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About the Channel Tunnel
Operation of the Channel Tunnel
Under the sea there are two single-track rail
tunnels, and there is a third smaller tunnel (service tunnel)
as an emergency exit with lots of cross passages linking all the
tunnels. The tunnels were bored through the chalk from either
side of the channel, and they met in the middle. The tunnels are
lined with concrete panels.
The Channel Tunnel is operated by Eurotunnel
"le Shuttle", they share the tracks with high speed
long-distance trains run by Eurostar
these trains are electric. Cars drive onto the double-deck shuttle
train and freight lorries have their own trains. Folkestone terminal
is next to the M20 motorway which is about 35 minutes from France.
In 1993 a high-speed rail link was opened from the French-side
to Lille, and from there to Paris and Brussels. Eurostar trains
had to go slow through Kent at 70 miles an hour on normal lines,
speeding up once they reached the Tunnel and then they raced through
the French countryside.
The Tunnel Company were given a monopoly for 25 years, they had
to produce a study for a second tunnel.
Cross-channel traffic has increased steadily over
the years, and the first tunnel now covers its running costs,
but it has been slow in paying off the money it borrowed for the
construction. So it might be difficult to find funding for the