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TechnologyWorld’s Longest Undersea Rail Tunnel Hits First Obstacle

08:32  13 august  2019
08:32  13 august  2019 Source:

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The first passenger train to travel through the longest rail tunnel in the world departed Zurich Sunday morning, after 17 years of construction. The 57-kilometer (35-mile) Gotthard Base Tunnel officially opened six months ago in a colorful ceremony attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French

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(Bloomberg) -- A plan to build the world’s longest undersea rail tunnel has hit its first snag.

Financing of 15 billion euros ($16.8 billion) was agreed this year for the tunnel to link Finland and Estonia. But the Baltic nation of 1.3 million people wants more details on that funding, the business plan behind the idea and Finland’s role before giving the green light.

“We need a clear understanding of where the money is coming from and in what amount,” Estonian Economy Minister Taavi Aas said in an interview. “Where are the guarantees that it will be completed? The developer hasn’t been able to respond how it’s estimated the volume of people that will be traveling through there.”

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What does the undersea tunnel of world ' s longest cross- sea bridge look like? The tunnel of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge was completed last Friday

Mersey Railway Tunnel . Oldest and first longest underwater rail tunnels in the world , Crossing the Mersey in Liverpool. 1 .21 km. 1881–1886. The longest road tunnel of any type in the world when first built, crossing the River Mersey between Liverpool and Birkenhead.

The tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn would span more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) and entails construction of at least one artificial island. The project was founded by Finnish entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka, formerly of Rovio Entertainment Oyj, which developed the Angry Birds video game.

The financing, to be provided by China’s Touchstone Capital Partners Ltd., will cover the entire cost of the project, the tunnel company Finest Bay Area Development Oy said in March.

Feasibility Study

A tunnel could be economically feasible as a private-public partnership, with European Union aid covering 40% of the cost of 13-20 billion euros, a study commissioned by both countries showed last year. Aas said it’s hard to square the results of that study with Vesterbacka’s plans.

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Longest railway tunnel ; by geodetic distance (of 55.782 km (34.661 mi)) between the two portals, it is also the world ' s longest transit tunnel . Longest tunnel with an undersea section. Undersea section measures 23.3 kilometres (14.5 mi). Water supply.

The world ' s longest and deepest rail tunnel has been officially opened in Switzerland after nearly two decades of construction work. Jump to media player The BBC's Andrew Bomford finds out where the millions of tonnes of earth go that have been excavated during the cross rail project.

In a letter last month to the developers seeking more detailed plans, Estonian’s Public Administration Minister Jaak Aab said the current timetable to open the tunnel in 2024 isn’t realistic. The 2018 study showed construction would take 15 years to complete.

“We’re working on providing more detailed answers to the government so a decision can be taken as soon as possible,” according to Paul Kunnap, a lawyer representing the developer.

Some of the details sought by Estonia will only become clear once further studies take place after the government approves the project, he said by phone.

‘Doesn’t Work Like That’

Finland’s government hasn’t discussed the tunnel project and it’s not part of its policy program, according to Sabina Lindstrom, director-general of the Networks Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“We’ve had unofficial talks with our Estonian colleagues regarding their idea of a memorandum of understanding, but they haven’t yet sent an official request to sign one,” she said Aug. 12 by phone.

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The tunnel has overtaken Japan' s 53.9km Seikan rail tunnel as the longest in the world and pushed the 50.5km Channel Tunnel linking the UK and Image caption The Gotthard tunnel runs 2.3 km under the mountain at its deepest point. In a speech to guests in Erstfeld, near the northern entrance

Chinese engineers will submit a blueprint to the government by April for the world ' s longest undersea tunnel , scheduled to be completed by 2026. Passenger vehicles could be loaded onto rail carriages and trains travelling at 220 km per hour. The journey between Dalian and Yantai would be slashed to

Estonia expects to sign a memorandum with Finland this month, according to Aab’s letter from July. But more details on the project are crucial, according to Aas.

“If the developer says today that they don’t want any guarantees from the governments, we can’t just let them start digging the tunnel,” he said. “It doesn’t work like that.”

--With assistance from Kati Pohjanpalo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at [email protected], Andrew Langley

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