Plans for rail tunnel from Britain to Northern Ireland

Rail industry leaders have proposed building a tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland to a group tasked with exploring ways to improve connectivity between the four constituent parts of the UK.

High Speed Rail Group (HSRG) has proposed a tunnel under the Irish Sea between Stranraer and Larne in its submission to the union connectivity review led by Sir Peter Hendy. Hendy is due to publish his interim report within weeks.

The two towns are 31 miles apart but a preferred route for the tunnel, based on 120-year-old research by the Victoria engineer James Barton, would be diverted to avoid Beaufort’s Dyke, a 1,000ft deep trench in the Irish Sea.