×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Mammoth "Metal Moles" Tunnel Deep Beneath London

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the it's-burrow-time dept.

Transportation 294

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that the first of eight highly specialized Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), each weighing nearly 1,000 tonnes, is being positioned at Royal Oak in west London where it will begin its slow journey east. It will carve out a new east-west underground link that will eventually run 73 miles from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Described as 'voracious worms nibbling their way under London,' the 150-meter long machines will operate 24 hours a day and move through the earth at a rate of about 100m per week, taking three years to build a network of tunnels beneath the city's streets. Behind a 6.2-meter cutter head is a hydraulic arm. Massive chunks of earth are fed via a narrow-gauge railway along the interior of the machine, which is itself on wheels, as the machines are monitored from a surface control room which tracks their positions using GPS. Hydraulic rams at the front keep them within millimeters of their designated routes. 'It's not so much a machine as a mobile factory,' says Roy Slocombe, adding that the machine is staffed by a 20-strong 'tunnel gang' and comes with its own kitchen and toilet. Meanwhile, critics complain that the project is a peculiarly British example of how not to get big infrastructure schemes off the ground, because almost 30 years will have elapsed from its political conception in 1989 to its current projected completion date of 2018."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

294 comments

Better that they take 30 and make it last. (-1, Flamebait)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 years ago | (#39397167)

At least the way that this is done, the British err on the side of giving respect to the workers that end up down there instead of the Third World where it is reserved for the despots.

Re:Better that they take 30 and make it last. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397227)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_underground

Re:Better that they take 30 and make it last. (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#39397297)

At least the way that this is done, the British err on the side of giving respect to the workers that end up down there instead of the Third World where it is reserved for the despots.

In the third world, despots have their toilets in underground digging machines? That explains a lot.

GPS? (3, Informative)

Duvzo (221790) | about 2 years ago | (#39397201)

GPS?? Underground? Cool, so my scuba GPS is just around the corner too then.

Re:GPS? (1, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#39397289)

From TFA:

The machines are monitored from a surface control room which tracks their positions using GPS.

So this would be more like having GPS in your dive boat than having GPS underwater.

Re:GPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397399)

No, I read it as the control room uses GPS to track the machines, ie the machines relay back their position to the control room, which is itself calculated using GPS.

It's a valid point - how the hell could GPS be used to track something beneath the ground when mine struggles if it isn't mounted right on my windscreen?

Re:GPS? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397509)

I'm pretty sure they know where the surface control room. It's the position of the machine that needs monitored, not the stationary control room.

Re:GPS? (5, Informative)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 years ago | (#39397873)

I don't know the specifics of this, but from my former work in an oilfield services company, I know that oil well drilling systems can track their own position within a few inches. One example [wikipedia.org] from about 30 years ago was a set of wells drilled under an estuary in the UK. The gov. allowed the drilling company a one-acre island to do all the drilling from. They drilled down about a mile, then branched off into 10 separate holes that were drilled horizontally, following an oil seam that at times was only one foot high. The longest horizontal hole was about 10 kilometers (34000+feet, 6.6+ miles) long. Here is another reference [greeningofoil.com], including info on a new well system on the North Slope that extends even farther - two miles down, then over 10 km horizontally, then back down another km or two so they can use an existing oil processing facility.

Drilling systems are among the most sophisticated technological marvels going - they include seismic signalling, mass spectrometry, neutron activation analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance, gamma ray spectral analysis [wikipedia.org], and other really geeky stuff. The bit knows where it is geographically and where it is relative to the geological structures that it is following. The computers that sit 10 feet behind the actual bit meet tougher specs than military or aerospace - 1000 G shock, very high pressures (I forget the PSI), 400 degree F temperatures. Cooling is accomplished by the drilling fluid that is going past the outside of the drill string. Truly oil well technology is the perfect geekly combination of extreme "big heavy dangerous machines" plus extreme high tech.

Re:GPS? (4, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39397507)

GPS?? Underground? Cool, so my scuba GPS is just around the corner too then.

Unless your SCUBA activities consist of walking around above the water level, I don't think you're going to find a GPS based solution to help you - water attenuates the signals too much.

However, if you're underground, there are a number of companies that can sell you GPS repeaters that will help you navigate even when you can't receive any satellite signals directly:

http://www.vialite.co.uk/gps_band_overview.php [vialite.co.uk]
http://www.leica-geosystems.us/en/GPS-Machine-Guidance_1939.htm [leica-geosystems.us]

comparative position? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397203)

How does London's subway system compare to everyone elses? Is this an awesome new thing where they are leaders, or is this catching up to what other cities did years ago?

