross income of €1Bn !!!!

    Also look at shipping costs, a good while back it was cheaper to truck stuff to Waterford and then ship it onwards than to pay the costs to use Dublin Port. Artificial barriers etc. In other words if they get the costs wrong the tunnel will not be used.

    As for a gate way to europe:

    African traffic is a non-starter as it could go via a Spanish-Morocco tunnel. This is a lot shorter than an Irish one and the markets are much bigger.

    South American traffic could go to port in West Africa.

    Japanese Traffic - Again the Sakhalin tunnels are shorter and probably cheaper than an Irish tunnel or at least more likely to happen given the population/cargo volumes and Japanese historical use of tunnels/bridges. Yes you need to build some rail but unlikely to have many NIMBY's and then it's straight onto the Vladivostok line to Eurasia. ( Bulk cargo from China won't be transsipped from an Irish port to Europe, otherwise they would have sent it by train in the first place. )

    Western Seaboard of US - the Bering strait bridge/tunnel will be a lot more expensive than the Tuskar one. But the markets on either side are Huge in buying power , population and existing trade volumes.

    So long term it would only be of use for traffic to / from west coast of US. Really you are down to Container ships. Ore / Oil usually transferred to smaller ships - cf. Oil Bantry for Rotterdam. I'm still not sure that Train + tunnel will be cheaper than Ship to smaller ship. And you are only talking about the marginal transport cost difference between a container ship that can / can't fit into Rotterdam.


    yeah a tunnel would be nice - and businesses want it , as long as someone else pays or they can make money from it. But the costs involved would pay for Dublin Bus for the next 100 years to put it into perspective of our more urgent transport needs.

    Really it's an EU decision as I can't seen us paying for it. If they want connectivity between the land masses great. Sicily is getting a bridge, after a 2,000 year wait. A link between Sardina and Corsia would also be cheaper and the population is about half ours, but no way to get to the continent. Some of the Greek islands may also be justified on a cost per person ahead of us. Since the Baltic is very shallow Finnish Tunnels could also skip the queue.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 ✭✭✭Maskhadov


    Capt'n Midnight,

    The way I look at it is the following. If you build it they will use it.

    The ports in the Netherlands Belgium etc won’t be able to meet capacity with future freight demands (normal freight ships included). Also, the waters in the North Sea and the English Channel are too shallow for future bigger ships. Freight will continue to move by ships so another port has to be found. A deep one is perferred because of the larger ships being built. That much is fact.

    Ireland is relatively close to northern Europe (i.e. Germany) where most of the freight will be going and coming from. It’s an excellent location for a deep port. There are a few other locations but none of them are really suitable.

    La Coruna Spain. There is a port there, but as far as I know it isn’t designed to deal with large freight. Perhaps they could expand it but La Coruna is far further away from the centre than Shannon in Ireland.

    Scandinavia. They have access to deep ports in Norway but it is pretty far from mainland Europe and it’s a bit out of the way. It is still a possibility.

    England, waters are too shallow around most of the coast AFAIK.

    Mediterranean, to awkward.

    So, there is scope there for a deep port in Shannon with a link to England via the Tuskar tunnel. If it doesn’t get built other means and ways will be found of transporting goods to Europe but if it was built it would be utilized very heavily.

    Some freight from Africa will probably come up via Spain. But the infrastructure in Africa is the worst in the world and taking it by sea is probably easier for a lot of sub Sahara Africa. Africa isn’t much of a Market anyway.

    Shipping from North America and Asia will go wherever the best port is. They make their way into Rotterdam at the moment rather than stop in Spain. The same applies for South America. That is an awful lot of freight. A stop in Shannon would be quicker for them to get into and out of and would get freight to its destination quicker than anywhere else. It’s not likely that any freight in South America will go via Africa either. They all go to Europe directly.

    The channel tunnel is a good example of how things are managed when building a tunnel. One point of note is the fact that the two governments don’t pay for the tunnel but the banks do. The Irish tax payer would have to pay some of the initial costs (a few billion). There would be modest repayments to make each year but the freight would pay a lot of it.


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