What Is The Underground Water Railroad That Links England To France? (The answer is found)

The Channel Tunnel (often called the ‘Chunnel’ for short) is an undersea tunnel linking southern England and northern France. It is operated by the company Getlink, who also run a railway shuttle (Le Shuttle) between Folkestone and Calais, carrying passengers in cars, vans and other vehicles.

What is the name of the tunnel between England and France?

  • Channel Tunnel. Written By: Channel Tunnel, also called Eurotunnel, rail tunnel between England and France that runs beneath the English Channel. The Channel Tunnel, 31 miles (50 km) long, consists of three tunnels: two for rail traffic and a central tunnel for services and security.

How long is the trip through the Chunnel?

The Chunnel tunnel is 31.3 miles (50.56 km) in length and it takes a Eurostar train approximately 35 minutes to travel its full length. In total, the fastest journey time from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord is 2 hours and 29 minutes.

How did they build the tunnel from England to France?

On the British side, the digging began near Shakespeare Cliff outside of Dover; the French side began near the village of Sangatte. The digging was done by huge tunnel boring machines, known as TBMs, which cut through the chalk, collected the debris, and transported the debris behind it using conveyor belts.

How are UK and France connected?

The Channel Tunnel (or Chunnel) (French: le tunnel sous la Manche) is a long underwater tunnel between England and France that runs under the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. It is only for trains. It connects Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom to Calais in northern France.

Can you drive a truck through the Chunnel?

No. Eurotunnel Freight has an obligation to maintain the safety of lorry drivers. All truck drivers are required to travel in the Drivers’ Club Car during a crossing. It is strictly forbidden for any drivers or passengers to remain in the cab.

Is there an underground tunnel from England to France?

The Channel Tunnel (often called the ‘Chunnel’ for short) is an undersea tunnel linking southern England and northern France. It is operated by the company Getlink, who also run a railway shuttle (Le Shuttle) between Folkestone and Calais, carrying passengers in cars, vans and other vehicles.

How deep is the channel sea?

To use this method, builders dig a trench in the riverbed or ocean floor. They then sink pre-made steel or concrete tubes in the trench. After the tubes are covered with a thick layer of rock, workers connect the sections of tubes and pump out any remaining water.

Is the English Channel underwater?

It has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world (37.8 km [23.5 miles]). A Channel Tunnel train departing from Folkestone, England. The often-considered idea of constructing a tunnel under the English Channel was revived in 1986 by the United Kingdom and France.

Is the Chunnel underwater or underground?

The infrastructure The Channel Tunnel is the longest undersea tunnel in the world: its section under the sea is 38km long. It is actually composed of three tunnels, each 50km long, bored at an average 40m below the sea bed. They link Folkestone (Kent) to Coquelles (Pas-de-Calais).

Is there a train from England to France?

There’s only one train running directly from London to Paris: the Eurostar high-speed train. This train is seriously speedy. On average the journey takes 2 hours 28 minutes, at its fastest, 2 hours 16 minutes. You need to turn up at the railway station 30 minutes in advance, for boarding procedures.

Has the Channel Tunnel paid for itself yet?

2019 sees the 25th anniversary of the start of operations of the Channel Tunnel, hereafter the Chunnel, one of the most iconic transport infrastructure megaproject of the 20th century and one that was delivered entirely by private finance.

Can you see France from England?

Can you see France from England? You can see France from England in Dover town in South East England. It is necessary to go to the top of the cliffs of Dover on a clear day. France is on the opposite side of the Cliffs, with the Strait of Dover separating the two countries.

Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel, often known as the Eurotunnel, is a rail tunnel that connects England and France and runs beneath the English Channel. There are three tunnels in the Channel Tunnel, which is 50 kilometers (31 miles) long and comprises of two for rail traffic and a center tunnel for services and security. The tunnel connects the English town of Folkestone with the French town of Sangatte (near Calais), and it is utilized for both freight and passenger traffic. In addition to traveling by standard train coach, passengers can also travel in their own automobiles, which are loaded into specially designed railcars.

With the longest undersea section of any tunnel in the world, it is the longest in the world (37.8 km).

Dreamstime.com is owned and operated by Ershamstar.

In lieu of a very long suspension bridge, a bridge-and-tunnel link, or a combined rail-and-road link, a rail tunnel was chosen, and the project was privately financed by a consortium of British and French corporations and banks; the Anglo-French company that operates the tunnel is known as Eurotunnel.

  1. The tunnel was formally inaugurated on May 6, 1994, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
  2. How much do you know about the geography of the British Isles and how well do you know it?
  3. A new rail link between the Channel Tunnel and London, known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), was inaugurated in 2007 to facilitate even larger mobility of international passenger traffic between continental Europe and the United Kingdom.
  4. Its trains are capable of reaching speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour).
  5. As many as nine people lost their lives while attempting to get through the tunnel from France to England during that time period.
  6. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Melissa Petruzzello was the author of the most recent revision and update to this article.

Channel Tunnel, Strait of Dover, English Channel

The Channel Tunnel connects the English port of Folkestone with the northern French town of Coquelles. Image courtesy of Billy69150. A total of 11.1 million Eurostar passengers passed via this passageway in 2018. Photograph courtesy of Tom Corser. The Channel Tunnel’s terminus is located at Cheriton, near Folkestone, in the United Kingdom. Photograph courtesy of Stephen Dawson. The Channel Tunnel, often known as the Chunnel, is a 50-kilometer-long rail tunnel that runs beneath the Strait of Dover in the English Channel.