Re:comparative position? (5, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | about 2 years ago | (#39397293)

It has more gaps than any other system - you have to constantly mind them.

Re:comparative position? (3, Interesting)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397393)

London's system appears to be conveniently bi-directional. [q-dog.co.uk]

Re:comparative position? (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397453)

Never mind, Penrith is Australian. Still funny though.

Re:comparative position? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397559)

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/pnr/details.html

There is one in the UK, looks like the same type of signage too.

Re:comparative position? (5, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 2 years ago | (#39397503)

It has more gaps than any other system - you have to constantly mind them.

That's why I prefer the Moscow Metro. Because there, the gap minds you.

Re:comparative position? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397341)

This isn't about the London Underground at all, it is a heavy rail link.

Re:comparative position? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397663)

How does London's subway system compare to everyone elses? Is this an awesome new thing where they are leaders, or is this catching up to what other cities did years ago?

London's subway is somewhat behind these days. The big problem is that, because it's so old and established, it's very difficult to renovate. There's no cell reception, 3G or air-con. Trains are often small and cramped. Reliability is poor, and lines are often closed (although strikes, and sadly jumpers play a big part in that one). It's also fairly expensive. Compre it to say Shanghai's system and they're miles apart.

Re:comparative position? (2)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#39397843)

This isn't really part of the London Underground. It's a very long mainline railway tunnel.

"The Tube", like most major metropolitan underground systems is extremely overloaded, but actually a pretty good network, and well integrated with the mainline. It has its problems, the main one being expense. It is a major target of investment, mainly because the city depends on it to operate. Many parts of it are pretty old, but this is more a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Tunnelling under London... (-1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397211)

London. On an island, right?

Brilliant idea. Someone hasn't played Jenga, apparently.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397267)

London. On an island, right?

Wrong. Glad to be of help.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397411)

Appreciated, thank you. It all looks smaller on Google Maps, but a 1:1 scale would probably be unfeasible.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39397361)

Someone hasn't played Jenga, apparently.

Hoping not to disturb your world view overmuch, but there is this interesting concept of reality.

You might try it sometime - it's different enough at any rate.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397443)

People being unnecessarily offensive on the internet or off, alas, does not disturb my present world view.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397367)

Technically every land mass is an island in that it's completely surrounded by water. It just happens that some of them are very large and that island usually has a connotation associated with smaller land masses. Do you honestly think it's all just bits of soft sandy soil under the ground?

Re:Tunnelling under London... (-1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397495)

Do you honestly think it's all just bits of soft sandy soil under the ground?

No, and I hadn't been trying to give that impression.

Neither do I think that quantities of houses and automobiles are made of foam rubber. If you excavate large swaths of the foundation, island or not, there's going to be trouble.

My parents were homeowners, and the city decided it would pump the freshwater under the neighborhood and sell it. That alone caused significant property damage as the land settled due to the lowered water table. And that was just water; I wouldn't like to think what would happen removing massive amounts of the earth.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#39397571)

Do you honestly think it's all just bits of soft sandy soil under the ground?

No, and I hadn't been trying to give that impression.

Neither do I think that quantities of houses and automobiles are made of foam rubber. If you excavate large swaths of the foundation, island or not, there's going to be trouble.

My parents were homeowners, and the city decided it would pump the freshwater under the neighborhood and sell it. That alone caused significant property damage as the land settled due to the lowered water table. And that was just water; I wouldn't like to think what would happen removing massive amounts of the earth.

Bring land ashore from the North Sea.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#39397681)

Well, it isn't going to do anything, because they don't want the tunnels collapsing...

This isn't like pumping water, gas or oil out from under the ground - the tunnels need to be servicable and usable after the fact, otherwise there isn't any point in making them, so they get lined with concrete or some other material which keeps them rigid and bearing the weight of the ground above them.

Bear in mind that they've been doing this in London for 200 years or more, what with the London Underground, service tunnels, Royal Mail tunnels, BT telecommunications tunnels etc etc etc. London is criscrossed with tunnels already, 99% of them not having any issue on the surface at all. They've got experience in this.

Re:Tunnelling under London... (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397791)

That's sincerely reassuring then, and I thank you. I hadn't thought they could successfully reinforce tunnels a tenth of a kilometer wide.

Why exaggerate? (3, Insightful)

nuckfuts (690967) | about 2 years ago | (#39397213)

From the summary:

the 150-meter long machines...

