The Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel is a 50.5 km (31.4 mi) long railway tunnel between the United Kingdom and France, beneath the English Channel.

Geography

Keywords

Channel Tunnel, Great Britain, France, English Channel, railway, train, tunnel, channel, shuttle train, freight train, history of rail transportation, passage, public transportation, means of transportation, engineer, guided line, transportation, history of transport, technology, geography

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The Channel Tunnel or the Chunnel is a 50.5 km (31.4 mi) long railway tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover, linking Folkestone, near Dover, with Coquelles, near Calais in France since 1994.
It is the third longest tunnel of the world (the Seikan Tunnel in Japan is longer, but its undersea section is shorter), it claims the record (38 km or 23.6 mi) of the longest undersea section.

Three tunnels were bored in the chalk and marlstone (one for each direction and a service tunnel). Eurostar trains link Paris and Brussels with London through the Chunnel. While on the surface, high-speed trains run at 300 km/h (186.4 mph), there is a 160 km/h (94.4 mph) speed limit in the tunnels, thus crossing the tunnel in 35 minutes.

Trucks are carried in open, grilled shuttle trains, drivers travel in the dining cars of the trains. Cars are carried beneath the strait in double-deck railroad cars, buses are accommodated in the single-deck section.

  • - A passage between the main tunnels and tunnel services; watertight doors separate it from the main tunnels every 375 meters (1,230 feet).

  • - A passage between the main tunnels and tunnel services; watertight doors separate it from the main tunnels every 375 meters (1,230 feet).

Narration

The Channel Tunnel or the Chunnel is a 50.5 km (31.4 mi) long railway tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover, linking south-east England with Northern France since 1994. It is the second longest tunnel of the world and claims the record for the longest undersea section: the section under the sea is 38 km (23.6 mi) long.

Construction started in 1988 and ended in 1994, it was opened for service in June 1994. Working from both sides of the Channel, eleven tunnel boring machines cut through chalk marl to construct the Tunnel.

In fact, the Channel tunnel consists of 3 parallel tunnels: two rail tunnels and a service tunnel in the middle, with cross-passages every 375 m (1,230 ft).
These serve to provide access to maintenance and emergency rescue teams, as it was necessary in November 1996, when a train carrying lorries caught fire.

Four types of services use the Channel Tunnel. Eurostar high-speed passenger trains, based on TGV technology, connect London with Paris and Brussels.

The shuttle trains transport vehicles and their passengers. There is a special shuttle for trucks and one for cars, motorcycles and buses. A fourth type of train transports freight. Shuttle trains are launched near the entrances of the tunnel.

The trains can reach a surface speed of 300 km/h (186.4 mph), while the speed limit in the tunnel is 160 km/h (94.4 mph). A train passes through the tunnel in about 35 minutes. The journey between Brussels and London takes about 2 hours, while it is 2 hours 15 minutes between Paris and London.

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