The seventh wonder of the modern world
Eurotunnel was inaugurated on 6 May 1994 and is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, with a length of 50 kilometers with 39 kilometers underwater.
Work began in 1988 on the two ends, and the first junction between the two galleries, French and English took place on 1 December 1990. The work lasted six years.
At a maximum depth of 70 meters under the English Channel by Eurotunnel, Eurostar travels, high-speed train (TVG), linking London, Paris and Brussels. For technical reasons, the tunnel speed is limited to 160 kilometers per hour. The journey between the two ends of the tunnel takes about 30 minutes.
Construction has two rail tunnels 7.6 meters, one in each direction and a gallery of srviciu 4.8 meters by running special vehicles.
Every day the tunnel is crossed by 400 trains carrying an average of 50,000 passengers, 6,000 cars, 180 buses and 54,000 tons of other cargo.
An investment too expensive
Total investment cost was about 20 billion dollars (about 15 billion), double the initial costs Etim. The money was provided mostly by private investors who lost about 87% of the amount. Their shares have lost nearly 90% of the value of starting lucrăilor and until 1998.
Since the inauguration Eurotunnel, the company that worked in loss of administering galleries. In 2003 losses had risen to 1.33 billion pounds. Eurotunnel has justified these losses through poor use of infrastructure and difficult access it.
Moreover, the contracted interest rates were too high and passenger traffic was 38% lower than estimated, and the cargo was 24% below what was originally calculated.
Amid scandals between shareholders and company management company has been severely restructured in 2007, when 9.2 billion debt was reduced to 4.6 billion. In this way Eurotunnel profit reported first car in 2007 amounted to about one million euros.
Once solved the financial issues, analysts at Le Monde commented: “Eurotunnel has become a money making machine that sees its future in pink”.
The first idea to build a tunnel between France and England dates from 1802 and belongs French engineer Albert Mathieu Favier. The request was supported by Englishman Henry Mottray later and, a year later.Favier Napoleon had managed to obtain consent for such work, but the British rejected the idea for fear that the tunnel could facilitate the conquest of England by the French.
In 1855, French engineer Thome by Gaumont proposes a tunnel between Cape Gris-Nez (Pas-de-Calais) and Cape Eastwear with baskets vent in full sea and an artificial island bench Varnes, which have housed a maritime station. The idea came in the context of rail transport in Europe was beginning to take shape.
In 1867 William Low and Sir George Clarke Hawkshaw proposed a project to build links between France and Britain. In 1876 a committee was formed the most important Anglo-French works that started a stretch of underground railway. In 1881 began test drilling.
In 1883, at the request of French works are interrupted for military reasons. By that time, England was drilled from a long tunnel of 2,026 meters and one from France 1,839 meters.
The idea of a direct link between France and England was abandoned until after the Second World War. The talks are resumed in 1957 when it formed a study group aimed at construction of the tunnel under the English Channel. Negotiations lasted until 1972 when it signed the first agreement on this issue between France and England.
In 1973 work began on both sides, as two years later, the British ceasing to ask them for economic reasons. On January 20th 1975 the works were stopped. It had dug 300 meters from 400 meters in French and the British.
Landmark agreement for starting work on the tunnel coming in January 1986 at a meeting in Lille between Mitterrand and Margaret Thatcher. Eight months after this meeting was created Eurotunnel company. All administrative arrangements were put in place by the end of 1987 and beginning of 1988 the works of the two parties, and the inauguration took place on May 6, 1994.