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Old April 6th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #21
Rebasepoiss
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Let's not forget that Tallinn-Helsinki was(and I think it still is) the 5th busiest ferry line in the world. Travel time for the quickest ferries is around 2h so Tallinn-St.Petersburg-Helsinki would definitely take longer.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:08 PM   #22
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Still, we're talking about tens of billions of euros. Such expensive connection is not and can't be ever feasible for such small countries in terms of population and economy.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #23
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Waste of money.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Still, we're talking about tens of billions of euros. Such expensive connection is not and can't be ever feasible for such small countries in terms of population and economy.
Tens of billions? Why do you think it's that much? And again, this tunnel would get you from downtown Tallinn to downtown Helsinki in 30 minutes. Tallinn and Helsinki are both growing cities. Language and culture is similar, economic ties are growing. I believe this project will become a reality some day, but probably not in the next 30 years.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #25
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Tens of billions.. And waste of money, huh? Sure. Keep in mind that this project wouldn't be only about connecting these two cities with each other. There's St. Petersburg, and then there's Central Europe. And then there's the falling star of the aeroplane.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #26
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Tens of billions? Why do you think it's that much? And again, this tunnel would get you from downtown Tallinn to downtown Helsinki in 30 minutes.
Tunnel should be about 70-80 km long (as seen on longitudinal profiles on previous page), mostly underwater. That's why will (would) cost tens of billions. 55 km long Gotthard tunnel will cost about 10 billion, constructed from 6x2 sides. This should be bored only from 2x2 sides. It just costs so much. Then include inflation in coming decades and unforeseen problems, which always arise at such big projects. 20 billion is written on above tunnelbuilder.com site. Add at least 50%, as it is usual.

@Eszett: St. Petersburg wouldn't have much use of that tunnel. And also, this tunnel would connect 5 million Finland to small part of East Europe, nothing else.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 11:11 PM   #27
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@Eszett: St. Petersburg wouldn't have much use of that tunnel. And also, this tunnel would connect 5 million Finland to small part of East Europe, nothing else.
I'm sure it would attract at least a couple of those Russians. And to a small part of Eastern Europe? Well, that small part of land is all what is needed to connect this country to the core of Europe by rail. And that connection will be very much needed in the future.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Tunnel should be about 70-80 km long (as seen on longitudinal profiles on previous page), mostly underwater. That's why will (would) cost tens of billions.
Not necessarily. Assuming that those profiles are correct, the tunnel would be inside the Fennoscandian shield. This is formed of extremely hard granite and can be tunnelled by means of explosives at a significantly lower cost to other techniques. The important question is the actual extent and incline of the shield formation. This would need to be studied carefully.

The tunnelbuilder site seems to be completely incorrect for this project. They think that the Fennoscandian shield is a problem, whilst in Finland it is considered an advantage. Explosive tunnelling is much simpler than full profile drilling. Finland is also not dependent on Russia for connections to Europe as it would be sheer lunacy to ship anything via Russia. Instead we are dependent on shipping connections. These same connections bring massive amounts of transit freight in from Central Europe to Finland for land shipping into Russia.

Traffic profiles are also rather different for the Channel tunnel. The Åresund link is much closer in this sense. Passenger volumes between nearby cities are always much larger than similar long distance volumes. The Chunnel carries about 8 million trips pa, whilst the current ferries already carry 6-7 million trips pa between Helsinki and Tallinn even with a travel time of 1.5-2 hours. The Chunnel was also built 100% by private means with as massive cost overrun, whilst major infrastructure investments usually have public subsidies in return for expected benefits to national economies. This would mean less loans to be served.

Not to say that the tunnel would be immediately viable, but in a 50 year perspective it might very well be realistic. Rail Baltica and a functioning solution to the gauge issue would certainly be needed for this. The competitive pros and cons between shipping and rail freight will also need to be carefully considered.