  1. It is one of the world’s longest underwater tunnels.
  2. The tunnel’s construction began in 1986 and was finished in 1994, according to the company.
  3. On a daily basis, around 500 trains pass through the tunnel, with a crossing duration of 35 minutes on average.
  4. Getlink was founded in 1996.
  5. The tunnel is also used by international freight trains, which pass through it.

In July 2013, the Intergovernmental Commission for the Channel Tunnel granted clearance to the German company’s application. Later, the operator said that it would no longer be introducing the service.

English Channel Tunnel project details

“Eurostar carried 11 million passengers through the tunnel in 2018,” said the company. Attempts to build a tunnel between the United Kingdom and France were made for the first time in 1802. The project was shelved owing to a lack of suitable tunneling technology being available on the market. In 1955, both nations recognised the need for a tunnel and signed an agreement. The Channel Tunnel Study Group was founded in 1957 to investigate the feasibility of constructing a tunnel link between the two seas.

  • The layer is less prone to fracture and collapse, and it includes clay, which prevents groundwater from penetrating the layer.
  • The project was restarted in 1984, and tenders were called for the building of the Chunnel.
  • In the same year, the Eurotunnel Group was formed to oversee the project’s implementation.
  • The contract for the building of the bridge was allocated to a partnership known as TransManche Link (TML).
  • Balfour Beatty Constructions was the lead contractor.
  • Following the tunnel’s official opening in May 1994, the first commercial services were offered via it in June of same year.

Channel Tunnel infrastructure

The tunnel system beneath the Strait of Dover is comprised of two rail tunnels and one service tunnel, each of which is 50 kilometers long. The two rail tunnels have a combined diameter of 7.6m and are separated by a distance of 30m. “Getlink operates the tunnel and provides car transport services, whilst Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains,” says the statement. The service tunnel, which has a diameter of 4.8m, is located between the two rail tunnels and is 15m away from each tunnel on each side.

There is just one track in each rail tunnel, as well as an overhead catenary and two walkways, which are used to evacuate people in an emergency.

In addition, each tunnel has an underwater crossover, which allows trains to transit from one tunnel to another during maintenance operations.

If one substation fails, the other can take over and continue to supply energy to the entire system.

The tunnel’s high, medium, and low voltage power needs are handled by 175 secondary substations, which are located throughout the system. The rail system is connected to various road and rail networks by two terminals, located at Coquelles and Folkestone.

Rolling stock of English Channel Tunnel

There are 58 electric Brush / Bombardier locomotives serving the Chunnel system, nine Bombardier passenger shuttles for cars and coaches, 18 truck shuttles or heavy freight vehicle shuttles, and service locomotives to support the system. Two motorized axles are mounted on each of the three bogies of an electric locomotive, which is 800m in length. Each shuttle that operates in the tunnel is equipped with two locomotives, one on each side, to ensure that the voyage is completed in the event that one of the locomotives fails.

  1. Each shuttle is equipped with 24 carriages as well as four loading and unloading vehicles.
  2. There are six Breda-Fiat shuttles and nine Arbel type shuttles that make up the tunnel truck shuttles.
  3. The units also include 30 wagons, each of which is capable of transporting a 44-ton truck.
  4. They can move at speeds of up to 80km/h and are steered electrically by a wire that is integrated in the vehicle.

Channel Tunnel signalling and control systems

Every aspect of the transportation system in the English Channel tunnel is automated and managed by two rail control centers (RCCs), one at each terminal, which are responsible for the management of rail traffic. In the event of a technological breakdown, controllers are also included in the system to allow for human operation. “It is one of the world’s longest underwater tunnels, connecting the ports of Folkestone in Kent, the United Kingdom, with Coquelles in the French province of Pas-de-Calais.” Rail traffic management (RTM) system and engineering management system are the two primary components of the RCC (EMS).

An electronic signaling system known as TVM 430 is utilized in the tunnel for the transmission of data from track to train.

The tunnels are also equipped with vigilance devices, automated train protection systems, and fire detection systems, which are strategically placed throughout the structure.

Strait of Dover Chunnel communications

Alcatel-Lucent was granted a contract to update the communications infrastructure in the tunnel in December 2009. The deal was signed in December 2009. Earlier this year, Alcatel-Lucent completed the installation of its GSM-R solution in the tunnel as part of the €21.5 million project, in time for the 2012 Olympics. The technology contributes to the improvement of the safety of the English Channel tunnel as well as the effectiveness of communications between RCC and a train driver.

In July 2012, mobile telephone and internet services were made available to customers within the tunnel. The services were delivered in partnership with the French telecommunications carriers Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecomi, who were all contracted by Alcatel-Lucent.

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Chunnel, Channel tunnel and Eurotunnel

An underground passageway connecting southern England and northern France, known as the Channel Tunnel (or simply the “Chunnel”), was completed in 1937. Besides operating a train shuttle (Le Shuttle) between Folkestone and Calais, Getlink also operates a car, van, and other vehicle transportation service between the two cities. European high-speed passenger services through the Channel Tunnel connect London with a number of major European cities on the continent, including Paris, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Avignon, and Marseille.

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The Chunnel is really made up of three tunnels: two rail tunnels, which are used for both freight and passenger trains, and a service tunnel.

How long is the Chunnel?

