Channel Tunnel

(redirected from Eurotunnel)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Eurotunnel: Eurostar

Channel Tunnel,

popularly called the "Chunnel," a three-tunnel railroad connection running under the English Channel, connecting Folkestone, England, and Calais, France. The tunnels are 31 mi (50 km) long. There are two rail tunnels, each 25 ft (7.6 m) in diameter, and a central tunnel, 16 ft (4.8 m) in diameter, that is used for maintenance and ventilation. The depth of the tunnels below the seabed averages about 150 ft (45 m). The project was a joint English and French venture, with a concession to operate the tunnel (until 2086) granted to Eurotunnel, a private company, and is the centerpiece of a high-speed rail link between London and Paris.

The project began with the signing of the Channel Tunnel Treaty between France and Britain in 1986; passenger service began in 1994. Freight trains and automobile- and truck-shuttle trains also use the tunnel. A higher than expected cost of digging the tunnels and lower than predicted tunnel traffic levels left Eurotunnel with huge debts, the repayment of which strained the finances of the company, threatened the company with insolvency, and led a French court to grant (2006) Eurotunnel creditor protection while the company reorganized (as Groupe Eurotunnel in 2007) and restructured its debt.


See G. Anderson and B. Roskrow, The Channel Tunnel Story (1994); T. Byrd, Making of the Channel Tunnel (1994); C. J. Kirkland, ed., Engineering the Channel Tunnel (1995).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In court documents seen by the BBC, P&O claimed the sum "was not, and could not be, a genuine estimate of Eurotunnel's alleged losses", adding that such an agreement "could only lawfully have been entered into following a duly advertised and competitive tender process".
The government said the "primary reason" for reaching an out-of-court agreement with Eurotunnel was to ensure the supply of goods such as crucial medicines and medical supplies "would not be put in jeopardy".
In a statement, the British government said it had reached agreement with Eurotunnel, whose holding company is Getlink , to settle the case and ensure the Channel Tunnel would continue to keep passengers and freight moving after Brexit.
This is in comparison with the assets that stood to the credit of the liquidity account as on 30 June 2016 of 389,684 Groupe Eurotunnel shares and EUR 9,439,366.99 in cash.
Jacques Gounon, chairman and chief | Eurotunnel sees "encouraging signs" executive of Eurotunnel, said: "These encouraging signs, combined with new records broken this quarter for the group, put into perspective the change in public opinion following the vote in favour of Brexit: our business has never been stronger."
Eurotunnel said the incident shows "migrants are seeking new routes to cross to the UK" now that security at the site has been increased.
A Eurotunnel spokesman told the Press Association: "There has been a real fall in the number of attempted break-ins.
Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that "a number" of people crossed the border, adding that the French and British governments needed to work with Eurotunnel to quickly address the issue.
The spokesman also said that Eurotunnel has kept the Intergovernmental Commission for the Channel Tunnel and authorities informed, over several months, about the "explosion" in the number of migrants present in Calais.
Eurotunnel said leaving two ferry services on the Dover to Calais route - P&O and DFDS - would lead to "inevitable" price hikes due to less competition.
On Thursday the European Commission told Eurotunnel, which operates the undersea tunnel between France and England, to cut its charges for passenger and freight trains using the route.