Away from day-to-day economic realities, work goes on to develop the tunnel and its infrastructure.
A new international terminus is under construction at St Pancras station in north London, which will be served by a high speed rail link due to open in 2007.
Plans have even been drawn up for a second channel tunnel, aimed at cars and envisaging technological advances that would allow them to be remotely guided to avoid accidents.
The second link will only follow when technical and economic conditions allow and when traffic levels justify it, which could be some time away.
Eurotunnel had to produce the design for a second link as part of the concession to run the existing tunnel
The link into St Pancras should cut journey times by 40 minutes