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Old April 10th, 2008, 07:44 PM   #41
Rebasepoiss
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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.
Not to mention Finland is Estonia's biggest export and import partner.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 09:16 PM   #42
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But before that I suggest that you read late's excellent posts carefully.
Actually I'm working on feasibility study of pretty similar project in S Europe, but with lower cost, so I'm pretty aware of issues about that sort of railway connection.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 09:57 PM   #43
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I dont like the first option going trough Porkkala. The second option makes the most sense. If you build that It´s a gigantic white elephant economically, I can't imagine it ever making profit without considerable subvention. But still lets start drilling. Build a hsr trough there. From downton hki to Tallinn. Build it for a better future . Let the goverment start pumping money into that.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #44
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Actually I'm working on feasibility study of pretty similar project in S Europe, but with lower cost, so I'm pretty aware of issues about that sort of railway connection.
So in your professional opinion we should guess that the price of such a tunnel is around €30 bln, based on nothing, and just forget about the whole deal?

In theory a Helsinki-Tallinn makes perfect sense, with this feasibility study we should soon have numbers that tell us if this holds true in reality as well.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 09:43 PM   #45
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So in your professional opinion we should guess that the price of such a tunnel is around €30 bln, based on nothing, and just forget about the whole deal?
Actually ... yes, something like this.

About 10 to 15 billion and about 50% of future cost overrun (inflation, unforseen things etc.) Better to wait for cheaper construction techniques.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:14 AM   #46
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European Union's Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas has said that railway tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn would be 'astronomically expensive' and he doesn't consider it's construction realistic. Finnish ministry of transportation & Communication is equally sceptical about the tunnel,although they admit that Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel might become realistic after more efficient tunnel construction techniques have been developed. Either way,even at best speed start of tunnel construction might take 50+ years.

Tiny progress is made though,as new Uusimaa (Finland) county planning has draft plan written into it for railway tunnel. Nothing fancy though,as it basically means reserving properties for the future and taking possible tunnel location into account,when issuing building permits for other projects.

Right now there are two more realistic options of linking Finnish & Estonian railways - using train ferry,which would cross Gulf of Finland allowing Finnish trains to use Rail Baltica to get to Central Europe. This would mean need for new ferries and new railway line to harbours for loading/unloading trains to ferries.
Or upgrading Helsinki-St.Petersburg-Tallinn route,so trains could run there faster. Down side of that is railway usage fees,much longer route,border control problems etc.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #47
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If they have built a tunnel in the english channel, why couldn't they build one in the finnish bay ? What is the difference? would this tunnel be deeper ?
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Old July 26th, 2011, 01:55 AM   #48
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If they have built a tunnel in the english channel, why couldn't they build one in the finnish bay ? What is the difference? would this tunnel be deeper ?
I might be wrong,but if I remember correctly then one of the main reasons for high cost of Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel was bedrock. In Channel Tunnel they bore through softer chalk,while Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel would need to go through limestone & granite.

The biggest downside is Finnish & Estonian population size - we really aren't in any way comparable to UK & France and low population puts limits to expensive projects. Tunnel might even earn it's running costs even, if it would be built,but construction costs and tax burden it puts on general population move this project to very distant future. It's just too darn expensive right now!
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #49
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The tunnel is foolhardy today but when Rail Baltica is completed it would be much more workable as a freight connection between the Port of Helsinki and the Western European rail network...when viewed through this lens, the Port also becomes a natural point for transshipment between Finnish and standard gauges.

But until Rail Baltica happens? There is not enough possible service (freight or passenger) there. The ferries are adequate for the purpose right now.

My guess on when it happens is about 35 years or so from now. Rail Baltica would have to be complete, and the Port of Tallinn would need to be at or approaching total gridlock in terms of congestion both at the port facilities and on the main road and rail links leading to it before the tunnel could be considered feasible from a freight standpoint.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 06:53 AM   #50
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Could be pretty cool.

http://kartor.eniro.se/m/ajUZE
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Old February 10th, 2012, 01:52 AM   #51
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Passenger train service between Helsinki & Tallinn by 2050?



Helsingin Sanomat writes about proposed Helsinki-Tallinn railway tunnel,which is still barely alive. Finnish Ministry of Transport & Communications is sceptical about whole project,as estimated costs range between 3 and 5 billion € (for comparison - whole budget of Finnish Ministry of Transport for one year is ~2 billion € and investment budget is 400 million €). Price depends on construction quality - for 5 billion,tunnel's quality would be same as Helsinki's U/C Western Metro line's. For Finns another problem is that tunnel would divert much freight traffic from their harbours to Rail Baltica.

