Initially 38 Le Shuttle locomotives were commissioned, with one at each end of a shuttle train. The shuttles have two separate halves: single and double deck. Each half has two loading/unloading wagons and 12 carrier wagons. Eurotunnel's original order was for nine tourist shuttles.
"Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) shuttles also have two halves, with each half containing one loading wagon, one unloading wagon and 14 carrier wagons. There is a club car behind the leading locomotive. Eurotunnel originally ordered six HGV shuttle rakes.
Forty-six Class 92 locomotives for hauling freight trains and overnight passenger trains (the "Nightstar project, which was abandoned) were commissioned, running on both overhead AC and "third-rail DC power. However, "RFF does not let these run on French railways, so there are plans to certify Alstom "Prima II locomotives for use in the tunnel.
Thirty-one "Eurostar trains, based on the "French TGV, built to UK "loading gauge with many modifications for safety within the tunnel, were commissioned, with ownership split between British Rail, "French national railways (SNCF) and "Belgian national railways (SNCB). "British Rail ordered seven more for services north of London. Around 2010, Eurostar ordered ten trains from "Siemens based on its "Velaro product.
"Germany (DB) has since around 2005 tried to get permission to run train services to London. At the end of 2009, extensive fire-proofing requirements were dropped and DB received permission to run German "Intercity-Express (ICE) test trains through the tunnel. In June 2013 DB was granted access to the tunnel. In June 2014 the plans were shelved, because there are special safety rules that requires custom made trains (DB calls them "Class 407).
"Diesel locomotives for rescue and shunting work are "Eurotunnel Class 0001 and "Eurotunnel Class 0031.
The following chart presents the estimated number of passengers and tonnes of freight, respectively, annually transported through the Channel Tunnel since 1994, in millions:
Million tonnes of freight
Usage and services
Transport services offered by the tunnel are as follows:
- "Eurotunnel Le Shuttle roll-on roll-off shuttle service for road vehicles,
- "Eurostar passenger trains,
- through freight trains.
Both the freight and passenger traffic forecasts that led to the construction of the tunnel were overestimated; in particular, Eurotunnel's commissioned forecasts were over-predictions. Although the captured share of Channel crossings was forecast correctly, high competition (especially from budget airlines which expanded rapidly in the 1990s and 2000s) and reduced tariffs led to low revenue. Overall cross-Channel traffic was overestimated.
With the "EU's liberalisation of international rail services, the tunnel and "High Speed 1 have been open to competition since 2010. There have been a number of "operators interested in running trains through the tunnel and along "High Speed 1 to London. In June 2013, after several years, "DB obtained a license to operate Frankfurt – London trains, not expected to run before 2016 because of delivery delays of the custom-made trains.
Passenger traffic volumes
Cross-tunnel passenger traffic volumes peaked at 18.4 million in 1998, dropped to 14.9 million in 2003, then rose to 21.0 million in 2014.
At the time of the decision about building the tunnel, 15.9 million passengers were predicted for Eurostar trains in the opening year. In 1995, the first full year, actual numbers were a little over 2.9 million, growing to 7.1 million in 2000, then dropping to 6.3 million in 2003. Eurostar was initially limited by the lack of a high-speed connection on the British side. After the completion of "High Speed 1 in two stages in 2003 and 2007, traffic increased. In 2008, Eurostar carried 9,113,371 passengers, a 10% increase over the previous year, despite traffic limitations due to the "2008 Channel Tunnel fire. Eurostar passenger numbers continued to increase, reaching 10,397,894 in 2014.