The Chunnel is 31.5 miles (50.45 kilometers) long. That’s the equivalent of stacking 169 Eiffel Towers on top of each other in a single building. It is the longest undersea tunnel in the world at 23.5 miles (37.9 kilometers), with a length of 23.5 miles (37.9 kilometers) under the English Channel.

When was the Chunnel built?

The concept of building a tunnel across the English Channel was initially mentioned in 1802; however, work did not begin until 1988. It was finished in 1993, and Eurostar services began operating there in November of that year.

Where is the Chunnel?

The Chunnel is a tunnel that connects the ports of Folkestone in south Kent with Calais in northern France. In Folkestone, the vehicle traffic for Le Shuttle arrives, and it departs in Calais. In terms of distance from London, Folkestone is around an hour and a half away, and Calais is roughly three hours away from Paris. Eurostar trains, which are exclusively for passengers, depart from London’s St Pancras International station (some services additionally stop at Ebbsfleet and Ashford in Kent) and go directly to the heart of Paris and the other Eurostar destinations around Europe.

How deep is the Chunnel?

The tunnel reaches a depth of 75 meters (246 feet) below sea level at its deepest point. That’s the same as stacking 107 baguettes on top of each other and counting them.

How was the Chunnel built?

The Channel Tunnel is comprised of three different tunnels that run parallel to one another in the same direction. There are three train tunnels: one going south (from the United Kingdom to France), one running north (from France to the United Kingdom), and one service tunnel. All three tunnels were dug beneath the seabed and connect the towns of Folkestone in Kent with Coquelles in Pas-de-Calais, France. However, the concept of building a tunnel connecting the United Kingdom and France is more older than most people realize – it dates back to the early 1800s, when advocates included Napoleon Bonaparte.

In addition to hand tools, a cutting-edge boring machine was employed to complete the project. Once the work was completed, it was abandoned until 1988, when development on the tunnel as we currently know it began anew in earnest.

Who can travel through the Chunnel?

There are three different tunnels that run parallel to each other to make up the Channel Tunnel system. There are three train tunnels: one that runs south (from the United Kingdom to France), one that runs north (from France to the United Kingdom), and one that serves as a service corridor. Both Folkestone in Kent and Coquelles in the Pas-de-Calais are connected by three tunnels that were drilled below the seabed and connected by a bridge. But the concept of building a tunnel connecting the United Kingdom and France is far older than most people realize, reaching back to the early 1800s and attracting the backing of figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III.

Hand tools were utilized by many of the employees, although a cutting-edge boring machine was also employed.

How much did it cost to build the Chunnel?

The construction of the Channel Tunnel took little under six years and 13,000 men to complete. According to official figures, the overall cost rose to a staggering £4.65 billion, which would be the equivalent of £12 billion in today’s money.

Why travel with Eurostar rather than drive?

  • Avoid the stress of driving by taking advantage of direct high-speed travels to key locations, running from city center to city center. Excellent value fares with no extra fees such as gasoline, tolls, or parking
  • No additional costs such as fuel, tolls, or parking
  • Effortless links with other rail services around Europe, allowing you to go beyond our direct destinations with a single reservation
  • You’ll be traveling in luxury on our comfy trains, which include our new, state of the art trains equipped with wi-fi.

How fast does the Eurostar go?

The Eurostar passes through the Channel Tunnel at a speed of 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour), but once outside the tunnel, the train achieves a maximum speed of 186 miles per hour (300 kilometers per hour) (300 kph)

5 crazy ways to cross the Channel

  • Captain Matthew Webb made history on August 25, 1874, when he became the first person to swim across the English Channel from England to France. He tried the voyage for the first time on August 12, 1874, but was forced to abandon it owing to heavy winds and severe waves. He was not deterred, and he attempted a second time 12 days later. With the assistance of three boats and a layer of porpoise oil on his skin, he made it to Calais in 21 hours 45 minutes despite difficult tides and a jellyfish bite. Sarah Thomas, an American swimmer, broke a world record in September 2019 when she became the first person to swim across the English Channel four times non-stop, breaking the previous mark of three. After a remarkable swim of 54 hours and 10 minutes, she finished her epic journey.

2. In a wingsuit

  • A carbon wing was used by Felix Baumgartner on July 31, 2003, when he leapt out of an aircraft 30,000 feet (9,100 meters) above Dover and soared for 22 miles (35.5 kilometers) at a high speed of 220 miles per hour (350 km). Six minutes later, he touched down in France, making him the first person to do it in a wing suit over the English Channel. His first words to the media after landing were, “For the final 2,000 meters, I could see the other side and realized that I was going to make it”
  • He added, “I knew I was going to make it.”

3. By bathtub

  • A carbon wing was used by Felix Baumgartner on July 31, 2003, when he leapt out of an aircraft 30,000 feet (9,100 meters) above Dover and soared for 22 miles (35.5 kilometers) at a maximum speed of 220 miles per hour (350 km). Six minutes later, he touched down in France, making him the first person to do it in a wing suit across the English Channel. Immediately after landing, he told the media, “For the last 2,000 meters, I could see the other side and I knew I was going to make it”
  • He later added,

4. By waterski

  • Water skiing across the English Channel was accomplished by Christine Bleakley, host of The One Show, on March 12, 2010, covering the 21-mile (34-kilometer) distance in in 100 minutes. In spite of the fact that she was scared of water and admitted that she was not a great swimmer, she became the first person to water-ski across the world’s busiest shipping lane. She donated thousands of pounds for Sport Relief as a result of her efforts, and after completing the challenge, she expressed her gratitude “It’s hard for me to believe I’ve actually accomplished this. It was quite difficult “in addition to this, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

