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Channel Tunnel Facts

Want to stock up on some Channel Tunnel facts? Has your teacher asked you to find out about the Seven Wonders of the Modern World?

Maybe you just want to know how it all works. I mean, an underwater tunnel from one country to another is pretty cool – just saying…

Whatever your reason, you’re in the right place.

Because we’ve got 12 awesome Channel Tunnel facts for you to impress your teacher with…

Channel Tunnel Facts for Kids

  • The Channel Tunnel is a 50 kilometer (31 miles) rail tunnel linking Folkestone in Kent with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, near Calais in northern France.
  • At its lowest point, it is 75 metres deep below the sea bed and 115 meters below sea level. At 37.9 kilometers (23.5 miles), the tunnel has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world.
  • Despite what you might think, you cannot drive through the Channel Tunnel as it carries trains only. However, you can take your car with you because the Eurotunnel Shuttle is a train that transports cars and people through the tunnel. Travelers drive their vehicle onto the train, park it, and stay inside while the train takes them to the end of the line. Then they start up their car again, drive off the train, and continue their journey.
  • Construction began in 1988 and finished in 1994.
  • The first idea to build a tunnel underneath the English Channel was by a French engineer called Albert Mathieu way back in 1802. That tunnel would have been very different; instead of a railway line, requiring an island halfway across for the changing of horses!
  • At its busiest, approximately 14,000 people were employed in the construction of the tunnel. Sadly, ten workers – eight of them British – were killed building it.
  • There are actually three tunnels down there! Two are for trains and there is also one smaller service tunnel that can be used in emergencies.
  • 11 machines were used to bore, or dig, the tunnel under the sea bed. Each machine was as long as two football pitches. One of them is still buried under the Channel today. And another was sold on eBay in 2004 for £39,999!
  • It takes around 35 minutes to travel the length of the Channel Tunnel. That’s definitely faster than swimming…
  • More than one million dogs and cats have traveled through the tunnel since the year 2000.
  • Up to 400 trains pass through the tunnel each day. On average, those trains carry 50,000 passengers, 6,000 cars, and 180 coaches from country to country.
  • The Channel Tunnel Rail Link, now called High Speed 1, is a train that goes from St Pancras railway station in London to the tunnel entrance in Folkestone. Because High Speed 1 trains travel at up to 300 km per hour (186 miles per hour), travelers can go from London to Paris in just 2 hours 15 minutes.

 

Channel-Tunnel-2

Question: How long is the tunnel?
Answer: 50 kilometres (31 miles).

Question: When was the first idea for a Channel Tunnel?
Answer: 1802.

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Facts for Kids video

Question: How many years did it take to build?
Answer: Six.

Question: How long does it take to travel through the tunnel?
Answer: 35 minutes.

Question: How many trains can pass through the tunnel per day?
Answer: 400.