(actual ticket sales)
|by Eurotunnel Passenger Shuttles
A only passengers taking Eurostar to cross the Channel
Freight traffic volumes
Freight volumes have been erratic, with a major decrease during 1997 due to a closure caused by a fire in a freight shuttle. Freight crossings increased over the period, indicating the substitutability of the tunnel by sea crossings. The tunnel has achieved a market share close to or above Eurotunnel's 1980s predictions but Eurotunnel's 1990 and 1994 predictions were overestimates.["citation needed]
For through freight trains, the first year prediction was 7.2 million gross tonnes; the actual 1995 figure was 1.3M gross tonnes. Through freight volumes peaked in 1998 at 3.1M tonnes. This fell back to 1.21M tonnes in 2007, increasing slightly to 1.24M tonnes in 2008. Together with that carried on freight shuttles, freight growth has occurred since opening, with 6.4M tonnes carried in 1995, 18.4M tonnes recorded in 2003 and 19.6M tonnes in 2007. Numbers fell back in the wake of the 2008 fire.
|Year||Freight Transported (tonnes)|
|through freight trains||Eurotunnel Truck Shuttles (est.)||Total (est.)|
Eurotunnel's freight subsidiary is "Europorte 2. In September 2006 EWS, the UK's largest rail freight operator, announced that owing to cessation of UK-French government subsidies of £52 million per annum to cover the tunnel "Minimum User Charge" (a subsidy of around £13,000 per train, at a traffic level of 4,000 trains per annum), freight trains would stop running after 30 November.
Shares in Eurotunnel were issued at £3.50 per share on 9 December 1987. By mid-1989 the price had risen to £11.00. Delays and cost overruns led to the price dropping; during demonstration runs in October 1994 it reached an all-time low. Eurotunnel suspended payment on its debt in September 1995 to avoid bankruptcy. In December 1997 the British and French governments extended Eurotunnel's operating concession by 34 years, to 2086. Financial restructuring of Eurotunnel occurred in mid-1998, reducing debt and financial charges. Despite the restructuring, "The Economist reported in 1998 that to break even Eurotunnel would have to increase fares, traffic and market share for sustainability. A cost benefit analysis of the tunnel indicated that there were few impacts on the wider economy and few developments associated with the project, and that the British economy would have been better off if it had not been constructed.
Under the terms of the Concession, Eurotunnel was obliged to investigate a cross-Channel road tunnel. In December 1999 road and rail tunnel proposals were presented to the British and French governments, but it was stressed that there was not enough demand for a second tunnel. A three-way treaty between the United Kingdom, France and Belgium governs border controls, with the establishment of control zones wherein the officers of the other nation may exercise limited customs and law enforcement powers. For most purposes these are at either end of the tunnel, with the French border controls on the UK side of the tunnel and vice versa. For some city-to-city trains, the train is a control zone. A binational emergency plan coordinates UK and French emergency activities.
In 1999 Eurostar posted its first net profit, having made a loss of £925m in 1995. In 2005 Eurotunnel was described as being in a serious situation. In 2013, operating profits rose 4 per cent from 2012, to £54 million.
There is a need for full "passport controls, since this is the border between the "Schengen Area and the "Common Travel Area. There are "juxtaposed controls, meaning that passports are checked before boarding first by officials belonging to departing country and then officials of the destination country. These are only placed at the main Eurostar stations - ("London, "Ebbsfleet, "Ashford, "Calais, "Lille, "Brussels and "Paris). There are security checks before boarding as well. For the shuttle road-vehicle trains, there are juxtaposed passport controls before boarding the trains.
For Eurostar trains travelling from places south of Paris, there is no passport and security check before departure, and those trains must stop in Lille at least 30 minutes to allow all passengers to be checked. No checks are done on board. There have been plans for services from "Amsterdam, "Frankfurt and "Cologne to London, but a major reason to cancel them was the need for a stop in Lille.
The reason for juxtaposed controls is a wish to prevent illegal immigration before reaching British soil, and because a check of all passengers on a train can take 30 minutes, which creates long queues if done at arrival.