From the article:

The 140 metre long, fully assembled tunnel boring machine...

At 140 metres, each TBM would just fit just inside the boundaries of a cricket oval.

Was 140 meters not impressive enough, so the submitter had to add 10 meters?

Re:Why exaggerate? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397285)

TIL 140 metres = 150 meters. It's not just a wonky British spelling.

Re:Why exaggerate? (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#39397295)

Was 140 meters not impressive enough, so the submitter had to add 10 meters?

He's a guy - exaggerating a bit about length is reflexive.

Re:Why exaggerate? (4, Funny)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#39397315)

Obviously the submitter is American and did the conversion from British-meters to American-meters.

Re:Why exaggerate? (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#39397401)

Metres. A metre is a measure of length. A meter is a thing you measure with. A metre meter is a stick one metre long. Damn yanks overloading words, it's as if they're speaking C++...

Re:Why exaggerate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397451)

They're not overloading; it's just another word they can't seem to spell :P

Re:Why exaggerate? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#39397729)

The final "e" sound is pronounced before the final "r" sound, so it seems silly to reverse them when spelled. The US is more phonetic. We don't hold on to antiquity because we find it quaint, but are more practical. If meter and metre are pronounced the same, why is it an issue if some place chooses to spell them the same?

Sulfur (1)

CountBrass (590228) | about 2 years ago | (#39397795)

Some counter points.

Sulfur (the US spelling) is more archaic than Sulphur (the English spelling).

Meter is English, Metre is French (they invented the metric system).

I suppose you would also want all other homophones to be spelled the same way, right, rite, wright, write?

English has never been a phonetic language, neither the UK nor the US version.

Re:Why exaggerate? (1)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#39397863)

It originates from the French word metre [accent lost on slashdot], and before that the Greek word metron (to measure). Obviously in French the r is pronounced first. There's plenty of examples of American English taking on archaic spellings or words wholesale from other languages, so I don't think there's much room to boast of American linguistic pragmatism here.

Re:Why exaggerate? (0)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#39397325)

Just like "Almost 30 years." 2012-1989=?

Re:Why exaggerate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397417)

Just like "Almost 30 years." 2012-1989=?

"[...]to its current projected completion date of 2018."

Re:Why exaggerate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397395)

Depends whether you count the 10m mains cable.

Or, it's 140m to 1.5 significant figures, but 150m is accurate to 1.4 figures.

"Peculiarly British" (1, Flamebait)

oldhack (1037484) | about 2 years ago | (#39397221)

Wouldn't be British without the whining and moaning.

Re:"Peculiarly British" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397251)

Actually they just shout "EX-TER-MIN-ATE" in a high-pitched voice.

Re:"Peculiarly British" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397533)

It's more of a metallic voice than a high-pitched one.

Re:"Peculiarly British" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397549)

I don't know what metal they use, but it's certainly not on the bass end.

Britsh Technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397229)

they build exciting and reliable sports cars, too

Re:Britsh Technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397305)

I assume you're talking about TVR. My Griffith performed admirably (when I maintained it according to the manual) until some tit in a Ford Monstrosity wrote it off. A huge shame, since it was both exciting to drive and quite simply beautiful.

Linky. [wikipedia.org] Mine was in pearlescent white/cream.

Re:Britsh Technology (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | about 2 years ago | (#39397353)

Heh, it had the same engine as the Ford, but two different outer packages one couldn't imagine :-)

Re:Britsh Technology (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#39397493)

The Griffith had a Rover V8 (derived from a Buick engine) as I recall, and since the parent didn't name the monstrosity one could only guess what it used.

I used to have a Reliant Scimitar, which used a 3-litre Ford V6. Could that be what you're thinking about?

Too slow! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397235)

100m per week makes for a long commute. *Practical* transport that moves freely underground is still a ways off.

Re:Too slow! (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#39397431)

the Crossrail project is talking about a 73-mile East-West network made up of three lines*, which at 100m/week in the tunnel sections will take about three years to dig. What complicates matters is the fact that the Crossrail coachwork will be full height and riding on standard gauge rails - which will make it completely incompatible with the London Underground network, also means that the rails that will need laying will be brand new, on virgin bed - while avoiding breaching existing tunnels! Most of the route will actually be overground, btw - the longest continuous tunnel section will be between Paddington and Canary Wharf.

*Maidenhead and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood, with the split beneath Spitalfields just after Whitechapel.

