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A388
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Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:42 am

Hi,

I just watched the program "Extreme Engineering" on the Discovery Channel. It was a very interesting program about a project of a possible train connection between the U.S. East Coast to London (with onward connection to Paris). Besides the many scientific obstacles and extreme conditions it will be exposed to, it would take many years to build it.

My question, however, is how proftable will a train connection between the U.S. and Europe be looking at the intense competition between current (and future) airlines who also FLY the route at probably slightly higher ticket prices? I can imagine people not willing to travel between the U.S. and Europe at such very high speeds (supersonic train) under the extreme sea surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

How viable and profitable is this project? This train would have to be 20 times faster than today's fastest train. It also would have to have a speed that's three times faster than the Concorde and it would have to be air resistant which is possible IF a vacuum tunnel can be developed over a 5000 km tunnel. How about the G forces the passengers may be exposed to. Is air travel still not cheaper to use than a train connection between the U.S. and Europe?

Any comments?

Regards A388
 
FLYtoEGCC
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:47 am

That sounds a bit ambitious! It's a hell of a long tunnel to build. Also, imagine if there was a fire or something? Or the train derailed? How do you extract a damaged, derailed train from a tunnel, not to mention get all the passengers out safely, when you're 2500km from either end? I don't mean to sound dismissive, but it seems a little ridiculous to me.
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
 
FLYtoEGCC
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:49 am

...having said that, 100 years ago people probably thought a tunnel under the English Channel was ridiculous  Laugh out loud and also I didn't see the programme, so who knows? It could be viable in the future.
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
 
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KLM11
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:51 am

It would probably be very popular because it would suit the needs of the people who fear flying.

--KLM11
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Cadmus
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:51 am

I'm not sure I'd want to be in a tunnel for that long in any sort of train.

Before Eurotunnel, British Rail had a project called 'Mousehole' for a single bore freight tunnel between England and France. I could see something like that being operationally feasible, but the startup costs would probably keep it on the drawing board.
Understanding is a three-edged sword
 
gamarocchi
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:55 am

Yet almost 200 years ago, Napoleon was fantasizing about a tunnel under the channel to invade England. The idea of a tunnel to connect France to England came up often in the past century and in the century before it. Just it would have been damn expensive and risky so noone built it until now (and about the risks... I don't know if the money invested on the tunnel will ever pay back: anyway sure it is a great and useful infrastructure!). On the other hand.. a tunnel under the Atlantic seems to have too many problems about it. BUT: what about a tunnel under the Bering strait (Siberia to Alaska)?
 
petertenthije
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:02 am

The eurotunnel is still heavily in debt after having gone bankrupt once. The tunnel across the atlantic is going to be much much more expensive.

I did see the program, technically it may be feasible to make a "floating tunnel" but economically it is far from feasible.

BTW, a floating tunnel is a tunnel that does not rest on the seabed. It "floats" in the middle of the ocean similar to how a submarine stays underwater. The tunnel would then be anchored to the seabed.
The first thing to remember is always treat your kite like you treat your woman.
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solnabo
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:05 am

The train would be Maglev, goin on magnets. Dont belive its gonna be a reality
not in our lifetime though, and whattabout the cost for the whole shabang??
Jeeehhhh....

Michael//SE
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FLYtoEGCC
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:08 am

A tunnel that's anchored underwater? In a salt-water ocean? Regardless of the costs to build it, what will happen when the sea water starts to corrode it? I imagine it'd be quite difficult to inspect and fix.
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
 
jwenting
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:12 am

...having said that, 100 years ago people probably thought a tunnel under the English Channel was ridiculous

About 100 years ago they actually started construction but had to give up (I think there were a combination of technical and political/financial problems).

A 2000 mile tunnel would be quite something, and possibly impossible to construct especially since it has to cross the midatlantic rift which separates two major tectonic plates at which point the Atlantic actually gets wider several centimeters a year.
Then there's the immense pressure of having to build underneath some 2 kilometers of water, and the problem of getting air in and out (they'll likely use electric trains, which will almost have to have their own nuclear reactors on board as transporting electricity over those distances isn't possible due to transport losses).
I wish I were flying
 
LH423
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:28 am

I was going to mention the main thing would be the mid-Atlantic Rift. As Jwenting said, the Atlantic Ocean gets a few centimetres wider ever year that passes meaning that every couple of years they'd have to do track recontruction to exend the track about 5-10cm. Not just the costs of building something like that but those of maintaining it would be tremendously prohibitive.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:45 am

I saw this programme on a BA flight back from Bangkok a while ago.

I think the cost of building was estimated to be $30 trillion, or something like that.

The trains would take just over 1hr to reach the UK from New York.


It sounds like a great idea, but I don't see it happening any time soon.
 
flyinggizmo
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:45 am

I would rather see the "Stairway to Heaven" be built down in the equatorial tropics. More useful and waaaayy more important. Read "The fountains of paradise" by Arthur C. Clarke to get a better understanding of what it is.
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:39 pm

If the economics could support it, the technology would be developed to build it. But I can't see it being more economical than flying.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
SailorOrion
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:45 pm

Theoretically it could be an alternative by around 2050:

It is imaginable that either a "floating tunnel" on the Atlantic could be build, or in the depth of the seas, but the real advantage would only appear if the tunnel is evacuated and the rain is a maglev. Lacking friction, such a train could easily reach speeds in the region of 2000-3000 m/s and thus reducing travel time to around one hour or less.

However, seeing what problems it poses to build a high-speed rail from Munich to Nuremburg (100 miles), I doubt we'll see such things anytime soon.

SailorOrion
 
JFernandez
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:49 pm

2000 mi/hr??? huh? You surely must be joking for trains.
 
SailorOrion
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:50 pm

JFernndas:

No I'm not joking  Smile and 2000m/s are around are around 4500 miles per hour.

SailorOrion
 
L-188
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RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:00 pm

Actually, going the other way is going to be a lot cheaper.

There have been may proposals to since a train tunnel across the Bering strait, between Alaska and Russia.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
LH423
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Train Connection US-Europe?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:02 pm

JFernandez: m/s is metres per second. In otherwords, 2.000m/s is about 1.25 miles per second, or 75 miles per minute or exactly 4,500mph (7.200km/h). It would take approximately 45 minutes to go from New York to London.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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