Mayors discuss Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel

  • 2007-06-20
  • By Joel Alas

UNDER THE GULF: Mayors Savisaar and Pajunen discussed connecting their cities by creating the longest undersea tunnel in the world, despite the economic lessons learned from the troubled English Channel Tunnel.

TALLINN - The mayors of Tallinn and Helsinki want to launch a feasibility study into building an undersea rail tunnel between the two capitals.
Edgar Savisaar met with Helsinki Lord Mayor Jussi Pajunen in Finland on June 19 and agreed to launch the feasibility study.
However it seems highly unlikely the project would ever to proceed.
Such a tunnel would need to stretch over 80km. The longest undersea tunnel in the world is the English Channel Tunnel, which runs for 50km. The operators of the "Chunnel" remain in financial difficulty 13 years after the link was opened.

Tallinn and Helsinki have been unable to cooperate on simple projects such as linking their public transportation ticketing systems 's an idea that has been mooted for over a year.
And Estonia has spent over a decade dreaming, discussing and studying the concept of building a 7km bridge connecting the Estonian mainland to the island Saaremaa 's a much smaller and more necessary link that still seems decades away from eventuating.
However, the two mayors believe the tunnel idea should be surveyed.
"At the moment, there are no concrete results, just an initiative to promote the idea," said a spokesman for the Helsinki mayor's office.
"Our mayor has stated that it is a thing that should be studied, but no serious decision to build such a tunnel has been made."