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Channel tunnel

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Channel tunnel

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Channel tunnel

When the Channel Tunnel (also called the Chunnel, Euro Tunnel, or Tunnel sous la Manche if you are French) opened to the public in 1994, it had been more than 200 years in the making. It was first suggested by a French engineer in 1802, during a short period of peace between the French and the Brits, but when war broke out again, the idea was shelved. The idea endured though – and after several more false starts, the two countries decided to make a go of it in 1973. Work started in 1974, but was abandoned for economic reasons by Harold Wilson a year later. Construction started again in 1987 and was finally completed, two years late, in 1994.

The tunnel has continued to be dogged with controversy over its financial losses, and its occasional role as a conduit for illegal entry to the UK, but no one can deny the technical achievement of the vast project, or the sheer convenience of the Eurostar journey. It’s actually three tunnels, one northbound, one southbound, and an access tunnel for maintenance and emergencies. The undersea section of the tunnels covers 37.5 km and runs on average 50 metres under the seabed.

NOMINATION 793 OF 1157

Your comments

it was expensive and it is not always profitable but we do not want to miss it - apart from other things, it is a symbol of England's readiness to maintain ties with the continent!

Johann G. Lohmann


The Channel Tunnel, all be it an amazing piece of engineering, was and is the wrong thing to do with all that money, yes it connects us to the continent however it now feels like we have lost our island status as it is now so easy to get to our little paradise. Once we prided ourselves on the fact that no matter what if people wanted in or out of our country they had to see the white cliffs of Dover, a true icon in my opinion, but peoples need for speed and lack of respect for one of the most daunting sights ever to be seen encouraged the government to create this monstrosity.
James Yates


A great feat of engineering with the longest tunnel in the world, but like most British engineering initiatives it's not a financial success.
Maaz Gazdar


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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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