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The question Big boys' toys

In the week that it was revealed the US military is now letting untrained civilians loose on its nuclear submarines - only in America - we ask: What multi million pound piece of kit would you love to take control of, and what would you do with it when you did?

My dream would be to take charge of an American Nimitz aircraft carrier. It would be a great place to live and would make for an impressive and quick method to travel to work, although I am not sure where I would park the Tomcat!

Phil Channer, 27, engineer, Dorset

The Channel Tunnel tunnel boring machine - I would finish the job and build a tunnel direct to London. High speed trains to Europe with no environmental effect on Kent's landscape!

Jonathan Tricker, 28, senior transport engineer, Surrey

It would have to be big boys' toys: to take the chequered flag at the British Grand Prix or to pilot Concorde on its return to scheduled service. The champagne, the glamour, a little bit like everyday life as a civil engineer! But of what practical use is either, I hear you cry?

Neither can really change the world, but surely we can appreciate the adrenalin rush of such technology working at the peak of its performance, if only to help to develop a little boy's dream.

Colin Burrell, 45, principal structural engineer, Reading

A Eurostar train from Paris to London to experience what it is like to be the driver, making split second judgments on signals and track events, and observing the differences between the French track side infrastructure and the British setup.

Tony Biddle, 57, manager of civil engineering, Ascot

If the horrific accident caused by the US nuclear sub was in any way connected with control being in the hands of amateurs, it reinforces my preference for leaving such machines under the control of experts. I would love to fly in a Concorde, which in spite of the tragedy in Paris, I believe to be a fine product of Anglo/French co-operation; but I would rather leave the job of flying to those fully trained to sit there.

Bob Matthews, contracts consultant, Pakistan

To be in the driving seat of a giant excavator or dragline must create a feeling of awesome power. I would use it to construct an island whereby the international troublemakers and vandals of this world could be isolated, leaving them to sort out their problems and wanton destructive tendencies, without involving the rest of the world's law abiding citizens.

Roland Arthur, 62, former head of highways and structures, Bolton

I would like to take control of the damping system on the Millennium Bridge, and turn the bridge from a white elephant into London's most exciting theme ride!

Dave Cooper, service performance manager, Ipswich

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