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12M people travel from the Republic of Ireland to Britain by air every year (compared to 9M Chunnel passengers) of which 8M travel Dublin London (the busiest route in the EU).  So the passenger traffic volumes could be comparable to the Chunnel depending on price/convenience etc. To that you could add some of current ferry traffic. Volume of freight comparisons I don't know.

The other issue is the need to upgrade rail lines on both sides, and the 1,435 mm standard gauge and the 1,600 mm Irish broad gauge.  

The only way I could see any such project becoming seriously considered would be as part of a pan EU initiative to reduce carbon emissions and facilitate closer economic integration.  I doubt it could ever be "profitable" without some state infrastructural subvention.

The Irish sea isn't all that deep for the most part.  Would a bridge for some of it be a technically/financially feasible alternative for part of it?

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 at 11:51:21 AM EST
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