Monday, July 03, 2006

Transatlantic Tunnel

A magnetically levitated train could theoretically take you from New York to London in 54 minutes. But you'd have to go 5,000mph through a 3,100 mile long tunnel that was itself floating in the Atlantic Ocean. The Transatlantic Tunnel is a structure proposed by one of the engineers involved in the construction of the Channel Tunnel beneath the English Channel. It would be a tunnel that spans the Atlantic Ocean between New York City and England; the design calls for this tunnel to be raised above the ocean floor (making it a tubeā€”not a tunnel); this is unlike most tunnels (which are dug out from beneath the floor of a water body), but like the Bay Area Rapid Transit system's Transbay Tube in San Francisco. The tunnel would be a 3,100 mile (5,000 km) long vacuum tube with mag-lev trains that could travel at speeds up to 5,000 mph (8,000 km/h); at this speed, the travel time between New York and London would be less than one hour. At top speed, the train would travel faster than a bullet fired from a gun. The train would be able to reach such a high speed as a result of the lack of friction and air resistance in this vacuum-sealed environment.
An alternative route that was proposed involved the train going (as a tunnel) from Newfoundland and heading north over the ice sheet of Greenland and across Iceland until it reached Scotland. This route is the cheapest but it is considered to be one of the most difficult due to the adverse weather conditions and ice sheet problems in Greenland, and such a tunnel would lose the vast speed of the mag-lev tube. It is estimated that once started, the project would take about 100+ years to complete.
In a future time, such a tunnel could be considered to be more realistic than today. Imagine going for a desert to New york after dinner in london, isnt the idea quite fascinating ?


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