Preliminary work for the digging of the Channel Tunnel, which is planned to link Britain and France by 1980, is now well under way at the French seaside town of Sangatte.
GV Sangatte with english Channel in background
GU Town sign
GV Working site of tunnel entrance
CU Sign: "Tunnel Sous La Manche"
LV & CU Drilling rigs on sits
LV & CU Workman on and around rig (3)
LV & CU Drilling rig working (3)
LV Heavy earth moving machines (2)
GV Beach and seagulls (2)
GV White Cliffs of Dover in distance
Initials SC/1820 SC/1843
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Background: Preliminary work for the digging of the Channel Tunnel, which is planned to link Britain and France by 1980, is now well under way at the French seaside town of Sangatte.
A site in Sangatte has been cleared, drilling has begun, and from here the main galleries of the tunnel will start to reach out towards the white cliffs of Dover.
Work has begun by the French company for the Tunnel Under the Channel a few days before the final agreements for the construction of the 32-mile (50 kilometer) tunnel were actually signed by the British and French Governments on 16 November last year.
Although the entre of the seabed between the Kent coast and France has been tested by ???ertical drilling many times, the final decision to build the tunnel will not be taken until at least two kilometers (one and a quarter miles) of horizontal boring has been completed at both ends.
This work will continue throughout 1974. It should be completed during the first half of 1975. The project's cost is estimated at 846 million pounds sterling (about 181/2 million U.S. dollars).
Engineering experts believe there is little likelihood of physical snags. France and britain were part of the same land mass about 50,000 years ago, and it sis thought most unlikely that unforeseen rock formations or rifts will be encountered. Boring by the British Channel Tunnel Company and the French Company will ideally meet in the middle but if for any reason one side is delayed, the other can go on building until they do meet.
According to the Channel treaty, the Channel system will comprise two terminals, two main tunnels, a service tunnel and links with the road and rail networks of each country. It is expected to cut the present eight-hour rail-and-boet journey from London to Paris to about three hours.