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The point being that current Air passenger volumes Ireland (excl. N. Ireland) to/from Britain are greater than Chunnel volumes.  (I haven't looked at freight).

Thus if we did want to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions, the volumes would be significant and sufficient to justify a tunnel.  I don't know how you would calculate the CO2 saving and I also don't know whether the cost could be justified on any rationale.  You guys are the train experts.

However the idea doesn't seem as mad to me as it might sound at first.  Note a route across the Irish sea from Dublin to Holyhead would have to navigate a maximum sea depth of c. 100M - which seems v. little and which is also why I also raised the bridge option - which could be enclosed to avoid weather issues - although snow on Irish sea is v. rare and slight and I presume wind is not a problem for trains.  In fact the entire route could also be a giant offshore wind farm with bridge pillars doubling as turbine pylons.

The problem with the bridge option is that at least one section would have to be v. high to allow shipping traffic underneath - or have an opening mechanism for large ships.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 18th, 2009 at 06:55:41 PM EST
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