5. By balloon

  • Jonathan Trappe crossed the English Channel on May 28th, 2010, while attached to 54 industrial strength helium balloons. Jonathan began his extraordinary voyage in a field near Ashford and went on to become the first cluster-balloonist to cross the English Channel in his category. The 36-year-old explorer drifted in the air for four hours before landing in a cabbage patch in France, narrowly missing death after evading a power line that he had avoided. Following his arrival, Mr Trappe stated: “Although the flight was excellent, the landing was quite difficult. I’m quite pleased with myself. I think it’s an excellent thing that you’ve done “in addition to this, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

6. By hovercraft

  • On August 4, 2019, Franky Zapata, a Frenchman, became the first person to cross the English Channel using a jet-powered hoverboard. In the wee hours of the morning, he took off from Sangatte, at the Pas de Calais area of France, and landed in St Margaret’s Bay, just beyond the white cliffs of Dover, to thunderous cheers from well-wishers. Franky was able to complete his trip in only 22 minutes, traveling at speeds of up to 110 mph (177 km/h) between 15 and 20 meters above the surface of the ocean. It was his second attempt at the expedition
  • His previous effort ended in disaster when he crashed into the sea while attempting to land on a vessel to refuel in the middle of the route. Despite the fact that he had lost two fingers during his hoverboard’s first flight in his garage, Franky felt unafraid to continue with his odd endeavor.

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Realizing the dream of a fixed English-Channel crossing

The Channel Tunnel connects a terminal in Folkestone on the English side with a port near Calais on the French side, covering approximately 32 miles (51 kilometers). Given that the tunnel really consists of three tunnels (one for each direction of travel, with a service tunnel in between), teams worked for far longer than 32 miles (51 kilometers) of tunneling.perhaps even more than a hundred miles (160 kilometers). (around 155 kilometers). Approximately 500 submarine train excursions per day are now feasible thanks to the privately financed project, which eventually cost $14.7 billion.

Getting the Chunnel build back on track

The construction of the underwater segment of the Channel Tunnel between England and France began in earnest in 1986. Nevertheless, as the project advanced, the owner, Eurotunnel, and the Anglo-French consortium in charge of the design and construction, TransManche Link, were beset by major cost, scheduling, and safety issues. By 1990, many people were concerned that the project would never be finished. Bechtel’s participation with the project began in 1987, a year after it was given the green light, when a lone seconded executive was assigned to a crucial management position.

Management, technical, and construction experience were provided by Bechtel to assist in the project’s successful completion in 1994, allowing investors and financial institutions to regain confidence in the project.

The year 1990 proved pivotal in the turnaround of a once-beleaguered project. Our project team dug some 48 miles (77 kilometers) of tunnel—a world record.

The Channel Tunnel has been a godsend for both visitors and the transportation sector, drastically reducing travel time between London and Paris between the two cities. After service commenced on High Speed 1, a high-speed rail line linking the tunnel to central London, which was also a Bechtel project, the journey became even more efficient in 2007. Rail passengers between the United Kingdom and France reached a new high of 20.4 million in 2013. Passengers and freight can go beyond the borders of France, all the way to the Belgian capital.

Key facts about the world’s longest undersea tunnel

  • According to historical records, the first proposal for a tunnel between England and France was made in 1802. The Chunnel is a tunnel that connects Folkestone in Kent, England, with Coquelles in Pas-de-Calais, France. A total of two rail tunnels and one service tunnel, each measuring 32 miles (51 kilometers) in length, make up the Channel Tunnel system. Approximately 24 miles (38 kilometers) is the length of the submarine section. The project team made use of 11 massive tunnel-boring machines that were directed by lasers.

State-of-the-art fire protection

The following systems are available in addition to strong and adaptable ventilation and communication systems:

  • Chambers for electrical equipment equipped with fireproof doors, smoke detectors, and fire-extinguishing systems
  • And Fire protection equipment, including ultraviolet and opacity smoke detectors, foam and halon extinguishing systems, and doors that give 30 minutes of fire protection are included in the train carriages. The installation of fire hydrants on either side of every cross passage, spaced every quarter-mile (375 meters)
  • A fleet of fire-fighting vehicles with properly trained crews

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The Channel Tunnel, one of the most renowned tunnels in the world, is a 50-kilometer-long (31-mile-long) tunnel beneath the English Channel that connects Great Britain with France. This connection is made up of three parallel tunnels that go for 39 kilometers (24.2 miles) beneath the sea. Trains from the north and south pass through two Main Rail Tunnels that are approximately 30 meters (98 feet) apart. The Channel Service Tunnel, which runs between the two major tunnels and is connected to them by cross-passages, is located in the space between the two main tunnels.

Transmanche-Link (TML), the project’s general contractor, selected five Robbins TBMs to engage in the boring of the crossing structures.

Geology

The bulk of the Channel Tunnel is constructed of chalk marl, most of which is faulted in places. A narrow 2 m (6.5 ft) ring of permeable Glauconitic Marl can be seen beneath the Chalk Marl. Compared to the Chalk, this rock is a weak sandstone with a higher rock strength than it. It is necessary to travel through tough clay with certain swelling properties at the tunnel’s bottom. On the French side of the tunnels, the Chalk is significantly more faulted and prone to water inflows than on the British side.

