The Channel Tunnel

Topics: Channel Tunnel, Tunnel, Eurostar Pages: 19 (6647 words) Published: June 3, 2011


CHAPTER 1: General Description3
1.1 Introduction3
1.2 Early proposals and attempts4
CHAPTER 2: Engineering8
2.1 Construction8
2.2 Tunnelling9
2.3 Railway design12
2.3.1 Commmunications12
2.3.2 Power supply12
2.3.3 Signalling12
2.3.4 Track system12
CHAPTER 3: Operation13
3.1 Capacity & services13
3.2 Recent data from the operation of the investment14
3.3 Market size and share15
3.4 Sources of revenue18
3.5 2003 results19
CHAPTER 4: Financing20
4.1 Cost of investment20
4.2 Reasons for the cost overruns22
CHAPTER 5: Further information about the tunnel24
5.1 Safety issues24
5.2 The problem with the immigrants25
5.3 Train failures and fires25

CHAPTER 1: General Description

1.1 Introduction

The Channel Tunnel (also referred to as the Chunnel) is a 50.5-kilometre undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in England with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is 75 metres deep. At 37.9 kilometres, the Channel Tunnel possesses the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world, although the Seikan Tunnel in Japan is both longer overall at 53.85 kilometres, and deeper at 240 metres below sea level. The tunnel carries high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, Eurotunnel Shuttle roll-on/roll-off vehicle transport, the largest in the world, and international rail freight trains. The tunnel connects end-to-end with the LGV Nord and High Speed 1 high-speed railway lines. In 1996 the American Society of Civil Engineers identified the tunnel as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The project, organised by Eurotunnel, began construction in 1987 and opened in 1994. Its operators are Eurotunnel, Eurostar, DB, Schenker Rail (UK) and SNCF. The project came in 80% over its predicted budget.

1.2 Early proposals and attempts
In 1802, French mining engineer Albert Mathieu put forward a proposal to tunnel under the English Channel, with illumination from oil lamps, horse-drawn coaches, and an artificial island mid-Channel for changing horses. In the 1830s, Frenchman Aimé Thomé de Gamond performed the first geological and hydrographical surveys on the Channel, between Calais and Dover. Thomé de Gamond explored several schemes and, in 1856, he presented a proposal to Napoleon III for a mined railway tunnel from Cap Gris-Nez to Eastwater Point with a port/airshaft on the Varne sandbank at a cost of 170 million francs, or less than £7 million. In 1865, a deputation led by George Ward Hunt proposed the idea of a tunnel to the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day, William Ewart Gladstone. After 1867, William Low and Sir John Clarke Hawkshaw promoted ideas, but none were implemented. An official Anglo-French protocol was established in 1876 for a cross-Channel railway tunnel. In 1881, British railway entrepreneur Sir William Watkin and French Suez Canal contractor Alexandre Lavalley were in the Anglo-French Submarine Railway Company that conducted exploratory work on both sides of the Channel. On the English side a 2.13-metre diameter Beaumont-English boring machine dug a 1,893-metre pilot tunnel from Shakespeare Cliff. On the French side, a similar machine dug 1,669 m from Sangatte. The project was abandoned in May 1882, owing to British political and press campaigns advocating that a tunnel would compromise Britain's national defences. These early works were encountered more than a century later during the TML (TransManche Link) project. In 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George repeatedly brought up the idea of a Channel tunnel as a way of reassuring France about British willingness to defend against another German attack. The French did not take the idea seriously and nothing came of Lloyd George's proposal. In 1955, defence arguments were accepted to be irrelevant because of the dominance...
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