The terminals' sites are at "Cheriton (near Folkestone in the United Kingdom) and "Coquelles (near Calais in France). The terminals are designed to transfer vehicles from the motorway onto trains at a rate of 700 cars and 113 heavy vehicles per hour.["citation needed] The UK site uses the "M20 motorway for access. The terminals are organised with the frontier controls juxtaposed with the entry to the system to allow travellers to go onto the motorway at the destination country immediately after leaving the shuttle. The area of the UK site was severely constrained and the design was challenging. The French layout was achieved more easily. To achieve design output, the shuttles accept cars on double-deck wagons; for flexibility, ramps were placed inside the shuttles to provide access to the top decks. At Folkestone there are 20 kilometres (12 mi) of main-line track, 45 turnouts and eight platforms. At Calais there are 30 kilometres (19 mi) of track and 44 turnouts. At the terminals the shuttle trains traverse a figure eight to reduce uneven wear on the wheels. There is a freight marshalling yard west of Cheriton at "Dollands Moor Freight Yard.
A 1996 report from the "European Commission predicted that "Kent and "Nord-Pas de Calais had to face increased traffic volumes due to general growth of cross-Channel traffic and traffic attracted by the tunnel. In Kent, a high-speed rail line to London would transfer traffic from road to rail. Kent's regional development would benefit from the tunnel, but being so close to London restricts the benefits. Gains are in the traditional industries and are largely dependent on the development of Ashford International passenger station, without which Kent would be totally dependent on London's expansion. Nord-Pas-de-Calais enjoys a strong internal symbolic effect of the Tunnel which results in significant gains in manufacturing.
The removal of a bottleneck by means like the tunnel does not necessarily induce economic gains in all adjacent regions. The image of a region being connected to the European high-speed transport and active political response are more important for regional economic development. Some small-medium enterprises located in the immediate vicinity of the terminal have used the opportunity to re-brand the profile of their business with positive effect, such as The New Inn at "Etchinghill which was able to commercially exploit its unique selling point as being 'the closest pub to the Channel Tunnel'. Tunnel-induced regional development is small compared to general economic growth. The South East of England is likely to benefit developmentally and socially from faster and cheaper transport to continental Europe, but the benefits are unlikely to be equally distributed throughout the region. The overall environmental impact is almost certainly negative.
Since the opening of the tunnel, small positive impacts on the wider economy have been felt, but it is difficult to identify major economic successes directly attributed to the tunnel. The Eurotunnel does operate profitably, offering an alternative transportation mode unaffected by poor weather. High costs of construction did delay profitability, however, and companies involved in the tunnel's construction and operation early in operation relied on government aid to deal with debts amounted.
There have been three fires in the tunnel, all on the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) shuttles, that were significant enough to close the tunnel, as well as other more minor incidents.
On 9 December 1994, during an "invitation only" testing phase, a fire broke out in a "Ford Escort car whilst its owner was loading it onto the upper deck of a tourist shuttle. The fire started at about 10:00,["when?] with the shuttle train stationary in the Folkestone terminal and was put out about 40 minutes later with no passenger injuries.
On 18 November 1996, a fire broke out on an HGV shuttle wagon in the tunnel, but nobody was seriously hurt. The exact cause is unknown, although it was neither a Eurotunnel equipment nor rolling stock problem; it may have been due to arson of a heavy goods vehicle. It is estimated that the heart of the fire reached 1,000 °C (1,800 °F), with the tunnel severely damaged over 46 metres (151 ft), with some 500 metres (1,640 ft) affected to some extent. Full operation recommenced six months after the fire.
On 21 August 2006, the tunnel was closed for several hours when a truck on an HGV shuttle train caught fire.
On 11 September 2008, a fire occurred in the Channel Tunnel at 13:57 GMT. The incident started on an HGV shuttle train travelling towards France. The event occurred 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from the French entrance to the tunnel. No one was killed but several people were taken to hospitals suffering from smoke inhalation, and minor cuts and bruises. The tunnel was closed to all traffic, with the undamaged South Tunnel reopening for limited services two days later. Full service resumed on 9 February 2009 after repairs costing €60 million.
On 29 November 2012, the tunnel was closed for several hours after a truck on an HGV shuttle caught fire.