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TBMs

This project required Robbins to construct five machines, each of which was tailored to the geology of a distinct length of tunnel. It was necessary to utilize three Earth Pressure Balance devices on the French side because of the high water pressure expected in the folded and faulted chalk on the French side (EPBMs). They were equipped with sealed cutter chambers to resist high water pressures and screw conveyors to transport the material that had been chopped away from the face of the machine.

A maximum torque of 12,748,645 N-m was created by the cutterhead of these 1,100 ton (1,200 ton) machines with an 8.8-meter (29-foot) diameter and a cutterhead thrust of 19,613 kN (4,413,000 lb) (9,410,000 lb-ft).

This machine had a cutterhead with a diameter of 5.6 m (18 ft), a cutterhead thrust of 39,227 kN (8,837,000 lb), and a maximum torque of 3,510,781 N-m.

Two Double Shield TBMs were constructed for the United Kingdom terminal because to the expectation of lower water inputs.

The machines had an 8.36m (27 ft) diameter and had cutters that were 13 inches (330 mm) in diameter and had a thrust of 65,871 kN (14,821,000 lb). The machines were capable of producing a maximum torque of 5,727,084 N-m (4,227,660 lb-ft).

Tunnel Excavation

In December 1987, machines were placed on both sides of the tunnels to facilitate traffic flow. Inflows of water forced the employment of the sealed mode of operation for the three French seaward TBMs almost immediately after their launch, requiring them to operate far sooner than expected. The machines’ sealed cutterheads were capable of withstanding water pressure of up to 10 bar (145 psi); nevertheless, extra steps were necessary to protect the rest of the machines from water infiltration.

  1. Injecting grease into wire brushes and the 100 mm (4 in) area between the metallic brushes and the tunnel lining was an important step in the process.
  2. As the TBMs moved forward, this approach was used to seal the tunnel lining.
  3. The tunneling conditions for the machines in the United Kingdom were equally challenging in the start.
  4. Following their passage through this portion of tunnel, the machines had no more issues and began to average 149 m (490 ft) each week on average.

side, the Robbins machines averaged 873 m (2,864 ft) each month and established world records for the highest single day jump of 75.5 m (247.7 ft), the highest single week jump of 428 m (1,404 ft), and the highest single month jump of 1,719 m (5,640 ft), all of which have not yet been surpassed.

  • An underground rail system with 500 muck cars was constructed in the United Kingdom to bring muck back to the access adit at Lower Shakespeare Cliff, where it was put onto a high-speed conveyor.
  • It is estimated that around 4 million m3 (5.23 million cubic yards) of chalk was deposited onto the site.
  • It was crushed and combined with water on the French side of the Sangette access shaft, in a room located at the very bottom of the shaft.
  • In December 1990, the French and British TBMs came together in the middle of the Channel Service Tunnel bore and finished the bore.
  • The Main Rail Tunnels met twice in 1991, on May 22, 1991, and June 28, 1991, respectively.

Both successes were commemorated with groundbreaking ceremonies to mark the completion of one of the world’s longest and most ambitious undersea tunnels, which was dedicated to the memory of the late President Barack Obama.

25 things you might not have known about the Channel Tunnel

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the inauguration of the Channel Tunnel, here are 25 fascinating facts about this modern technical marvel. In terms of length, the Channel Tunnel is the 13th longest tunnel in operation (the longest is the Delaware Aqueduct, which is 85.1 miles long), and it is the fourth longest tunnel used by train passengers. With the longest undersea section of any tunnel in the world, it is the longest in the world (23.5 miles). 2. The project cost £4.65 billion (equal to £12 billion now), which was 80 percent higher than the original budget estimate.

  • 3.
  • Fourteenth and last point: The earliest concept for a tunnel across the English Channel was made by Albert Mathieu, a French engineer, and featured an artificial island halfway across the channel for changing horses.
  • 5.
  • Ten construction workers — eight of them were British – were killed while working on the tunnel.
  • On December 1, 1990, the ceremonial break through was carried out by Englishman Graham Fagg and Frenchman Phillippe Cozette.
  • They didn’t quite meet in the center since the English side tunneled a longer distance than the French side.
  • The average depth of the tunnel is 50 metres below sea level, with the lowest point being 75 metres below sea level.

The tunnels below the ground level are really three in number – two for trains, and a smaller service tunnel that may be utilized in an emergency.

A total of eleven boring machines were employed in the tunneling process.

One from the British side is still buried beneath the waterline of the English Channel.

11.

12.

The most significant incident occurred on November 18, 1996, when a 500-metre section of the tunnel was destroyed, resulting in a six-month suspension of activities.

13.

On December 18, 2009, five Eurostar trains broke down, stranding 2,000 people for 16 hours without electricity and leaving them without food or drink, according to the British Transport Police.

15.

16.

17.

18 Approximately 35 minutes are required to traverse the length of the Channel Tunnel.

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The royal party traveled at a leisurely 80 miles per hour from Waterloo to Calais.

A charity event involving a Ginetta G50 EV electric sports vehicle was held in 2009, and it was driven through the service tunnel from England to France by John Surtees, a former Formula One racing champion.

To celebrate the 2014 Tour de France, which began in Leeds, England and ended in Paris, Team Sky’s Chris Froome cycled through the service tunnel, becoming the first solo cyclist to do so.

He didn’t stick to the speed limit, reaching speeds of up to 40 mph in certain places.

