Eurotunnel. Remarkable for 30 years.
On 6 May 1994, a dream dating back to the 18th century came true: a rail tunnel linking France and the United Kingdom. In 2024, we are paying tribute to Eurotunnel's history, its pioneering culture and the unbreakable link it now represents between the United Kingdom and France.
The Channel Tunnel celebrates its 30th anniversary
When French industrial talent met British pragmatism
More than a feat of engineering, the construction of the Channel Tunnel was an unparalleled mobilisation of talent, technology and endurance. For seven years, more than 10,000 people worked on this site of the century, which was often perilous and required the invention of new technology such as the iconic giant tunnel boring machines capable of digging 150 metres a day…
Depth below sea level
The number of people involved in its construction
For 30 years, much more than a tunnel
In 30 years, Eurotunnel has become synonymous with commercial success. Every year, millions of customers use the tunnel. The LeShuttle shuttles carry an average of 10 million passengers a year and Eurostar carries a further 11 million.
For 30 years, Eurotunnel has also been an efficient service for European economies. The rail freight shuttles, LeShuttle Freight, coupled with the freight trains that use the Channel Tunnel, carry 26% of the value of trade between France and the United Kingdom every year.
The latest passenger to pass through the tunnel: electricity. Since May 2022, Eurotunnel has been active in the energy sector, with the commissioning of the ElecLink high voltage interconnector linking the electricity transmission networks in France and England.
And what about tomorrow?
Eurotunnel, the key to decarbonising the movement of people and goods.
The Getlink group’s plan for low-carbon growth is now strengthened by the French and European agendas to combat global warming.
The history of high-speed rail links between European capitals is still in its infancy! Three decades after this pioneering step forward in Europe’s rail network, and in the wake of the development of the recently introduced link between London and Amsterdam, Eurotunnel is aiming to further accelerate the low-carbon mobility of people between the UK and continental Europe by doubling the number of new direct destinations from London via the Channel Tunnel over the next 10 years.
The reduction in the time needed to launch new services to just 5 years is the fruit of the work by Eurotunnel, the infrastructure manager and keystone of the cross-Channel high-speed links, in cooperation with partners from across the European ecosystem (infrastructure managers, authorities, manufacturers, regulators).
Between 2012 and 2019, the modernisation of our networks, equipment and infrastructure have enabled us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33%, while revenue increased by 28% over the same period. And by 2030, our 2025 Environment Plan should reduce emissions by a further 54% compared to 2019. Today, Eurotunnel’s electricity supply is largely carbon-free and partly derived from renewable energy.
In this way, Eurotunnel is paving the way for an increasingly carbon-free future.
30 years of Eurotunnel, an amazing year of celebration
Celebrating 30 years of Eurotunnel is above all about celebrating a symbol that connects two eras. The early era with the “project of the century” that was the opening of the tunnel and the current era in which Eurotunnel is part of the answer to the “challenge of the century”: decarbonising our economies while maintaining their performance and competitiveness.
In 2024, Getlink is celebrating this wonderful anniversary with all those who made the adventure possible – and with those who are still writing it. See you in May 2024 for an exceptional highlight!
A unique infrastructure in the world
The Channel Tunnel is the longest undersea tunnel in the world: its section under the sea is 38km long.
A smart border
Digital services and infrastructure simplify administrative and customs formalities for our freight and passenger customers.
The most powerful locomotives in Europe
Each Eurotunnel Shuttle in operation has two locomotives, one at each end of the Shuttle and is about 800m long.