On 17 January 2015, both tunnels were closed following a lorry fire which filled the midsection of Running Tunnel North with smoke. Eurostar cancelled all services. The shuttle train had been heading from Folkestone to Coquelles and stopped adjacent to cross-passage CP 4418 just before 12:30 UTC. Thirty-eight passengers and four members of Eurotunnel staff were evacuated into the service tunnel, and then transported to France using special STTS road vehicles in the Service Tunnel. The passengers and crew were taken to the Eurotunnel Fire/Emergency Management Centre close to the French portal.
On the night of 19/20 February 1996, about 1,000 passengers became trapped in the Channel Tunnel when "Eurostar "trains from London broke down owing to failures of electronic circuits caused by snow and ice being deposited and then melting on the circuit boards.
On 3 August 2007, an electrical failure lasting six hours caused passengers to be trapped in the tunnel on a shuttle.
On the evening of 18 December 2009, during the "December 2009 European snowfall, five London-bound "Eurostar trains failed inside the tunnel, trapping 2,000 passengers for approximately 16 hours, during the coldest temperatures in eight years. A Eurotunnel spokesperson explained that snow had evaded the train's winterisation shields, and the transition from cold air outside to the tunnel's warm atmosphere had melted the snow, resulting in electrical failures. One train was turned back before reaching the tunnel; two trains were hauled out of the tunnel by "Eurotunnel Class 0001 diesel locomotives. The blocking of the tunnel led to the implementation of "Operation Stack, the transformation of the "M20 motorway into a linear car park.
The occasion was the first time that a Eurostar train was evacuated inside the tunnel; the failing of four at once was described as "unprecedented". The Channel Tunnel reopened the following morning. "Nirj Deva, "Member of the European Parliament for South East England, had called for Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown to resign over the incidents. An independent report by "Christopher Garnett (former CEO of "Great North Eastern Railway) and Claude Gressier (a French transport expert) on the 18/19 December 2009 incidents was issued in February 2010, making 21 recommendations.
on 7 January 2010, a Brussels–London Eurostar broke down in the tunnel. The train had 236 passengers on board and was towed to Ashford; other trains that had not yet reached the tunnel were turned back.
Asylum and immigration
"Illegal Immigrants and would-be "asylum seekers have used the tunnel to attempt to enter Britain. By 1997, the problem had attracted international press attention, and in 1999, the "French Red Cross opened a refugee centre at "Sangatte, using a "warehouse once used for tunnel construction; by 2002, it housed up to 1,500 people at a time, most of them trying to get to the UK. In 2001, most came from "Afghanistan, Iraq, and "Iran, but African and Eastern European countries were also represented.
Most illegal immigrants and would-be asylum seekers who got into Britain found some way to ride a freight train, but others used Eurostar. They would usually get on trucks, which would then get onto the freight trains. In a few instances, groups of men claiming to be refugees were able to sneak into a tanker truck carrying liquid chocolate and managed to survive, though they did not enter the UK in one attempt. Although the facilities were fenced, airtight security was deemed impossible; refugees would even jump from bridges onto moving trains. In several incidents people were injured during the crossing; others tampered with railway equipment, causing delays and requiring repairs. Eurotunnel said it was losing £5m per month because of the problem. A dozen refugees/illegal immigrants have died in crossing attempts.
In 2001 and 2002, several riots broke out at Sangatte, and groups of refugees (up to 550 in a December 2001 incident) stormed the fences and attempted to enter en masse. Immigrants have also arrived as legitimate Eurostar passengers without proper entry papers.
Local authorities in both France and the UK called for the closure of Sangatte, and Eurotunnel twice sought an injunction against the centre. The United Kingdom blamed France for allowing Sangatte to open, and France blamed the UK for its lax asylum rules and the EU for not having a uniform immigration policy. The cause célèbre nature of the problem even included journalists detained as they followed refugees onto railway property.
In 2002, after the "European Commission told France that it was in breach of European Union rules on the free transfer of goods because of the delays and closures as a result of its poor security, a double fence was built at a cost of £5 million, reducing the numbers of refugees detected each week reaching Britain on goods trains from 250 to almost none. Other measures included "CCTV cameras and increased police patrols. At the end of 2002, the Sangatte centre was closed after the UK agreed to take some of its refugees.
