Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trade Ya a Rail Line for a Runway

So say the Tories which would build a rail line instead of a third runway at Heathrow. Stephen Rees has more.

1 comment:

njh said...

James has this to say:

"Comparing air with rail it would seem at first glance that aircraft have smaller fixed installation requirements - after all, they just need an airport at each end. One has to consider the vast quantity of land - and buildings - required for airports, however. Runway 26L/08R at Vancouver International Airport is 9940 x 200 feet x 1.5 feet (runway depth estimated) - 3 million cubic feet - and cost $100 million. The volume of a concrete railway sleeper is about 0.1 m3, or about 3 cubic feet. Thus the volume of concrete in one runway is equal to the volume of concrete in a million concrete railway sleepers, which are normally spaced at 650 to 760 mm intervals. A million sleepers would thus support 650 km of railway track. Interestingly, with the railway there is an alternative: composite ties, which can be (and are) made of recycled post-consumer waste plastic. I don't think that's an option for aircraft runways. "