Why Is The Channel Tunnel So Important For Europe?
Not long after the Channel Tunnel as many refer to as the Eurostar Tunnel opened in 1994, it was dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, that title was well deserved. It put the Channel Tunnel among the architectural wonders like the Empire State Building and the CN Tower.
The Eurostar Tunnel certainly is a wonder and a massive feat of construction. But why is it so important for Europe? What was its impact, and which cities can travelers reach by using it? Let’s have a closer look at the Channel Tunnel significance:
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History Of The Eurostar Tunnel
Even though the construction of the Channel Tunnel started in 1988, that doesn’t mean that the idea was new. Even Napoleon toyed with the idea of connecting England and France via a tunnel. Before him, French engineer Albert Mathieu-Favier first proposed such a tunnel in 1802. His concept included an artificial island along the way, as a horse-changing station. However, most plans were abandoned until after World War II.
In 1987, the parliaments of the UK and France finally agreed to build the Channel Tunnel. The project included the construction of three tunnels — two for rail traffic and one as a service tunnel. The development took six years, $7.2 billion, eleven Boring machines, and 13,000 workers. Its cost is equivalent to today’s $12 billion.
Channel Tunnel Facts
The Channel Tunnel is 31.35 miles long, with an underwater section of 23.5 miles. It’s the most extensive undersea section in the world that runs 250 ft below the sea bed at its lowest point. The tunnel connects Folkestone in England with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in France. It runs beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover.
What makes the Channel Tunnel special is that it is the only connector of Great Britain and mainland Europe. And with high-speed trains available today, it’s one of the fastest ways to travel from the UK to mainland Europe.
The Impact of Opening the Channel Tunnel
The Eurostar Tunnel has played an enormous role in making railway travel accessible once again. They especially appreciate it in the UK, as it made it possible to travel to Europe without flying. It helps travelers reduce the costs of travel, as well as their carbon footprint. Eurostar estimates that traveling from London to Paris by train emits 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than taking the plane.
The best part about the Channel Tunnel is its connection to major European railway networks. Using it, you can get to most major European cities from the UK. And let’s not forget it’s also possible to reach the UK’s major cities like London without flying. It’s an affordable, fast and secure way to travel.
If the Channel Tunnel fascinates you, take a ride through it! The trip might not be scenic, but its appeal lies in its convenience. If you need to travel to or from a city in the UK, book your train tickets today!
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