Every year, about 12 million flowers are transported through the tunnel in honor of Valentine’s Day, which is a brighter note overall.

Each year, a claimed 26 percent of goods traffic between the United Kingdom and continental Europe passes via the Channel Tunnel, representing a total value of £120 billion in yearly commerce between the two countries.

English Channel tunnel opens

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel, here are 25 fascinating facts about this modern technical wonder. In terms of length, the Channel Tunnel is the 13th longest tunnel in operation (the longest is the Delaware Aqueduct, which is 85.1 miles long), and it is the fourth longest tunnel used by train passengers. 2. In the globe, it is the tunnel with the longest submerged section (23.5 miles). 4.65 billion (equal to $12 billion now) was spent on the project, 80 percent more than originally estimated.

  1. 3.
  2. 4.
  3. Several more suggestions were discussed by Napoleon III in 1856 and by William Gladstone in 1865, with David Lloyd George bringing the notion to the attention of the world during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
  4. Approximately 13,000 individuals were employed during the peak of construction.
  5. 6.
  6. The English side tunneled the bigger gap between them, so they didn’t quite meet in the center.
  7. The average depth of the tunnel is 50 metres below sea level, with the lowest point being 75 metres below sea level.

9.

The tunnel was dug with the help of eleven boring machines.

In addition, one remains buried beneath the English Channel on the British side.

12.

A fire within the tunnel has caused it to be closed three times (in 1996, 2006, and 2012), each of which was considered serious.

Installed recently was an automated fire-extinguishing system (AFES).

2,000 people were stranded for 16 hours without electricity and food or water on December 18, 2009, after five Eurostar trains broke down in the UK.

On its trip to London as the Olympic host city in 2012, the Olympic Torch passed through the tunnel.

Shuttle trains have a total length of 775 metres, which is the equivalent of eight soccer fields.

18.

19.

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At a leisurely 80mph, the royal party made its way from London’s Waterloo to Calais.

A charity event involving a Ginetta G50 EV electric sports vehicle was held in 2009, and it was driven through the service tunnel between England and France by John Surtees, a former Formula One racing champion.

22.

He broke the speed limit, reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

Every year, about 12 million flowers are transported through the tunnel on Valentine’s Day, which is a brighter note to end on.

25. It is estimated that the Channel Tunnel facilitates 26 percent of all commodities commerce between the United Kingdom and continental Europe each year, with a total yearly worth of £120 billion.

The Remarkable Story of How the Chunnel Was Built

The Channel Tunnel, also known as the Chunnel or the Euro Tunnel, is a railway tunnel that runs beneath the sea of the English Channel and connects the island of Great Britain with the French mainland. It was completed in 1937. One of the most astonishing technical marvels of the twentieth century is considered to be the construction of the Channel Tunnel, which was finished in 1994 and officially opened on May 6, the same year.

Overview of the Channel Tunnel

For generations, crossing the English Channel by boat or ferry had been seen as a terrible endeavor. But things have changed. Even the most experienced visitor might become seasick due to the frequently bad weather and rough ocean. The fact that proposals for an alternative passage across the English Channel were being developed as early as 1802 is somewhat unsurprising given this background.

Early Plans

First proposed by French engineer Albert Mathieu Favier, this concept planned for the construction of a tunnel through the English Channel. This tunnel was intended to be large enough to accommodate horse-drawn carriages traveling through it. Despite the fact that Favier was able to get the support of French leader Napoleon Bonaparte, the British government rejected Favier’s proposal. (The British were concerned, and maybe reasonably, that Napoleon intended to construct the tunnel in order to attack England.) Over the next two centuries, others devised schemes to link Great Britain and France together.

Political dissension was sometimes the cause, while other times it was financial difficulties.

The solutions to all of these issues had to be found before the Channel Tunnel could be constructed.

A Contest

In 1984, French President Francois Mitterrand and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher came to an agreement that a connection across the English Channel would be advantageous to both countries’ economies. However, both governments realized that, despite the fact that the project would produce much-needed employment, neither country’s government could afford to support such a vast undertaking. As a result, they came up with the idea of holding a contest. Companies were encouraged to submit their proposals for a connection across the English Channel as part of this competition.

Ten plans were submitted, with a variety of tunnels and bridges being among them.

The plan for the Channel Tunnel, proposed by the Balfour Beatty Construction Company, was selected as the winning bid (this later became Transmanche Link).

The Design for the Channel Tunnels

There were plans for the Channel Tunnel to be composed of two parallel railway tunnels that would be built beneath the English Channel. A third, smaller tunnel would be built between these two railway tunnels, which would be utilized for maintenance as well as providing room for drainage pipes and other infrastructure. Each of the trains that would pass through the Chunnel would be capable of transporting automobiles and trucks on board. Consequently, individual drivers would not have to endure such a long, underground journey when traveling via the Channel Tunnel in their personal automobiles.

Getting Started

Even getting the construction of the Channel Tunnel underway was a huge undertaking. Obtaining funds (more than 50 significant banks provided loans), identifying and hiring expert engineers, hiring and housing 13,000 professional and unskilled employees, as well as designing and building specific tunnel boring equipment were all necessary tasks to complete. While all of this was going on, the designers had to figure out precisely where the tunnel was going to be carved out of the ground. To be more specific, the geology of the bottom of the English Channel has to be thoroughly investigated.

