|1802||Ideas for a tunnel connecting England and France have been in existence since at least 1802, when French engineer Albert Mathieu proposed an underground highwayfor horse-drawn carriages, with an island in the middle for changing your steed.|
|1856||The first serious railway connection proposal came in 1856, again from the French, when surveyor Aimé Thomé de Gamond suggested to Emperor Napoleon III that a tunnel could be mined out, but the scheme was not taken any further.|
|1980's||It wasn't until the 1980s that a coalition of French and British leaders invited private companies to put forward plans for an international link. Ideas mooted included a 4.5km suspension bridge, holding a road encased in a tube, a drive-through tunnel and, of course, today's high-speed rail link.|
|1988||Once a decision was made construction was able to begin in 1988, with the tunnel being dug simultaneously from France and Britain. It was at the time the most expensive construction project ever proposed and the cost finally came in at £9 billion.|
|Giant boring machines were used to shift tonnes of rock and soil every day. Some of the machines were built especially for the job, with a combination of extremely high pressure water jets and rotating disc cutters used to burrow through the land beneath the Channel. The spoil from tunnelling was used to create a 73 acre hoe on Britain's coast, on the French side their spoil was piled up into a new hill.|
|1990||On December 1 1990 a Frenchman and an Englishman shook hands in front of the World's media, through a hole connecting the two tunnel ends.|
|1994||The completed project was opened by Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand on May 6 1994.|
Monday, 2 January 2017
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