Plans have been announced for a new underwater tunnel and high-speed passenger train linking Grand Cayman to Miami in the U.S.
The 450-mile tunnel will be similar in style to the U.K.’s Channel Tunnel, an underwater rail tunnel through which the high-speed passenger train Eurostar travels. The Channel Tunnel links the U.K. with several European cities including Paris and Brussels.
The Cayman Tunnel is set to be bored some 50-metres below the sea bed and will be one of the most ambitious projects undertaken in the Caribbean.
Passengers will be able to travel through the tunnel on Cayman Speedway, a high-speed train service which will boast three state-of-the-art trains that will each travel at speeds of up to 180-miles per hour, taking just three hours to reach Miami.
The billion-dollar project is being undertaken by private firm OneFour, a construction firm headquartered in China. The firm specialises in large-scale travel and underwater projects.
A boost to Cayman’s tourism
The ambitious plans are designed to enhance Cayman’s tourism industry, offering visitors a quick and easy way to travel to the Cayman Islands. Cayman SpeedWay is projected to bring in up to a million tourists a year, helping to fuel an economic boom.
A dedicated train terminal is slated to be built in West Bay. Construction on the project is set to start in the next couple of months, with the entire project scheduled to be concluded in just 12-months.
Trains will travel between Grand Cayman and Miami up to six times a day. Each train will be made up of 18 cars, half of which will be for passengers only and the other half for vehicles. Passengers will also be able to take advantage of an onboard gym and a selection of gourmet restaurants.
“The underwater tunnel will be one of the longest tunnels in the world and will put the Cayman Islands on the map,” OneFour managing director, April Fooledya, said. “Cayman SpeedWay will make travel to the mainland U.S. effortless and comfortable, eliminating cramped seating which has become the norm on airplanes.”
She added: “A major benefit of travelling with Cayman SpeedWay rather than by air will be that the trains are able to accommodate cars, meaning that both visitors and residents will be able to simply drive on and drive off the trains. Cayman SpeedWay will also be competitively priced, with fares set to start from just $100, making travel accessible to everyone.”
The tunnel is just one of four tunnels planned by OneFour, with future tunnels slated to connect Grand Cayman with Jamaica, New York, Tampa, and the U.K.