Building the Channel Tunnel

Getty Images and the Evening Standard Excavation for the Channel Tunnel began concurrently on both the British and French coastlines, with the completed tunnel meeting in the center. The work on the British side began near Shakespeare Cliff, just outside of Dover, while the digging on the French side began near the town of Sangatte. The digging was carried out using massive tunnel boring machines, sometimes known as TBMs, which bore through the chalk, gathered the rubble, and moved the material behind them using conveyor belts to complete the job.

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As the TBMs bore through the chalk, it was necessary to line the walls of the newly created tunnel with concrete to prevent the tunnel from collapsing.

Connecting the Tunnels

One of the most challenging challenges on the Channel Tunnel project was ensuring that both the British and French sides of the tunnel met in the center, which was a difficult undertaking. Special lasers and surveying equipment were employed; but, with such a massive endeavor, no one was certain that it would actually operate as planned. Because the service tunnel was the first to be dug, it was the merging of the two sides of this tunnel that drew the greatest attention when it was completed.

For the first time, two workmen, one from the United Kingdom (Graham Fagg) and one from France (Philippe Cozette), were chosen by lottery to shake hands through the opening.

Following them, hundreds more colleagues crossed to the opposite side to express their delight at having accomplished such an incredible feat. For the first time in history, the United Kingdom and France were linked together.

Finishing the Channel Tunnel

Despite the fact that the merging of the two sides of the service tunnel was a reason for considerable joy, the construction of the Channel Tunnel was far from complete. Both the British and the French continued their digging efforts. Both sides met in the northern running tunnel on May 22, 1991, and then met again in the center of the southern running tunnel on June 28, 1991, less than a month after their initial meeting in the northern running tunnel. The building of theChunnel did not come to a conclusion at that point, either.

In addition, huge railroad terminals had to be constructed in Folkestone, England, and Coquelles, France, respectively.

The Channel Tunnel Opens

The meeting of the two sides of the service tunnel was a reason for tremendous celebration, but the construction of the Channel Tunnel was far from complete at the time of the celebration. It was a never-ending excavation for both the British and the French. Both sides met in the northern running tunnel on May 22, 1991, and then met again in the center of the southern running tunnel on June 28, 1991, less than a month after their first meeting in the northern running tunnel. The building of theChunnel did not come to a conclusion at that point, as well.

It was also necessary to construct enormous train stations in the United Kingdom and France, near the ports of Folkestone and Coquelles.

Gotthard tunnel: World’s longest and deepest rail tunnel opens in Switzerland

Trains arrived at each end of the tunnel ahead of a dramatic inauguration ceremony, according to the media description. In Switzerland, after over two decades of development, the world’s longest and deepest train tunnel has finally been completed and formally inaugurated. With the construction of the 57km (35-mile) twin-bore Gotthard base tunnel, a high-speed rail connection between northern and southern Europe will be established beneath the Swiss Alps. Switzerland claims that it will completely transform European freight transportation.

  1. The tunnel has surpassed Japan’s 53.9-kilometer-long Seikan rail tunnel to become the world’s longest, and it has displaced the 50.5-kilometer-long Channel Tunnel connecting the United Kingdom and France into third place.
  2. The Gotthard tunnel, at its lowest point, is 2.3 kilometers long and travels under the mountain.
  3. After then, two trains started out in opposite directions through the tunnel, each carrying hundreds of passengers who had won tickets in a drawing, and the new route was officially inaugurated and opened to traffic.
  4. EPA is the source of the image.
  5. Image caption: The day’s festivities were also attended by European officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern.
  6. “Nobody could have dreamed that one day you would be able to go from England to France in that manner,” he remarked, referring to the massive Franco-British project, which was finished in 1994.

The following is the caption for the image, which depicts a VIP tunnel expedition (clockwise from the left): Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Swiss Federal President Johann Schneider-Ammann, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Francois Hollande were among those who attended the event.

  1. In an interview with the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes, she explains that the presence of high-level visitors at the opening demonstrates that the new tunnel is for more than just conserving the Alpine environment.
  2. Our reporter reports that they will be able to do so more swiftly, more safely, and more affordably in the future.
  3. Later, environmental organizations proposed that all freight traveling through Switzerland be moved from the road to the rail system, which was approved by voters two years later.
  4. For this project, engineers had to excavate and blast through 73 different types of rock, some of which were as hard as granite and some of which were as soft as sugar.
  5. EPA is the source of the image.
  6. A statue of St Barbara, patron saint of miners, stands within the new tunnel, as seen in the image description.
  7. Caption for the image Every day, around 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will run through the tunnel, which was finished on schedule and within budget.
  8. As soon as full services are available in December, the travel time between Zurich and Milan will be lowered by an hour, to two hours and forty minutes.
  9. Every day, around 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will pass through the tunnel, with a journey time of as short as 17 minutes in some cases.
  10. Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, has stated that the economic benefits of the agreement will include the simpler flow of commodities and an increase in tourism.

According to the German news agency dpa, four of the victims were Germans, three were Italians, and one was from each of South Africa and Austria. According to Swiss media, they are memorialized with a plaque located near the northern end of the tunnel.

More on this story

A one-of-a-kind infrastructure in the entire globe Every day of the year, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the cross-Channel Fixed Link is the only means to travel over the stretch of water that separates Great Britain and continental Europe in complete safety.

