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[Article] Irish Sea Tunnel

  • 06-12-2005 2:36pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,588 ✭✭✭ Bluetonic


    I await with egar anticiaption. :p
    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.


    subscription needed:

    http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1520528&issue_id=13372
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    Ignoring the issue of the Welsh and the Sunday Independent, the whole tunnel thing is a load of BS. The question that was asked in the survey was along the lines of "do you think a tunnel would be nice to have". The Chambers of Commerce were not asked do you think the government should fund one. And neither did they present some plans for one.

    There is an engineering company that floats the idea every few years. They suggest that the government should fund a feasability study into the tunnel. The government (quite rightly) tells them to eff off. They are well aware that a tunnel would be a collossal white elephant, and all the consulting engineers are looking for is the 1 or 2 million for the study.

    Anyone can see that the tunnel would never be a runner. Even if with cheaper tunnelling methods (such as using precast tunnel sections lowered into a sea trench which is then backfilled - the approach suggested the last time I heard this scheme being mentioned) the longer distance would mean that this tunnel could not be made any cheaper than the UK-France one.

    And despite having 60 million people on the island end, it continues to lose money. I don't think a tunnel to Ireland (pop 5.5 million) would be anything other than a gigantic hole for cash, both to build and maintain.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,065 Maskhadov


    sliabh. Im a firm backer of the project. I posted numerous reasons why the project should get the go ahead under the following thread (that has been discussing it) maybe the threads should merge?

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054848723



    I dont think you have read the report from the Irish Chambers of Commerce because if you did you would realise that the tunnel will not be built on its own.

    That would be a white elephant. The plan is to connect up to a major sea port at Shannon with a High Speed Rail (HSR) connecting the port to mainland Europe via the Chunnel.

    This project is the first time the ICC has produced such a report and the government hasnt told them anything yet.

    Any major peice of infastructure has to get firm public backing about the idea so its important to carry out those questionaires. The finance for the project will be there. The only thing holding this project back is an Irish government decision and backing from the E.U.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Something of interest in the Irish Times today about a proposal put forward in 1890 about a tunnel between Antrim and Scotland. A little infrastructural history for your perusal, folks:
    IN THIS period of the greatest engineering and monetary projects the world has known, we never can say what may not next be proposed, or where we are to draw the line at the impossible.The experience of the projectors of the channel tunnel from England to France would not be supposed to have encouraged any other tunnellists. And yet we are face to face with an actual scheme, not a suggestion only, for carrying a tunnel through from the coast of Antrim to that of Wigtonshire.
    The argument that an enemy might use the subway does not in this case apply. On the eighth of the month there was a meeting in Belfast, with the mayor in the chair, when a requisition was drawn up, signed by 68 leading representative men, for a public meeting to discuss the proposal.
    The mayor, Mr Connor, has summoned the assemblage, and the matter is fairly a subject for debate. We admit that if the tunnel were open, and fast trains running through it, there would be a large change in consequences, and the “so-called capital” [Dublin] might suffer.
    But what must be must be. If the Belfastmen dig their way over to Scotland and annex that dear, old land, they will be fairly entitled to all the advantage of the undersea express . . . Talk of Larne and Stranraer boats! . . . Keels no longer are needed. Wheels take their place – or, if that be not strictly true, will serve in place of them. The good engine Union will run through from shore to shore, impartially carrying across “repealers and their foes”. Ireland a nation will be cancelled by going sufficiently deep into the common British soil. Separatists will be unheard of when a dozen times a day first-, second- and third-class will pass from shore to shore in less than an hour’s time . . . Holyhead will become a deserted village. We say nothing of Kingstown. . . .
    Mr Gladstone [former and future prime minister] strongly supported the Dover tunnel. Will he show equal zeal in furthering the Belfast one? Surely the union of hearts would be promoted by it . . . At any rate, when sitting down to frame his home rule scheme he has a new trouble added to that of the Irish members at Westminster.
    On which side of the channel is the ownership of the tunnel to lie? Is it to be Saxon or Celt? Will different flags fly at the entrance and exit – the Harp here, the Jack yonder? Must the drivers of the steam engines be half-and-half, English or Scotch, and Irish? Or, will the tunnel be neutral territory – no man’s land, except the directors of the track? Many questions of difficulty will arise, which, however, it will not pass the wit of such a man to solve. . . .
    But the political aspects of the tunnel are not just yet in question. The eight noble lords and 60 merchants who have put their hand to the plough that is to make such a strange furrow are concerned, first of all, with the engineer and the financier, these two chief powers of modern earth and sea, and regions beneath the sea, and if the first can conquer the roof-drip, and the latter pay 10 per cent, the tunnel is as good as made . . .
    The Ulster people are not chargeable with an excess of imagination, and they know something of figures, and who knows what more they may do to show the Empire that their province has the sway and all other earth is – bog and waste.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1013/1224256508985.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,091 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    Furet wrote: »
    Something of interest in the Irish Times today about a proposal put forward in 1890 about a tunnel between Antrim and Scotland. A little infrastructural history for your perusal, folks:


    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1013/1224256508985.html

    Is it not a function of a mod to chastise those whom raise zombie threads from the dead ;) ??


