AndyO Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Channel Tunnel (Chunnel)

On the way into school today, Cameron and I started talking about the Channel Tunnel and the trains that go through it. I told him that I went on it back in 1998. He couldn't believe that a train could actually go underwater, but I explained that it was actually under the seabed. (I still don't think he fully understands.)

The other thing he liked was how fast the channel trains go. I thought it was 150 mph, but it's actually 186 mph!

When I got home tonight, Cam wanted to see pictures of the train. So we got on my computer at bedtime and I showed him a bunch of pictures of the sleek Eurostar trains. Some interesting facts that I learned tonight:
  • The Channel Tunnel is second-longest railway tunnel, next to the Seikan Tunnel in Japan.
  • They used huge tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to dig the tunnels. These machines are "mobile excavation factories that combined drilling, material removal, and the process of shoring up the soft and permeable tunnel walls with a concrete liner."
  • On the English side, they dumped the 4 million cubic meters of chalk they excavated from the tunnel in the sea and made 90-acre Samphire Hoe park.
  • When the French and British crews met in the middle, underneath the English Channel, they were only 5 feet off of dead center (amazing, considering they didn't have GPS to guide them).
  • The Channel Tunnel is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
posted by AndyO @ 9:47 PM   0 comments