The tunnels

The Channel Tunnel is the world’s longest underwater tunnel, with a stretch beneath the sea measuring 38 kilometers in length. It is really made up of three tunnels, each of which is 50 kilometers long and is drilled at a depth of 40 meters below the seabed. They connect the towns of Folkestone (Kent) and Coquelles (Pas-de-Calais). Eurotunnel Shuttles, Eurostar trains, and freight trains all travel via two monodirectional single-track tunnels in the Channel Tunnel. Every 375 metres, they are connected by cross-passages to a service tunnel, a road tunnel for maintenance activities, and finally an evacuation tunnel for passengers to and from the station.

  • This is especially important during maintenance periods, which take place at night.
  • The two train tunnels measure 7.6 meters in diameter and are separated by 30 meters.
  • In the unusual case of a derailment, the walkways are also designed to keep a shuttle upright and traveling in a straight path of passage.
  • Access to the service tunnel is provided for maintenance and emergency rescue teams, in addition to the ability to evacuate passengers in the case of a catastrophe.
  • It is consequently maintained in a state of air overpressure and protected from gases in the event of a fire in one of the railway tunnels, in order to provide the highest level of safety possible.
  • This multi-functional system is utilized for maintenance operations as well as in the event of an incident, with the goal of arriving at the location of the issue in the shortest amount of time possible.

High-tech and fully-connected equipments

With more than 36,000 state-of-the-art and other systems placed in the three tunnels and linked to other equipments since its construction, the Channel Tunnel has become a fully functional infrastructure. In each rail tunnel, the track is comprised of two continuously welded rails that are laid on precast concrete supports (sleeper blocks) that are embedded in the concrete track bed. Cooling pipes, fire mains, signaling equipment, and wires are all permanently attached to the walls of the tunnels.

In addition to providing traction power to the shuttles, the 25,000volt overhead catenary also serves other trains that pass through the Tunnel, including the Eurostar and rail freight trains.

Substations on both sides of the Channel provide electrical power for the tunnels, drainage pumps, lights, and trains, among other things.

It is possible to turn on some permanent equipment, such as the lighting system or the opening of cross-passage doors between train tunnels and the service tunnel, from the Rail Control Center (RCC) or manually in the tunnels.

Principal items of the fixed equipment

  • There are 550 kilometers of pipelines
  • Two ventilation systems
  • One cooling system, which includes the two cooling plants at Shakespeare Cliff and Sangatte
  • And one sewage system. (1) a single drainage system with six pumping stations (2) 1 fire main, with 2 massive reservoirs at either end and their respective pumping stations
  • 1 fire main with 2 gigantic reservoirs at either end and their respective pumping stations
  • There are 600 cross-passage doors as well as the gigantic cross-over doors in total.

Track and catenaries

  • 200km of track, including 100km in tunnels, and 176 points, including four cross-overs
  • 950km of catenary wires
  • And a total of 176 points, including four cross-overs.

Electricity supply

  • A total of two substations connected to the British and French power grids to supply the 25,000volts required for traction and the 21,000volts (three-phase) required for other fixed equipment
  • A total of 175 secondary substations (for high, medium, and low voltage supplies), 350 kilometers of supporting structures, and more than 1,300 kilometers of cables in the tunnels
  • 20,000 light fixtures

The Fixed Link installations in pictures

Substations linked to the British and French grids to power the traction with 25,000volts and 21,000volts (three-phase) and other fixed equipment with 21,000volts (three-phase); A total of 175 secondary substations (for high, medium, and low voltage supplies), 350 kilometers of supporting structures, and more than 1,300 kilometers of cables in the tunnels; 20,000 light fixtures; and

The Folkestone and Coquelles terminals

Located near Calais, the Coquelles terminal, which covers an area of 650 hectares and has a circumference of 30 kilometers, is one of the largest land-transport complexes in Europe (the equivalent in size to an international airport). Given the marshy nature of the terrain, it was necessary to cover the entire area in 50-cm of sand before construction could begin in order to create a solid foundation for the building’s foundation. Because the Coquelles terminal is far larger than the Folkestone terminal, it includes a large number of maintenance buildings for both the infrastructure and the rolling stock, notably the F46, which is the world’s largest railway maintenance facility at 1,200 meters in length.

  • The Folkestone terminal, which is located 8 kilometers from the Shakespeare Cliff undersea tunnels, has a total land area of 150 hectares, which is approximately one-third the size of the French terminal.
  • It was therefore necessary to elevate the elevation of the entire site in order to level out the soil and avoid steep incline areas.
  • Vehicles traveling on Eurotunnel Shuttles will be able to load and unload at either of these locations.
  • After completing the self-check-in procedures, clients go to the border controls, which are conducted by British and French police and customs officials.

Passengers then have the option of taking a break at the Victor Hugo terminal in Folkestone or the Charles Dickens terminal in Coquelles (which both have shops, restaurants, and a children’s play area), or driving towards the allocation areas before arriving at the 12 platform area, which is each one kilometer long.

There are various distinct regions on each terminal – passenger, freight, control centers, administrative and maintenance buildings, to name a few categories.

In addition to the numerous information technology systems that enable cars to be recognized upon arriving at the self-check-in tolls and the several displays linked to almost one hundred cameras, the TCC has a direct view of the vehicle allocation lanes.

There are two control centers, one on each terminal, and each may take turns taking over management of the system, allowing the system to run smoothly.

Train Traffic Management (RTM) is divided into two parts: the Rail Traffic Management System (RTM), which regulates rail traffic, and the Engineering Management System (EMS), which regulates fixed equipment such as ventilation, lighting, and electrical power for the catenary.

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