Report: Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel would cost 16 billion euros, journey time 30 minutes, tickets for 18 euros each way

Report: Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel would cost 16 billion euros, journey time 30 minutes, tickets for 18 euros each way
Report: Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel would cost 16 billion euros, journey time 30 minutes, tickets for 18 euros each way

Currently there's 9 million passenger between the ports every year. The report estaimtes the total number of passengers to grow to 23 million.

So everyone in Finland and Estonia has to make 64 round trips to break even then.

Cool project though.

While they're at it, could they build an alcohol pipeline as well? Would save many a Finn the trouble of travelling to Estonia to buy booze.

Finns will do it in less than two years - going for the booze.

I'm pretty sure they don't have to earn the whole investment back in a single year, though. More like in a few decades.

Pretty cool, will be interesting to see the impact on the region when the Rail Baltica and tunnel are both fully functioning.

Well, thankfully we're not paying for any of those

I'd fight you if I understood what you mean.

It isn't necessarily a nuisance. Finland would be the end of the road of such a long-distance route from Central Europe. It's not the end of the world if passengers need to switch trains in Helsinki to travel further into Finland. Cargo could be more of a nuisance though.

serious question: what else could you make for that same price? Just to compare.


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Of course, but it's probably unlikely that the average person will make the journey more than once a year. Many will, but more will probably just use it once or twice in their lifetime.

That's actually contradictory to the main idea. It's to basically make a twin-city where people could use the tunnel for everyday commuting. Otherwise, there are way too few of us and the distance is even greater than Channel Tunnel, so it would never work out.

There are already close to 9 million passengers a year on Tallinn-Helsinki ferry line (2h). That puts it among the busiest ferry routes in the world, despite Finland and Estonia being generally small countries. So a 30-minute train service could do wonders.

Currently they are Europe's 1st and 5th busiest passenger ports, with 3rd and 5th being very close.

Edit: forgot to mention that there was a news article somewhere that Helsinki topped Dover that year, I just posted an older list.

I stand corrected. Interesting stuff.

Indeed, Rail Baltica and Tallinn-Helsinki rail connection would meet at Ülemiste (Tallinn), so they could be connected. However, Rail Baltica is going to be European gauge (1435 mm) while Finnish railway network is wide gauge (1524 mm), so that might be a nuisance.

I don't see how it could have much of an impact itself. Estonia and Finland are both in Schengen and use the same currency, so you can already travel as easily as domestically. The difference would be in speed which would increase the number of people traveling, and that, of course, could somewhat increase crime and grey workforce. But it's the same logic as bigger cities having more crime than smaller towns, it just happens because there's more people and more wealth circulating.

Their project is separate to the similar proposal led by game industry figure Peter Vesterbacka that would involve private funding and Chinese investors.

By contrast the report funded by a bilateral joint project called FinEstLink looks at a public project and envisages European and national, local and regional government funding.

So, here's my obvious concern: it is easy for estimates to be wrong.

Quick look online

The Channel Tunnel appears to have had about half as much traffic as was initially-estimated, and the cost was about twice as much as was initially-estimated. Of course, once you've sunk money into the project, you're kind of on the hook to keep spending unless you want to lose your investment thus far.

With the Channel Tunnel, investment was private. If it lost money, it lost money for private investors. If you do public funding, the public is on the hook.

There are, of course, political benefits to such a project: it makes the EU connected via continuous ground transport network. But it seems to me that they are not equal to 100% of the value of the project.

Here is what I would do, were I Estonia and Finland. I would not fund creation of a tunnel with public funds. However, I would compute the political benefit of such a tunnel in dollar terms. And I would offer a subsidy for this: for the first N passengers transiting the tunnel, I will pay a subsidy of $D per passenger. That returns the risk and computation of risk back to private investors, where it probably most-reasonably belongs, but it permits Finland and Estonia to express the benefit to themselves in financial terms.

There are also, of course, economic benefits, what the value of the saved time is to passengers. But that can be expressed via the fare. Finns and Estonians would need to pay for this anyway, via taxes. This simply causes those who benefit to be the ones to pay, and forces investors to take this risk into account.