English Channel, also called The Channel, French La Manche, narrow arm of the Atlantic Ocean separating the southern coast of England from the northern coast of France and tapering eastward to its junction with the North Sea at the Strait of Dover (French: Pas de Calais). 25. The Channel Tunnel is 31.4 miles long, making it the 13th longest tunnel in use (the longest is the Delaware Aqueduct, at 85.1 miles), and the fourth longest used by rail passengers. Moustaches all round, An average of 60,000 passengers pass through the tunnel each day. It was recognised as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, alongside the Empire State Building, the Itaipu Dam in South America, the CN Tower in Toronto, the Panama Canal, the North Sea protection works in the Netherlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Construction of the tunnel started in 1988, the project took approximately 20% longer than planned (at 6 years vs. 5 years) and came in 80% overbudget (at 4.6 billion pounds vs. a… 5. The submarine road tunnel is 48 km long and is constituted of two tunnels with an external diameter of 12.10 m. The excavation of the two main tunnels will be done with prototypical tunnel boring machines allotted to the various sections, for an average excavation rate of 25 m per day over a five-year period. In June–July 2015 the problem of migrants—many of them from eastern Africa—sneaking aboard vehicles on trains in an attempt to immigrate to the United Kingdom reached crisis proportions. This #Engineering Documentary details the design and construction of the one of the boldest engineering challenge undertaken. 12. The Queen and President Mitterrand officially opened the tunnel on May 6, 1994. Corrections? The Channel Tunnel is 31.4 miles long, making it the 13th longest tunnel in use (the longest is the Delaware Aqueduct, at 85.1 miles), and the fourth longest used by rail passengers. If you're traveling from Continental Europe to the UK, think twice before you buy a plane ticket. The lining of the tunnel is designed to last for 120 years. It is today one of the busiest shipping lanes on the planet. There are three tunnels. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Mathieu-Favier's design envisaged a bored two-level tunnel with the top tunnel used for transport and the bottom one for groundwater flows. 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 much do you know about the geography of the British Isles? On a cheerier note, around 12 million roses are delivered through the tunnel every year for Valentine’s Day. The Channel Tunnel, which is often called the Chunnel or the Euro Tunnel, is a railway tunnel that lies underneath the water of the English Channel and connects the island of Great Britain with mainland France. The English channel tunnel. Chunnel is serviced by 58 electric Brush / Bombardier locomotives, nine Bombardier passenger shuttles for cars and coaches, 18 truck shuttles or heavy goods vehicles shuttles and service locomotives. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. It is 31 miles (50 km) long and consists of three tunnels: two for rail traffic and a central tunnel for services and security. The Olympic Torch travelled through the tunnel in 2012 on its way to host city, London. To commemorate the 2014 Tour de France, which started in Leeds, England and finished in Paris, Chris Froome of Team Sky rode through the service tunnel, becoming the first solo cyclist to do so. In a ceremony presided over by Englands Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age. A rail tunnel was chosen over proposals for a very long suspension bridge, a bridge-and-tunnel link, and a combined rail-and-road link, and the project was privately financed by a consortium of British and French corporations and banks; the Anglo-French company operating the tunnel is called Eurotunnel. What are my luggage allowances? A reported 26% of trade in goods between the UK and continental Europe goes through the Channel Tunnel each year, which represents a total value of £120 billion annually. They didn't quite meet in the middle – the English side tunnelled the greater distance. The … Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. …rail tunnel under the English Channel was opened in 1994. 8. 9. Each electric locomotive is 800m-long and features three bogies with two motorised axles. Its length is 50.5 km and it connects Folkestone, Kent, in the United Kingdom, with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, near Calais in … It took more than five years to complete the Channel Tunnel, with construction starting in 1988, before the first car-carrying shuttle crossed the English Channel in 1994. Who owns the tunnel? The length of the Submarine Continental Railway Company’s Tunnel, under the sea, from the English to the French shore, will be twenty-two miles; and, taking the shore approaches at four miles on each side, there will be a total length of thirty miles of tunneling. You can take a high speed passenger … The tunnel is 23.5 miles long and is bored 200 feet below sea level. Take this quiz to find out. In 2009, former F1 racing champ, John Surtees, drove a Ginetta G50 EV electric sports car through the service tunnel from England to France, as part of a charity event. Each shuttle operating in the tunnel is fitted with two locomotives on each side to complete the journey in case one of the locomotives breaks down. 1. Eurostar also travels between…. Together they weighed a total of 12,000 tonnes (more than the Eiffel Tower), while each was as long as two football pitches. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Ten workers – eight of them British – were killed building the tunnel. 21. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The crossing takes 35 minutes, making it the fastest way to travel across the English Channel. the English channel tunnel is a tunnel that goes under the English channel sea and you can carry vehicles on the train to go under it takes less time instead of going by any other transport. Yet there's another UK-EU border, the one in the English Channel, that warrants some consideration. At its lowest point it lies 75 metres under the ocean floor. The Channel Tunnel is 31.5 miles long or 50.45 km. It has the longest portion of a tunnel undersea in the world, but the Seikan Tunnel in Japan goes deeper at 790 feet below sea level. That's the equivalent of 169 Eiffel Towers stacked on top of each other. 24. 3. The tunnel is 23.5 miles long and is bored 200 feet below sea level. English Channel, also called The Channel, French La Manche, narrow arm of the Atlantic Ocean separating the southern coast of England from the northern coast of France and tapering eastward to its junction with the North Sea at the Strait of Dover (French: Pas de Calais). 23.5 miles (37.9 km) of the Channel Tunnel is under the English Channel, making it the world's longest undersea tunnel. To mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel, here are 25 facts about the modern engineering marvel. 6. 13. Yes. It is one of the longest underwater tunnels in the world and connects Folkestone in Kent, UK, with Coquelles in Pas-de-Calais, France. The most serious, on November 18, 1996, damaged 500 metres of the tunnel, affecting operations for six months. The Channel Tunnel connects the United Kingdom and France. 2. The Chunnel is 31.5 miles long or 50.45 km. 20. Whether you are driving to the Continent for business or pleasure, we have a range of channel tunnel tickets and fares to suit your travel needs and budget. Rather than constructing a tunnel by boring in one direction across the channel, the designers chose to simultaneously bore tunnels starting from opposite ends of the proposed tunnel … By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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