Re:Too slow! (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#39397607)

I'm not sure how 3 years * 5.2km adds up to 73 miles.

Re:Too slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397699)

The part with the "mostly overground" might help you there. (PS. the tunnel boring metal moles [who came up with this shit, seriously] don't dig the above-ground bit, it has already been done for them).

This is awesome, but... (1)

psperl (1704658) | about 2 years ago | (#39397247)

In what way is this unique? Are these machines in any way superior to the machines used to bore the tunnels for the 2nd avenue subway in NYC [wired.com] or the ones used in the construction of the LHC at CERN [web.cern.ch]?

Seems like this machine might be larger, but is that it?

Re:This is awesome, but... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#39397347)

Actually, except for the color scheme and the fact that the NYC machine isn't named after the Mayor, they look nearly identical.

Re:This is awesome, but... (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#39397357)

it's not unique at all - the design of the TBMs is identical to those used in the Eden (Channel Tunnel) Project, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, others at Orlovski, Niagara, Yucca... only difference being the number of tunnels excavated, the number of TBMs used in each project, and the type of rock chewed through.

Re:This is awesome, but... (1)

asquithea (630068) | about 2 years ago | (#39397499)

The Eden project had nothing to do with the Channel Tunnel (in fact, needed no tunnel construction at all), and the latter used different types of TBM from each end.

I suspect you've just done the equivalent of equating all types of car as identical, the only difference being the number of passengers carried, type of fuel, and terrain they need to be able to handle.

Re:This is awesome, but... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#39397645)

um... no. And, no. Oh, and no.

The Tunnel boring project was named Eden in its concept phase through planning, the TBMs used in the probe tunnels were identical. Both built by the same company and both designed to chew chalk. When the tunnels met, one TBM was directed downwards and buried, the other was sent off to become one of four TBMs chewing through the Alps for the GBT. About the only thing that needed to be replaced was the cutting head since it was going from chewing chalk to chewing basalt and granite.

Re:This is awesome, but... (1)

asquithea (630068) | about 2 years ago | (#39397761)

I can find no reference to the Channel Tunnel project ever being referred to as the Eden project, but possibly it's been swamped by the biome complex in Cornwall, which is known by that name. You're welcome to provide a citation, if you have one. (Incidentally, the Eden Project was an engineering challenge in itself, given the difficult conditions found in the clay pit it was constructed in. It's well worth a read on the subject - Wikipedia doesn't have much to say about it.)

w.r.t. the TBMs used in the Channel Tunnel, they weren't all built by the same company, and they operated in different modes. There weren't even just two. More info at http://www.batisseurs-tunnel.com/amicale/doc%20UK/3%20Tunnels%20Tunnel%20sous%20La%20Manche_C%20.pdf [batisseurs-tunnel.com]

Whitechapel (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 2 years ago | (#39397255)

(I'm sure other Londoners will agree with me here)

I'm still baffled as to why CrossRail have decided to add a stop at Whitechapel. The place is a complete dump.

Re:Whitechapel (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#39397317)

It will not be a dump any longer when the sub-way terminates there.

Re:Whitechapel (3, Funny)

ChumpusRex2003 (726306) | about 2 years ago | (#39397705)

Whitechapel already has a station with 3 lines.

In fact, you know that things are strange in Whitechapel, because the underground trains run overground, and the overground trains run underground.

Re:Whitechapel (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397369)

The place is a complete dump.

To be fair, many people not from London would say the same about all of our illustrious capital.

Buy now (2)

fantomas (94850) | about 2 years ago | (#39397489)

You wait til a superfast train connection stops there. House prices will go up again... Fast connection across London stopping there will mean it's going to go up in the world.

Rules Change Re:Whitechapel (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397627)

They had to add the stop because the Alternate Thursday Rule, when applied in conjunction with the Left-Hand Turns Only Method, caused too many people to end up in the middle of the Thames.

Meh. (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#39397263)

Call me when they can load one up on a big green supersonic aircraft and deploy it anywhere in the world on a moment's notice.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397531)

Why?

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397573)

Thunderbirds reference.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397623)

Ah, thanks. Marionettes are superior to mere rod puppets.

Dune (2, Funny)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#39397269)

We may as well get all of the Dune references out of the way here in this one thread.

Re:Dune (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397811)

What's that thundering noise underground? Is it a worm? No, it's just a boring machine.

peculiarly British example of how not to get big infrastructure schemes off the ground

It sounds like a worm. Where does it rise above to eat something? No, that was a metaphor, duniot!
Where are the best Asian restaurants located in London, again? I think those vibrations and noise are heading that way. What do you mean? The spice must flow!
What is that nibbling sound? Is it a worm nibble? Yes. Phew! I only get worried when I hear worms hiss.

