The Channel Tunnel connects the United Kingdom and France. It makes sense to have that connection as there are only 45 km between them. So here are 10 interesting facts about the Channel Tunnel.
” Linking France and England will meet one of the present-day needs of civilization” Louis Figuier once wrote in 1888. Obviously what he said was absolutely true, because England and France had one of the leading maritime and commercial powers at the time, but had no connection between the two countries. England and France stand just 34 km away from one another which is nothing really.
At the time it took many hours to cross the Channel by boat, even with a skillful captain- as the wind and weather conditions were generally awful. Eventually they came up with the idea of an underground tunnel and work began in 1987-88 and was finished in 1991, opening in 1994.
So The Facts Please!
- The Channel Tunnel has 3 actual tunnels, 2 for running trains in ( one either way) and the other is the service tunnel, which is slightly smaller than the other two.
- The two main tunnels that are in place are around 30 m apart.
Image via Wikipedia
- Surprisingly, the tunnels are only 50m below the seabed which i find quite extraordinary.
- The Channel Tunnel is the largest undersea tunnels in the world, as the amount under the sea is 38km.
- The trains that carry passengers and vehicles through the Channel Tunnel are called shuttles and each one is around 800 m long, which is 7 football pitches in equivalent.
- Since opening in 1994, the Channel Tunnel has transported around 57 million people, which is around the same population as the UK.
Image via Wikipedia
- Famous people that have travelled on the Channel Tunnel include Sir Paul McCartney, Liz Hurley and Eric Clapton.
- Since 1994, 3 fires have causes the tunnel to close. The first was in 1996, with the second in 2000 and finally the third in 2008. Nobody has been killed in any of those fires.
- By the time the Channel Tunnel was completed, the amount spent on it had exceeded the budget by 80%.
- 10 workers were killed during the first couple of years when drilling through to make the tunnel.
The Channel Tunnel remains a key link between the UK and France and will continue to do so for many years, in my opinion.
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