Tunnel sous la Manche
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Channel tunnel terminus from Castle Hill|
|Distance:||50.5 km (31.4 miles)|
|Kent • Pas de Calais|
Error: Pas de Calais is not a county
|from £44 (Cars)|
|M20, A16 (France)|
The Channel Tunnel is a major crossing of the English Channel. Nick named the Chunnel and opening in 1994 It is one of the world's longest Tunnels and it took over 150 years to build though the current bore took six years to build. The Tunnel is actually three tunnels. You have the two main rail tunnels that take International services between London, Paris & Brussels, Railfreight for routes throughout Europe and a motorail service between the two termini. Eurostar services now use HS1. The third tunnel is a service tunnel where maintenance and safety vehicles used to get to problems very fast.
Once of the earliest bore was built around 1802 but was cancelled due to the Napoleonic Wars. The 1880 bore was also a failure. However that bore discovered coal and thus led to the East Kent Coalfield. There was also more ambitious plan that had a road tunnel and bridge and rail tunnel. Called Euroroute, it would have linked the M20 to France's A26 Autoroute. This was planed at the same time as the current tunnel but was rejected. The current tunnel began work in 1988 and in 1990, the two sides met. In 1994, two Class 319's became the first passenger rail vehicles to cross the tunnel.
The Tunnel's safety record is very good. On both sides of the Tunnel there are safety crews and on the Le Shuttle, there are safety messages in both English and French. Also the Service tunnel services as the main evacuation route from the tunnel.
Unfortunately, there have been two fires. Both on motorail freight services. The first occurred in 1996, just two years after opening. This fire was caused by a truck carrying polycrine. The second happened in 2007 again by a lorry fire though this time not plastic. There have been no rail or car shuttles problems so far.
|Ramsgate, Canterbury, Folkestone, Dover||E15|
|Sellindge, Ashford (M20), Hythe (A261)|
|Calais, Dunkirk, Lille, Paris, Brussels||E15, E40|