On 23 and 30 June 2015, striking workers associated with "MyFerryLink damaged the sections of track by burning car tires, leading to all trains being cancelled and a backlog of vehicles. Hundreds seeking to reach Britain made use of the situation to attempt to stowaway inside and underneath transport trucks destined for the United Kingdom. Extra security measures including: £2-million upgrade of detection technology; £1 million extra for dog searches; £12 million (over three years) towards a joint fund with France for security surrounding the Port of Calais. The UK Home Office stated that approximately 19,000 attempts to cross the Channel during the first half of 2015 had been detected and prevented.["citation needed]
On 6 July 2015, a migrant died while attempting to climb onto a freight train while trying to reach Britain from the French side of the Channel. The previous month an Eritrean man was killed under similar circumstances.
Eurotunnel, the company that operates the crossing, said that it has intercepted more than 37,000 migrants since January 2015. During the night of 28 July 2015, one person aged 25–30, was found dead, after a night in which 1,500–2,000 refugees had attempted to enter the Eurotunnel terminal. According to the last official count in July 2015, about 3,000 migrants, mainly from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan, were living in the makeshift camps in Calais. It is estimated that about 5,000 refugees are waiting in the harbour town Calais to find a chance to get to England. Ten migrants have died near the Channel tunnel terminal since June 2015.
On 4 August 2015, a "Sudanese migrant walked nearly the entire length of one of the tunnels. He was arrested close to the British side, after having walked about 30 miles (48 km) through the tunnel.
The "Channel Tunnel Safety Authority is responsible for some aspects of safety regulation in the tunnel; it reports to the IGC.
|Channel Tunnel safety|
The service tunnel is used for access to technical equipment in cross-passages and equipment rooms, to provide fresh-air ventilation and for emergency evacuation. The Service Tunnel Transport System (STTS) allows fast access to all areas of the tunnel. The service vehicles are rubber-tyred with a buried wire guidance system. The 24 STTS vehicles are used mainly for maintenance but also for firefighting and in emergencies. "Pods" with different purposes, up to a payload of 2.5–5 t (2.8–5.5 tons), are inserted into the side of the vehicles. The vehicles cannot turn around within the tunnel, and are driven from either end. The maximum speed is 80 km/h (50 mph) when the steering is locked. A fleet of 15 Light Service Tunnel Vehicles (LADOGS) was introduced to supplement the STTSs. The LADOGS have a short wheelbase with a 3.4 m (11 ft) turning circle, allowing two-point turns within the service tunnel. Steering cannot be locked like the STTS vehicles, and maximum speed is 50 km/h (31 mph). Pods up to 1 tonne can be loaded onto the rear of the vehicles. Drivers in the tunnel sit on the right, and the vehicles drive on the left. Owing to the risk of French personnel driving on their native right side of the road, sensors in the vehicles alert the driver if the vehicle strays to the right side.
The three tunnels contain 6,000 tonnes (6,600 tons) of air that needs to be conditioned for comfort and safety. Air is supplied from "ventilation buildings at Shakespeare Cliff and Sangatte, with each building capable of providing 100% standby capacity. Supplementary ventilation also exists on either side of the tunnel. In the event of a fire, ventilation is used to keep smoke out of the service tunnel and move smoke in one direction in the main tunnel to give passengers clean air. The tunnel was the first main-line railway tunnel to have special cooling equipment. Heat is generated from traction equipment and drag. The design limit was set at 30 °C (86 °F), using a mechanical cooling system with refrigeration plants on both sides that run chilled water circulating in pipes within the tunnel.
Trains travelling at high speed create piston-effect pressure changes that can affect passenger comfort, ventilation systems, tunnel doors, fans and the structure of the trains, and which drag on the trains. Piston relief "ducts of 2-metre (7 ft) diameter were chosen to solve the problem, with 4 ducts per kilometre to give close to optimum results. Unfortunately this design led to unacceptable lateral forces on the trains so a reduction in train speed was required and restrictors were installed in the ducts.
