37 Channel Tunnel Facts Will Definitely Blow Your Mind! | Kidadl


37 Channel Tunnel Facts Will Definitely Blow Your Mind!

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The Channel Tunnel is a rail tunnel that connects Folkestone, England with Calais, France.

The tunnel runs beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. It is the only link between the island of Great Britain and the European mainland.

This undersea tunnel runs about 31.35 mi (50.45 km) long and it consists of three tunnels of which two are running tunnels, that carry trains, and the tunnel in the middle is used as a service tunnel. The lowest point of the tunnel is about 246 ft (75 m) under the sea bed. It is the longest undersea tunnel in the world and is also the third-longest rail tunnel.

You might want to learn more about other fun facts about common things around you. So go ahead and look at some other articles like what freight trains carry and space train facts.

Travel Facts About The Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel is presently owned by the company Getlink and the trains have to maintain a speed of 99.4 mph (160 kph) while going through the two rail tunnels. High-speed Eurostar trains that are passenger trains go through the tunnel, and the Eurotunnel Shuttle is for the road tunnel vehicles and international freight trains.

The Channel Tunnel runs between Folkestone in North Kent and Calais in Northern France. The two tunnels which have running Euro trains leave from the St Pancras International Station, travel through the English Channel and go directly to the center of Paris through the French terminal before going on to other Eurostar destinations.

If someone wants to avoid the rail traffic and travel in their own car, there are certain things that they need to carry. All the passengers including pets should carry an ID card or a passport and also they need to have a hanger ticket. If someone is going from the English coast to the French side then they also need to have the proper paperwork.

Tourism-Related Facts About The Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel has not only boosted the trade market but also has helped increase tourism. The rail services helped the economy as they helped to move around goods easily and also brought people together. The Channel Tunnel began operating in 1994 and since then has faced an adequate amount of mechanical problems due to change in temperature. Even then it was recognized as one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Reports made in 2013 suggested that the British tourism industry had its first net profit of almost £127 billion and that could increase by £257 billion by 2025. Not only does the tunnel help to cut the expenses of traveling, but it also helps to reduce the carbon footprint.

a rail tunnel that connects Folkestone, England with Calais, France

Iconic Facts About The Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel was proposed to be made by Albert Mathieu, a French engineer, where he also wanted to build an artificial island where they could change horses. More proposals were put forward during the reign of Napoleon III and William Gladstone. Finally, David Lloyd brought up this idea during the Paris conference and it wasn't taken seriously either.

The tunnel was decided to be finally constructed from the United Kingdom to France after surveys were done in 1964 and 1965. The British and French had decided to construct the tunnel but after phase one was done, it took them until 1973 to sign phase two for the second agreement. The work for the service tunnel and the rail tunnels started in 1974. Although these countries have decided upon the construction of the experimental tunnels, much to France's dismay, the project was declined by the Labor party in 1975, due to uncertainty upon joining the EEC and doubling the cost estimates.

In 1979 when the Conservatives came into power, the concept of a single-track rail tunnel with a service tunnel without service terminals was suggested but got ignored by the British government. The, then, prime minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher approved it as a privately funded project and met the French President, Francois Mitterrand, to approve this project.

After the completion of the project, a fire broke out in 1996 which made a train stop in between, and smoke filled the train quickly. Almost after 20 minutes, the people were rescued, but the fire kept on growing and damaged the Chunnel and the train.

Engineering Facts About The Channel Tunnel

The survey which was taken about 20 years ago before the final boring of the tunnel, confirmed that the tunnel could be bored through a chalk marl stratum. The chalk marl runs along the English side of the tunnel and is used for its impermeability. The geology on the French side is quite difficult. The tunnel consists of three bores that are connected by cross passages and piston relief ducts. The tunnel also has pumping stations that are made to control the seepage and leakage of water or chemicals.

The tunnel boring machine cut through the chalk marl stratum to construct two rail tunnels and one service tunnel. At the peak of the construction of the three tunnels, almost 15000 workers were hired and 10 workers, out of which eight were British, got killed during a construction mishap between 1987 to 1993. The tunneling had started in 1988 and it officially opened in 1994.

The English get access to the tunnel in the Shakespeare cliff and the French get access at a shaft in Sangatte.

The Channel Tunnel is the third-longest tunnel after the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland and the Seikan Tunnel in Japan.

The average depth of the tunnel is about 148 ft (45 m). The construction of the Tunnel started from England to France.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Channel Tunnel facts then why not take a look at why people travel, or if Paris is in France?

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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