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News

Revisiting the Theatre of Dreams

11/04/2018

At tunnelbuilder we have decided to visit some of our past readers submissions about tunnelling successes and mishaps.  We are also going to look at what tunnellers thought may or may not happen in the future and discover if they were right or wrong. There were four categories the “Theatre of Dreams”, “Comedy of Errors”, “Chamber of Horrors” and the “Hall of Fame”.

We are looking for new submissions as it has been 10 years since the categories were closed and so much has changed. Each week we will go back in time and look at each category and if you have a story that you can tell please send it to us, we would love to read them and load them on our websites!

So to qualify for the theatre of dreams please read the original introduction and one story that we picked from the many that were submitted for this category.

Theatre of Dreams

Ever since the world’s first recorded underground aqueducts were constructed in ancient Egypt, engineers have been making suggestions for innovative tunnels. Many of these ideas were ridiculed or dismissed as being ahead of their time, but a surprising number now qualify for the Hall of Fame. The classic case, of course, is that of the Channel Tunnel, which was in the Theatre of Dreams for 200 years. The following is not intended to be comprehensive, and readers are invited to add their own suggestions. Who knows where this may lead? Perhaps, in another 200 years, you will be credited as a visionary.

Low Road to Orkney - a ferry story
Proposals to build a 11.2 km long subsea tunnel across the Pentland Firth linking Orkney to the Scottish mainland were presented to the Orkney council's transportation and infrastructures committee on 3rd February, 2005. Council members had been greatly impressed on a visit to Norway, where 24 subsea crossings have been built to date at a current cost/m of €7,500. The proposed tunnel investment of €150 million will be compared to the cost of ferries, which must be replaced every 20 years at around €45 million apiece. Unfortunately, the UK builds only one subsea tunnel every 100 years, and the Irish Sea tunnel was suggested first. Perhaps the Orkney tunnel plans should be placed in a time capsule and buried at Stonehenge.

So do you have or have you heard of an innovative suggestion for a tunnel if so send them to sam@tunnelbuilder.com . 15/18



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Beakaert Maccaferri: bm-underground.com