Vive le Channel Tunnel

The opening of a tunnel linking Britain and France in 1994 was the culmination of more than 180 years of debates, discussions, and delays. The first proposal for a tunnel under the English Channel (although not a rail one) had been made as far back as 1802, by one of Napoleon’s engineers. At that time, the journey from London to Paris took about four days (or several weeks if the Channel winds were unfavorable) but the British military, politicians, and even the press were not sold on the idea of a tunnel, fearing that it would leave the island nation vulnerable to attack. Over the next half century, various plans were proposed, on both sides of the Channel, but they came to nothing. The first serious attempt at digging ...

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