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Click through this guide to learn about the tunnel's past, present and future

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Pipe dream    |         Shortlist        |         Triumph        |         Nightmare        |     Fantasy?


The last false start came and went in the 1970s killed off by the fuel crisis but a decade later the political and commercial will came to the boil again.

Invited by the two governments, firms put forward a range of designs for a fixed link that was eventually whittled down to a shortlist of four.

Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister of the UK, was keen on a road link but in the end the winning project was the only one to feature rail only.

Euroroute had separate undersea tunnels for rail and road traffic
Europont included a rail tunnel and 12-lane motorway within a vast tube suspended from half kilometre spans by Kevlar cables
Channel Expressway envisaged road and rail tunnels


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