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 ✭✭✭ riskyOz


    The tunnel would be a waste of time and money ..The channel tunnel isnt even profitable


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Is it not a function of a mod to chastise those whom raise zombie threads from the dead ;) ??

    On this forum, there's no such thing as a zombie thread. All old threads can be bumped, as infrastructure is a very longterm thing. Besides, this thing hasn't been built yet. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    I think this whole tunnel idea is totally brilliant - it should however include a high speed rail link to Claremorris so it can be integrated into the Western Rail Corridor. The wesht will demand it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Let's not be too guilty of presentism here though. This isn't envisaged to be constructed until the Twenty Fifties, when we shall all be old men or memories. Now, what economic advantages would this tunnel bestow? None, as far as I can see, when viewed in light of costs. Ireland's population doesn't seem to warrant it. If the Channel Tunnel isn't making a profit prospects for the Tuscar Tunnel seem bleak, bleak bleak.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    So, where do we have the break of gauge, Wexford or Wales?

    Also, do they expect to get the railway lines either size electrified or will we have ventilation stacks for diesel traction? ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,623 ✭✭✭ Bards


    Furet wrote: »
    Let's not be too guilty of presentism here though. This isn't envisaged to be constructed until the Twenty Fifties, when we shall all be old men or memories. Now, what economic advantages would this tunnel bestow? None, as far as I can see, when viewed in light of costs. Ireland's population doesn't seem to warrant it. If the Channel Tunnel isn't making a profit prospects for the Tuscar Tunnel seem bleak, bleak bleak.

    Economic Advantage would be to turn Shannon/Foynes into a strategic Euro Port capable of handling the largest Ocean Going Containers, Bulkers etc. via High Speed Rail through Rosslare to the UK & onwards via the Chunnel to Continental Europe. Ships coming from the US would save many days sailing thus saving costs

    Has the potential to turn Ireland into the logistics Capital of Europe


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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,250 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    MYOB wrote: »
    So, where do we have the break of gauge, Wexford or Wales?

    Also, do they expect to get the railway lines either size electrified or will we have ventilation stacks for diesel traction? ;)


    Snorkels! they'll build it on the cheap and just lay the tracks on the seabed! :D

    143photo14.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ Roryhy


    dolanbaker wrote: »
    Snorkels! they'll build it on the cheap and just lay the tracks on the seabed! :D

    143photo14.jpg
    Wheres this picture from?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,957 Euro_Kraut


    Roryhy wrote: »
    Wheres this picture from?

    I think its Dresden after the floods in 2004.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,830 ✭✭✭ markpb


    Bards wrote: »
    Economic Advantage would be to turn Shannon/Foynes into a strategic Euro Port capable of handling the largest Ocean Going Containers, Bulkers etc. via High Speed Rail through Rosslare to the UK & onwards via the Chunnel to Continental Europe. Ships coming from the US would save many days sailing thus saving costs

    Has the potential to turn Ireland into the logistics Capital of Europe

    If memory serves, this was always the prime reason why the tunnel was suggested. It would mean the track from Foynes to (and including) the tunnel would have the same guage as the UK but that's no big deal if it's a freight only line.

    I think it's a great idea but I'd definitely privatise the operation of the rail line rather than letting IR make a mess of it. Perhaps Deutsche Bahn would consider it? :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,133 mysterious


    westtip wrote: »
    I think this whole tunnel idea is totally brilliant - it should however include a high speed rail link to Claremorris so it can be integrated into the Western Rail Corridor. The wesht will demand it.


    Then to Westport they have nice houses up there. The pros to this are just hot aswell. The other pros to this as I read in the CPO, was there were no cons. The only con I can personally think of, is if we don't build this to the wesht, there will have major riots over this.

    This high speed rail line will eventually connect to the Atlantic rail tunnel that will link up with Novia Scotia in Canada. So this is a very promising project.


  • Registered Users Posts: 53,262 ✭✭✭✭ GavRedKing


    Bards wrote: »
    Economic Advantage would be to turn Shannon/Foynes into a strategic Euro Port capable of handling the largest Ocean Going Containers, Bulkers etc. via High Speed Rail through Rosslare to the UK & onwards via the Chunnel to Continental Europe. Ships coming from the US would save many days sailing thus saving costs

    Has the potential to turn Ireland into the logistics Capital of Europe

    Great post, could turn around Ireland if it was to be drawn up and completed say within the next 7-10 years, it would create jobs here also.