On positive side,Finnish geologists and engineers believe that tunnel will be built in some time between 2030 and 2050. Once built,it would take less than 1h to travel between two cities. This would effectively create single large commuting area,like Copenhagen & Malmö have today.
On even more positive note Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel could be built by blasting the rock,not by boring through it - same strong rock layer continues from Helsinki to Naissaar at Tallinn bay. This greatly reduces costs and raises construction speed.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 01:57 AM   #52
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Why wait so long and not start building it.. now?
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Old February 10th, 2012, 02:19 AM   #53
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Quote:
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If they have built a tunnel in the english channel, why couldn't they build one in the finnish bay ? What is the difference? would this tunnel be deeper ?
Well, exactly thanks to that experience we can learn some things about the feasibility of this kind of grand stuff. The eurotunnel connects the UK with France/Benelux/Germany, and yet the company went bankrupt. With such story, how can anyone dream of building a profitable rail link between Finland (5,4 million inh.), Estonia (1,5 million), Latvia (2 million) and Lithuania (3,2 million), economies whose combined GDP equals to 64% that of Belgium and with a lower business relationship as there is between eurotunnel countries.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #54
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Well, exactly thanks to that experience we can learn some things about the feasibility of this kind of grand stuff. The eurotunnel connects the UK with France/Benelux/Germany, and yet the company went bankrupt.
Well, one drawback is of course that there are no direct trains from London to The Netherlands or Germany.


Looking at the percentage of London-Brussels and London-Paris traffic the train chipped off the airlines, i think the tunnel itself is a pretty sound project, it's a shame they have/had problems making it profitable.
But if you would take into account the amount of pollution the trains cut by eliminating so many flights, it has been totally worth it. Sadly that is money those investors themselves never see any of, but society as a whole does profit, because this means less money spent on things like healthcare.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #55
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Aj yeah. When numbers don't match and the budget doesn't fit, just claim some unmeasurable benefit like "reduced noise pollution from airports"
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Old February 10th, 2012, 05:49 PM   #56
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Aj yeah. When numbers don't match and the budget doesn't fit, just claim some unmeasurable benefit like "reduced noise pollution from airports"
Public money should be used in ways that benefits the public. Profits aren't the only measurement for that. Otherwise we would have to shutdown traffic lights, national parks, public television and what not.

Also the cost vs benefit should be measured over the whole lifespan of the project. Several billion euros vs several hundred years of a tunnel. Both Finland and Estonia can borrow at reasonable rates so transfering some of the cost of such a tunnel in to the future wouldn't be unbearable nor unreasonable. Of course there may be projects that deliver even more benefits, but I think having a direct (high speed) railline connecting Finland to central Europe and connecting Helsinki and Tallinn should be a matter of strategic importance.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 07:02 PM   #57
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Well, one drawback is of course that there are no direct trains from London to The Netherlands or Germany.


Looking at the percentage of London-Brussels and London-Paris traffic the train chipped off the airlines, i think the tunnel itself is a pretty sound project, it's a shame they have/had problems making it profitable.
But if you would take into account the amount of pollution the trains cut by eliminating so many flights, it has been totally worth it. Sadly that is money those investors themselves never see any of, but society as a whole does profit, because this means less money spent on things like healthcare.
I totally agree with the concept of social profits. However I very much doubt this tunnel would be profitable even in that case.

Has there been any study on its future profitability on all levels? Or are we just chatting for the sake of it?
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Old February 10th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #58
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I totally agree with the concept of social profits. However I very much doubt this tunnel would be profitable even in that case.

Has there been any study on its future profitability on all levels? Or are we just chatting for the sake of it?
Well, for the Channel Tunnel i'm pretty sure of it, but for a Finland-Estonia tunnel i'm not so sure.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 01:09 AM   #59
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Well, exactly thanks to that experience we can learn some things about the feasibility of this kind of grand stuff. The eurotunnel connects the UK with France/Benelux/Germany, and yet the company went bankrupt. With such story, how can anyone dream of building a profitable rail link between Finland (5,4 million inh.), Estonia (1,5 million), Latvia (2 million) and Lithuania (3,2 million), economies whose combined GDP equals to 64% that of Belgium and with a lower business relationship as there is between eurotunnel countries.
Agreed, Eurotunnel connects 2 World Cities and Belgium in under 2 hours, carries a huge amount of car and truck traffic and takes a reasonable amount of freight. Yet it is still struggling to prove it was worthwhile. However it was a lot more expensive than that.

One advantage with Helsinki and Tallinn is they are both on the coast facing each other, a fairer comparison would be Copenhagen/Malmo. A drawback is that a lot of this traffic is as foot passengers on ferries as you don't need much further transport on each side, a 1h train ride won't make a massive difference for these people (especially when they are just going for pleasure and cheap booze). If the Rail Baltica project gets going, this would work well with it. I envisage a train starting in Helsinki, stopping in Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas (connecting to Vilnius), Warsaw, Poznan and Berlin. A service doing this in 6 hours would be good, but despite this being many countries, there are not that many people to serve.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 11:39 AM   #60
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Don't forget the gauge problem...
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