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Newfoundland Rail Connection

As Keithz said in an earlier post, it would be a great nation building project, but at what cost. Between Muskrat Falls, depressed oil prices, the snowstorm and now the virus, Newfoundland is a tad short of cash, so I'm guessing it would be primarily federal dollars.

The cost of $1.6Bn in the CBC article is laughable (assuming that is just for the tunnel). The Confederation Bridge linking PEI (slightly shorter strait) cost $1Bn in mid 1990 dollars, across much shallower and more protected waters and required comparatively little in the way of connecting road work.

If road via Labrador, it's ~3300km from Quebec City to St. John's through an area that sees severe winter weather on a road that isn't fully paved yet.

If road via Quebec North Shore (Quebec 138), they would have to build ~300km of highway (straight line Google Maps distance - I don't know how else to calculate it) through what is essentially mountainous terrain. They would also have to bridge or improve the Saguenay River ferry crossing. I have no idea of the quality of the road east of St. Simeon. The earlier post showing planned Quebec highway projects are joining nearby existing stranded Quebec communities. Quebec has historically shown reluctance to fund highways that they believe benefit non-Quebecers more. I can't say I much blame them. Twinning the TCH between the New Brunswick border and Autoroute 20 has been going on for years and the final phase has been tendered at $553M/$390M Quebec/Canada.

Once on the Island, it's roughly 1150km from St. Anthony at the northern tip to St. John's. It's about 400km to the TCH and parts of that highway are substandard and it runs through a National Park..

If rail, they would have to similarly built rights of way through the same terrain. There is a rail line between Port Cartier and Labrador City but it is isolated and the line between Quebec City and Chandler Quebec is branchline quality. On the Island there is no rail infrastructure.

As Carl Sagan said: "billions and billions".
 
Honestly the Feds would be better off just paying Muskrat Falls off and promising better ferry infrastructure.
 

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