The safety issue of a possible fire on a passenger-vehicle shuttle garnered much attention, with Eurotunnel noting that fire was the risk attracting the most attention in a 1994 safety case for three reasons: the opposition of ferry companies to passengers being allowed to remain with their cars; "Home Office statistics indicating that car fires had doubled in ten years; and the long length of the tunnel. Eurotunnel commissioned the UK Fire Research Station - now part of the "Building Research Establishment - to give reports of vehicle fires, and liaised with Kent Fire Brigade to gather vehicle fire statistics over one year. Fire tests took place at the French Mines Research Establishment with a mock wagon used to investigate how cars burned. The wagon door systems are designed to withstand fire inside the wagon for 30 minutes, longer than the transit time of 27 minutes. Wagon air conditioning units help to purge dangerous fumes from inside the wagon before travel. Each wagon has a fire detection and extinguishing system, with sensing of ions or "ultraviolet radiation, smoke and gases that can trigger "halon gas to quench a fire. Since the HGV wagons are not covered, fire sensors are located on the loading wagon and in the tunnel. A 10-inch (250 mm) water main in the service tunnel provides water to the main tunnels at 125-metre (410 ft) intervals. The ventilation system can control smoke movement. Special arrival sidings accept a train that is on fire, as the train is not allowed to stop whilst on fire in the tunnel, unless continuing its journey would lead to a worse outcome. Eurotunnel has banned a wide range of hazardous goods from travelling in the tunnel. Two STTS (Service Tunnel Transportation System) vehicles with firefighting pods are on duty at all times, with a maximum delay of 10 minutes before they reach a burning train.
In 2009, former F1 racing champion "John Surtees drove a "Ginetta G50 EV electronic sports car prototype from England to France, using the service tunnel, as part of a charity event. He was required to keep to the 50-kilometre-per-hour (30 mph) speed limit. To celebrate the "2014 Tour de France's transfer from its opening stages in Britain to France in July of that year, "Chris Froome of "Team Sky rode a bicycle through the service tunnel, becoming the first solo rider to do so. The Crossing took under an hour, reaching speeds of 40 mph–faster than most cross-channel ferries.
Mobile network coverage
Since 2012, French operators "Bouygues Telecom, "Orange and "SFR have covered Running Tunnel South, the tunnel bore normally used for travel from France to Britain.
In January 2014, UK operators "EE and "Vodafone signed ten-year contracts with "Eurotunnel for Running Tunnel North. The agreements will enable both operators' subscribers to use "2G and "3G services. Both EE and Vodafone plan to offer "LTE services on the route; EE said it expected to cover the route with LTE connectivity by summer 2014. EE and Vodafone will offer Channel Tunnel network coverage for travellers from the UK to France. Eurotunnel said it also held talks with "Three UK but has yet to reach an agreement with the operator.
On 6 May 2014, Eurotunnel announced that they had installed equipment from "Alcatel-Lucent to cover Running Tunnel North and simultaneously to provide mobile service ("GSM 900/1800 MHz and "UMTS 2100 MHz) by EE, O2 and Vodafone. The service of EE and Vodafone commenced on the same date as the announcement. O2 service was expected to be available soon afterwards.
On 21 November 2014, EE announced that it had previously switched on LTE earlier in September 2014. O2 turned on 2G, 3G and "4G services in November 2014. Whilst Vodafone's 4G was due to go live later.
Other (non-transport) services
Another usage of the Channel Tunnel is the 1,000 "MW "high voltage direct current ElecLink connecting the "electrical grids of the two countries, scheduled for 2019 at a cost of €580m. The foundation stone of the Folkestone Converter Station was laid in February 2017, by Jesse Norman, Minister for Industry and Energy.
Channel Tunnel in popular culture
In "A Diplomatic Incident, the eleventh episode of the British sitcom "Yes, Prime Minister, first screened in 1987, "Jim Hacker decides who is to negotiate with the French government over questions such as whether French or English should come first on signs and menus, and where the legal boundary between France and England should be in the tunnel.
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