Nothing 'peculiarly British' about it... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397299)

There's nothing peculiarly British about partisan politics resulting in funding taking years to be approved and plenty of NIMBYs protesting the plans!

Re:Nothing 'peculiarly British' about it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397569)

What's particularly British about is is calling it particularly British. No one calls things British quite like the Brits.

Math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397331)

First, they say the network will be built in three years.

8 (diggers) * 0.1km / week * 52 weeks / year * 3 years = 41.6km 73 miles (117.5km)

But then, they said the project would complete 2018... so then it adds up... but still a little unclear.

Connecticut State Posse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397351)

Fuckin' interstate commerce. How does it work?

What kind of transport is it? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#39397467)

Ugh, terrible journalism, they've buried the lede. You have to read to the very last sentence to figure out that it's a heavy commuter rail corridor, not a subway, bus, or car tunnel. Maybe this is obvious to British readers, but I found it confusing as hell.

Re:What kind of transport is it? (1)

6Yankee (597075) | about 2 years ago | (#39397641)

Heavy rail v subway, fair enough. But I would have thought that the "rail" in Crossrail, which appears in bold on the first line, would rule out buses and cars.

Re:What kind of transport is it? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 2 years ago | (#39397721)

wasn't particularly obvious as to whether it was a rail line or a tube line. Don't think anyone would have thought it was a road tunnel though.

Good on London for supporting public transport (1)

fantomas (94850) | about 2 years ago | (#39397481)

Good to see London going for public infrastucture development during the recession. Definitely will be great to have a fast Crossrail service and add to the options of moving around London. I was standing waiting for a bus at Angel the other day and I realised all the people sitting in the cars between the two sets of lights in that section could fit into one bus (or a train carriage). Public mass transport got to be the way to go in cities like London. Could you imagine London without the tube? (Mind you it would be great if they could somehow refurbish the old lines, but I guess TfL have that dream as well...)

Re:Good on London for supporting public transport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397619)

There are several problem with that comparison.

First, the bus wouldn't be going to all the different places those cars will be going. It goes along a fixed route which may or may not be anywhere close to your actual destination.
Second, travelling by bus or train is okay if it's just you, but try carrying anything long or heavy or multiple armfulls of anything at all. There's plenty of rules about objects you're simply not allowed to take on a bus or train.
Third, buses are efficient only during a couple of hours of each day. The rest of the time, they tend to be extremely inefficient since they mostly drive around almost empty. And a big red bus with two people inside takes up much more space and burns much more fuel than a couple of city cars. Much more.

So yes, public transport has it's place but it's not and never will be the solution to London's transport problems. That would be actually reducing the number of journeys which need to be made. But that's a whole different story...

Re:Good on London for supporting public transport (1)

FunPika (1551249) | about 2 years ago | (#39397651)

Well London is lucky in that case, at least your public transportation isn't proposing to increase fares and cut several of its services at the same time (the Massachusets Bay Transportation Authority is doing this).

And why are they digging these tunnels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397491)

Crappy summary is crappy. Would have been nice to tell us in your wordy summary that it is for a rail project.

Life doesn't begin at conception (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#39397521)

You can't count the life of a project from the date someone first thought of it. By that measure, the Apollo moon landing project took at least 100 years. You should start counting from the date significant funding began, which in this case is 2010. Not bad, compared to, say, Boston's Big Dig.

Re:Life doesn't begin at conception (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39397553)

30 years only seems like a long time to people in their 20s.

A Bave New World, with just a handful of men (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 2 years ago | (#39397637)

ARTILLERYMAN: We're gonna build a whole new world for ourselves. Look, they
clap eyes on us and we're dead, right?

So we gotta make a new life where they'll never find us. You know where?
Underground.

How does positioning work underground? (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | about 2 years ago | (#39397671)

It can't be just GPS + dead reckoning, can it? Are there more accurate methods to do underground positioning?

Re:How does positioning work underground? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#39397807)

There are GPS re-radiators that will allow GPS underground. Based on the wording, it seems like that is something they are doing, but I didn't see the exact method explicitly stated.

Took the Brits only 30 years? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#39397851)

Pffft, Amateurs. Boston's Big Dig [wikipedia.org] is only 3.5 miles long and it took 35 years from first review to completion.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...