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..That would be ignoring engineering reality. Europe needs infrastructure that ties it together. Geography dictates a whole bunch of it will be in Germany.
Which is fine.
Germany is also running it's economy way below capacity, so having some stimulus imposed on it is all well and good.
by Thomas on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 06:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you underestimate the disparity in existing infrastructure. For German infrastructure to tie Europe together you need infrastructure in other parts of Europe to connect to.

The most obvious candidates for rail projects are Spain, Poland, and the Balkans. And I could definitely see a lot of time and effort being well spent on dredging and reworking bridges to make more of our rivers navigable. Because it's really hard to beat barges for cost and energy efficiency in hinterland transportation.

The power grid is in a lamentable state all over, so you can pretty much prioritize your projects by tossing darts at a map - I promise you you'll find a worthwhile way to spend your engineers' time within a hundred km of any point of impact.

I could also see potential in creating an East Mediterranean transshipment hub to match Hamburg and Algeciras, but the private sector seems to be doing okayish at building ports so the urgency is probably not very great.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 07:10:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could I have an undersea rail tunnel linking Ireland to mainland Europe please...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 07:14:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not unless it goes via the UK, no.

But I could see a case for linking Ireland to Wales and Northern Ireland to Scotland, and giving the entire English and Scottish rail net an overhaul.

And a second English Channel tunnel, obviously.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 07:19:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps if British rail services are re-nationalised...


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 07:37:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the very tangible advantages an overbearing EU bureaucracy could provide if it were functioning properly would be to just go in and build cross-country corridors, with appropriately located pre-works for hooking up local connections, and proper right-of-way reservations around them to allow later expansion if the locals come to their senses.

If the locals insist on not connecting their cities to a perfectly nice network backbone like that, well you can drag a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 07:41:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... Tunnels for everyone!

A few hilarious links:

http://www.uic.org/cdrom/2006/wcrr2006/pdf/388.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/37449974_Global_modelisation_of_the_Swissmetro_maglev_using _a_numerical_platform

Key idea: social and economic networks are limited in the end by travel times. Planes are fast, but can't land in city centers, and getting on one is a major production.

Planes are fast because they can go high, where air resistance is less because there is less air.

If you run your trains in a tunnel, and seal the tunnel properly, you can pump most of the air out of the tunnel and run trains faster than airplanes. And keep the whole city center stations, precise schedules and rapid on-off boarding paradigm.

The Japanese proposal is considering 900 KM/h maglevs.  This how you do nationbuilding by engineering fiat - once the tunnels are done and the tracks are laid, the places connected will be so close in terms of travel time that untangling them politically becomes a very dicy proposition.
Also, of course, some military utility to the ability to redeploy forces at 900km/h underground.

by Thomas on Sun Aug 28th, 2016 at 10:29:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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