A major question is also be the connection from St Petersburg. Moscow will probably be linked directly through Warsaw in time, but the current rail links between St Petersburg and the Baltics are in a sorry state and current political climates aren't too good either. At the same time a 200-250 km/h -upgrade for Helsinki - St Petersburg should be completed in 2010 and the extra distance for St Petersburg - Tallinn via Helsinki is "only" 100 km or about 30 minutes at these speeds. It remains to be seen whether a more direct connection will materialize in the many years undoubtedly needed before the tunnel project could really start.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EszettRocks View Post
I'm sure it would attract at least a couple of those Russians. And to a small part of Eastern Europe? Well, that small part of land is all what is needed to connect this country to the core of Europe by rail. And that connection will be very much needed in the future.
Who are you kidding? Why would someone from Russia use this tunnel, if they can reach both cities directly from Russia? And it will only connect a small bit of Eastern Europe (the Baltic countries) to a small Scandinavian country (Finland). I really don't see any need for this tunnel, especially considering ferry connections between Helsinki and Talinn are excellent.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #30
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Just check the last paragraph of late's excellent post
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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #31
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St Petersburg to Tallinn via Helsinki? Sounds unlikely to me.

It's encouraging that freight has been mentioned as the core of this tunnel. The freight traffic for the Channel tunnel didn't take off right from start as intended which was the major reason behind the low utilisation.

Finland is a big exporter of heavy industrial goods such as paper mass and construction machinery with lots of goods going to the European continent. The tunnel + Rail Baltica would be a superior route to maritime and road transport.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 04:59 PM   #32
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St Petersburg to Tallinn via Helsinki? Sounds unlikely to me.
This would mostly be in reference to sleeper train connections further into Central Europe for sleeper trains and possibly freight. Of course a direct line from St Petersburg could run south of Tallinn, but I believe that would have to be built from scratch if speed was required. Express sleepers could get quite far into Central Europe overnight, which may be a growing market for cost sensitive travellers in the near future if the price of air travel grows.

Admittedly probably not one of the major flows for the tunnel. I would say that the two major flows would be regional passenger traffic (commuting and leisure) between Helsinki, Tallinn and their surrounding areas and freight, which currently travels by sea. Especially intermodal/containerized flows would benefit if they could be loaded into trains closer to their points of origin and final destinations instead of being taken by roads to and from harbours.

Freight from Russia might also be possible at least for intermodal loads from areas north of St Petersburg. Bulk freight from Russia would probably still be better off using current direct routes.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 06:55 PM   #33
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Some people need to get in touch with reality. This tunnel would be totally unfeasable. If it weren't expensive, it would be another story.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #34
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Maybe we should rather wait till the study is completed and published. Before that these so-called 'facts' have no value.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 06:50 AM   #35
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Wouldn't it be cheaper for rail freight to go round the top of the Bothnia Gulf via Tornio, down through Sweden, and then via the bridges into Denmark and the rest of Europe?
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Old April 9th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late- View Post
This would mostly be in reference to sleeper train connections further into Central Europe for sleeper trains and possibly freight. Of course a direct line from St Petersburg could run south of Tallinn, but I believe that would have to be built from scratch if speed was required. Express sleepers could get quite far into Central Europe overnight, which may be a growing market for cost sensitive travellers in the near future if the price of air travel grows.
Sleeper trains are today in time of very cheap flights not an feasible option for traveling anymore. Slow, and expensive cannot be anymore match to fast and cheap flights.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #37
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Sleeper trains are today in time of very cheap flights not an feasible option for traveling anymore. Slow, and expensive cannot be anymore match to fast and cheap flights.
Yes, today. But how about after 10-20 years? Maybe it will become nessessery to find some other choises for flying when the global climate problems (perhaps) increasing. Railways are the more enviroment-friendly. Anyway this would be a long distance project.

For Helsinki and Tallinn the project would really a good chance to connect them togehter as twin-cities.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #38
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Yes, today. But how about after 10-20 years? Maybe it will become nessessery to find some other choises for flying when the global climate problems (perhaps) increasing.


Are you serious?

In time of globalisation and massive economy growth it is unimaginable, that anyone would even consider to forbid flying because of global warming. It wouldn't help to prevent global warming anyway.

No, sleeper trains in Europe will become more and more rare in the future and in two or three decades maximum virtually extinct.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 12:33 PM   #39
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Let's see, what happens in the future.

But before that I suggest that you read late's excellent posts carefully.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 06:22 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightness View Post
Finland is a big exporter of heavy industrial goods such as paper mass and construction machinery with lots of goods going to the European continent. The tunnel + Rail Baltica would be a superior route to maritime and road transport.
If, and only if, you find a solutions to the problem of different gauges.
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