    Seems far fetched but if it was to become reality we could be on to a winner with this.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    markpb wrote: »
    If memory serves, this was always the prime reason why the tunnel was suggested. It would mean the track from Foynes to (and including) the tunnel would have the same guage as the UK but that's no big deal if it's a freight only line.

    I think it's a great idea but I'd definitely privatise the operation of the rail line rather than letting IR make a mess of it. Perhaps Deutsche Bahn would consider it? :)

    The problem is that the line from Foynes to Rosslare runs over (admittedly in some cases VERY lightly used) existing passenger corridors from Limerick to Rosslare. The Limerick->Limerick Junction would be the the most important section of that. We'd need to use new paths/trackbed (or in some cases we could re-use 1960s/70s closed bed for some of it) for UK gauge as UK gauge and our standard are too close to gauntlet through a single track loading gauge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,500 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Bards wrote: »
    Economic Advantage would be to turn Shannon/Foynes into a strategic Euro Port capable of handling the largest Ocean Going Containers, Bulkers etc. via High Speed Rail through Rosslare to the UK & onwards via the Chunnel to Continental Europe. Ships coming from the US would save many days sailing thus saving costs

    Has the potential to turn Ireland into the logistics Capital of Europe

    Is it just me, or is this even more far fetched than the WOT fantasies? :eek:

    We're an island off an island off a continent. An island that doesn't generate much heavy freight, and just as well as we're in a location that's totally uneconomic for same, fantasy tunnels or no tunnels.

    "12 pages in and it still needs to be explained to some posters why this guy ended up where he did. It probably explains why so many gobshites get elected in this country."



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    Ships coming from the US would save many days sailing thus saving costs

    I agree with Ninja900 - the above doesn't make sense. Shipping stuff on a large transport vessel is actually the cheapest way of moving material around the planet. Breaking down the load onto trains sooner than you have to doesn't add up - it would just add cost to every shipment of goods.

    Companies prefer to ship goods as close as possible to large centres of demand, minimising transfer costs on road and rail. There's an easy existing national analogy - it's why Rosslare or Waterford are still small ports, despite being closer to the continent than Dublin. It makes more sense to ship to Dublin because that's where the locus of demand is. The smaller ports on the East and South Coast really serve regional markets, or act as shipment points for specialist goods. On an international level, Dublin, and Ireland as a whole, falls into that category- a small regional market with no through-transport requirements.

    This tunnel is a fantasy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 Nostradamus


    Is it just me, but it seems everytime we have a economic downturn in Ireland this idea comes out of the closet.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Is it just me, but it seems everytime we have a economic downturn in Ireland this idea comes out of the closet.

    I last heard it around the 1980s so I think you are right . Nevertheless I have registered the domain walesontrack.com and I am preparing a website that will look suspiciously :cool: like this one .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,012 thebman


    I think it would be cool to have but most likely not profitable :(

    I'm amazed the channel tunnel is unprofitable TBH. Imagine the half arse job we'd do on it considering the port tunnel construction and how much it would take to fix it! :eek:

    The only reason I can think to do it is to connect Ireland to Europe from a social perspective since we are all part of the EU. Have to do it for every island with people on it in the EU though if that is the main reason :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 425 ✭✭ daithicarr


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    I agree with Ninja900 - the above doesn't make sense. Shipping stuff on a large transport vessel is actually the cheapest way of moving material around the planet. Breaking down the load onto trains sooner than you have to doesn't add up - it would just add cost to every shipment of goods.

    Companies prefer to ship goods as close as possible to large centres of demand, minimising transfer costs on road and rail. There's an easy existing national analogy - it's why Rosslare or Waterford are still small ports, despite being closer to the continent than Dublin. It makes more sense to ship to Dublin because that's where the locus of demand is. The smaller ports on the East and South Coast really serve regional markets, or act as shipment points for specialist goods. On an international level, Dublin, and Ireland as a whole, falls into that category- a small regional market with no through-transport requirements.

    This tunnel is a fantasy.

    http://www.euro-case.org/publications/transport/TransportIreland.pdf

    here is an article on the subject from the engneers society, i just posted on the limerick forum about this project ,

    sme of the reasons for it were

    1 the shannon esturay can accomidate this kind of ship,
    2 is one of only a few places in europe that can
    3 the exising ports such as rotterdam can not increase capacity as the english channel is reaching the ful capacity of ships it can take without serious accidents being regular occurances
    4 more capacity will be needed.


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