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How Long Is The Channel Tunnel (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 50 Km

Tunnels can be defined as a covered passageway through or under an obstruction that is often built to directly connect two different places seamlessly. Tunnels are enclosed except for the entrance and exit, present commonly at each end. One such tunnel, called Channel Tunnel, connects Folkestone, England with Coquelles, France.

Channel Tunnels, also known as Chunnel in short, is an undersea rail tunnel that is about several miles long. It runs between France and England, beneath the English Channel. As it is a rail tunnel, trains pass through this tunnel in about 35 minutes at a high speed of 160 km i.e 100 miles per hour.

How Long Is The Channel Tunnel?

As this tunnel is constructed under the English Channel, it is known by the name the Channel Tunnel. The construction of this tunnel started around 1987-88 and was entirely built by 1994. This tunnel was officially opened for the public on 6th May 1994.

This Channel Tunnel which links Britain and France together is said to hold the record of being the longest undersea tunnel in the world. Spanning across an area of 50 km i.e 31 miles, this tunnel carries over ten million passengers and several lorries in a year.

Located at the Strait of Dover, this channel is known as the only permanent linkage between the European mainland and Great Britain. Owned by the Get-link company (formerly called by the name Groupe Eurotunnel), this tunnel is popularly known for being the 3rd longest railway tunnel in the entire world, just after Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel and Japan’s Seikan Tunnel.

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This tunnel is 9.3 km deep inside the land on the United Kingdom’s side, whereas it is 3.3 km under land on the French side. Since it has about 23.5 miles under the sea portion, it is the longest undersea tunnel in the world. Its average depth is about 50 meters below the seabed, with the lowest point being 75 meters down.

ConditionsAnswer
How Long is the Channel Tunnel?50 km i.e 31 miles
How Long does it take to travel its entire length?About 35 minutes

Why Is The Channel Tunnel This Long?

The Channel Tunnel is extremely important for Europe and thus is also called one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The Channel Tunnel also referred to as the Eurostar Tunnel, is undoubtedly a huge feat of construction.

This Channel Tunnel project included three tunnel constructions, two for railway purposes and one as a service tunnel. The 2 rail tunnels possess a diameter of about 7.6 m and are located about 30 m apart from each other. As it serves as the only connector between the UK and mainland Europe and paves the path for some of the high-speed trains, it assumes tremendous importance along with being the fastest mode of transportation in the area.

It is known for being the longest tunnel as it covers an area of 31.25 miles which is approximately equivalent to 50 km. Not only this, but it also has an underwater section of 23.5 miles that is about 250 ft deep below the sea bed. This tunnel makes it possible to travel between the connecting places without traveling by air, thereby saving on the cost of travel.

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Thus, in all, the Channel Tunnel serves as an economical, affordable, secure, and fast way to travel from England to mainland Europe and vice-versa.

Conclusion

The Channel Tunnel, also called Chunnel, is the world’s longest underwater tunnel that is about 50 km long. This tunnel has an average depth of 40 m. It is capable of transporting approximately a few hundred vehicles in about 35 minutes from the tunnel’s one end to the other.

The Channel Tunnel paves the path for passengers, freight trains, international freight trains, and more. The project of building this tunnel took about 6 years of construction along with the contribution of over 13,000 workers and required funding of about 15 billion dollars for the entire tunnel to get completed.

Thus, spanning over 31 miles and being named as one of the seven wonders of the modern world is justified by the Channel Tunnel.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965856405001126
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0966692394900035