Explore Extreme Engineering Ideas and Visions

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In summary, the conversation discusses the show "Extreme Engineering" on the Discovery Channel and its latest visions of engineering. Some of the featured projects include an underground floating tunnel from New York to London, a Bering bridge, and a trans-Atlantic tunnel. There is also a discussion about the practicality and feasibility of these projects, with some mentioning the use of vacuum technology and others suggesting alternative solutions. Overall, the conversation highlights the fascination and skepticism surrounding these extreme engineering ideas.
  • #1
I thought this was pretty interesting, so I figured I would post something on it.

On the Discovery Channel they have a show called "Extreme Engineering". Anyways their ideas are very interesting and I thought I should show those who don't watch the show, the latest Visions of Engineering. All you got to do is click on the site below,

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/engineering/engineering.html [Broken]

The site has 10 Engineering Sections, in which they show there latest Engineering ideas. Anyways, please give me your idea and thoughts about the specific Extreme Engineering visions that are shown on the site. I also recommend watching the show, it is more detailed then the site IMO. You'll also find that a couple of them have been built, and 1 of them is currently being worked on.

Anyways, I specifically like the Underground floating tunnel that will reach from New York to London. I also like the Sky City engineering project. There all so beautifully planned.
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  • #2
The tunnel from London to New York is cool . Although I fail to see the use for windows if you travel at 5000 mph. Maybe it would be safer if the windows were eliminated...
The Bering bridge is immpresive too, and the others are not bad
  • #3
That's true about the windows. Besides, if you're that deep underwater, everything outside would be pretty dark wouldn't it? Oh well, maybe they're for claustrophobic people . I think powering trains with electromagnets is a good idea. Certainly faster and probably more environmentally friendly than the classic engine and wheel design.
  • #4
In the first london subways, there were no windows on the carriages. People were very nauseated etc and unhappy about the whole thing. Hence, the designers introduced the windows to accommodate the psychology of the travellers. Perhaps they work by giving an impression of movement? The brain works in strange ways...
  • #5
Not that the makers care about quality of journey on the london underground. The windows are there just so that you can see when you are getting into the station. Maybe this is the idea with the london - newyork tunnel. Then again, if there are only 2 stations, then there may be little point for this scenario.

For a better analogy, consider the channel tunnel.
  • #6
Interesting series.
With regard to the trans-Atlantic tunnel; a fantastic idea if it could be done. However one problem I don't recall being mentioned in the programme is that of the Atlantic widening by about 3cm per year. Surely that is an obstacle to such a project becoming reality.
  • #7
Had heard about the Atlantic tunnel before, and always wondered about ventilation. Clicked on the link, but they don't really talk about it. Did anyone hear anything about it in the program? Maybe they figure the high-speed motion of the trains will push enough air around to keep the thing servivable, but that doesn't really sound like it would work with a 3,000 mile-long tunnel.
  • #8
Putting aside the fact that I haven't seen the show, or checked the site yet, I think one posible design for the tunnel / train is vacuum... The airresistance in an airless tunnel is certainly much lower than in an ordinary tunnel. I know this design is being considered for the metro across Europe, I've read so in some magazine. And then you could have pressurized trains, pretty much like a plane on tracks... I think they must be considering this, as it seems like at huge improvement all along the lines of metros. Just a little comment, thought you might find it interesting.

Best regards

Thonmas Hansen
  • #9
Vacuuming the air under water? How are they going to withstand the pressure?
How deep is the tunnel anyway? I’ll have a look...
  • #10
Only 150 ft. I thought they're going to build really deep down.
  • #11
The tunnel MUST be under a vacuum. Frictional heating limits long-term travel through the air to about 1,500 mph without special measures to keep the vehichle cool. Remember, the SR-71 flew at 2,000 mph, had to be painted black, and had to be made entirely of titanium. Even still, the pilot wore and air conditioning unit and had to sit on the tarmac for an hour to let the plane cool before he could get out.

The pressure of a vacuum isn't a big deal. People tend to forget that its only 14.7psi. You get that every 35 feet you go underwater.

Windows would be completely useles - there wouldn't be anything to see. Even with windows in the tunnel, you can't see something 10 feet away and moving past at 5,000 mph. You'd be better off putting up LCD displays that LOOKED like windows.

Anyway, this whole thing is interesting but impractical. It would likely cost several trillion dollars. An ordinary railroad costs a couple of million dollars per mile.
  • #12
Hi to all – I am new here. I am amazed by TV shows concerning extreme engineering, but! I have information that military industries has – exactly Russia - developed missiles – torpedo’s, which traveling much more than one mach – in water. That puts all idea of making tunnel unnecessary. Why? Its easer to make one pipe – from wire for fence (enclosure) because of biological life in water and use that pipe for traveling beneath water surfaces! Is this sounds Ok I am interested in this forum because I myself work similar – not so big projects, but thinking is thinking!
  • #13
well let's see. a train moving at 5000 mph through air, would get very hot, so why not open the tunnel, and make the train water cooled :) (ignoring the fact you're now trying to push water out of the way at 5000 mph, and cos water can't be compressed i hear its harder than concrete.)
  • #14
If such a tunnel was constructed, how would the matinence guys get around to fix/update the little things within the tunnel? You can't just stop the train half way through the tunnel and let off the matinence crew. And if there was a slight malfunction half way between the two countries, how would they get to it for repairs? I saw the service deck above the train's path, but I still cannot figure out how they will get out there.

Any ideas?

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