12 February-Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel is a rail tunnel which links Folkestone in England with Calais in northern France. The Channel Tunnel runs beneath the English Channel and is 50.5km (31.4) long. Nicknamed The Chunnel it began operations in 1994.

A French engineer, Albert Mathieu, first suggested a tunnel linking England and France in 1802. Despite several initiatives the project did not proceed until The Treaty of Canterbury was signed in February 1986. Two years later tunnelling began on both sides of the English Channel.

Two years after tunnelling began the service tunnel was completed. British and French workers met under the English Channel on December 1st 1990. The island of Britain was connected to the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.

Tunnels for freight and passenger trains running on either side of the service tunnel were completed during the following years. The Channel Tunnel was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II and the French President, Fran├žois Mitterrand on May 6th 1994. Today high-speed passenger trains, freight and automobile shuttles and rail freight trains pass through the Tunnel.

The Treaty of Cambridge under which France and Great Britain agreed to build the Channel Tunnel was signed in the year 1964 On This Day.

Channel Tunnel entrance

Punch – Channel Tunne

 

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