Amiens University has announced a competition to design the connection between France and England. Project Engineer N. Desmarais was approved of Louis XV, but then did not get approval, and could not go with the technology of the time.
"In 1802, a similar project was proposed by Napoleon - says Yu Frolov - it involves the construction of a tunnel suitable for the Movement of carriages and lit by gas lamps. In 1803, he offered to build a tunnel under the sea of cast iron pipes of large diameter. Finally, in 1880, they made the first practical steps to translate long-standing dream: July 16, one of the major British railway companies bought land at Dover, and after the start of test drilling pad diameter Gallery 2, 8 meters. France also laid the reconnaissance gallery. Even the Prince of Wales arranged at the bottom of the first mine banquet in honor of the beginning of the construction of the century has already passed with the total length of the two banks had reached 1840 meters areas, when in July 1882 the British Ministry of Defense has demanded the cessation of all work-regarded it as undermining the security of the island. And the military succeeded, although later revision of the decision of the fighting, many politicians, including little-known then Winston Churchill. In 1954, when he was the Prime Minister, he said that Britain no longer has objections to the strong link with the mainland. However, only in 1965 in abandoned mines working again descended. After ten years of work he was again interrupted: not enough money. By this time the French side turned out to be completed 1200 meters, with the English - 800 ».
Finally, in April 1986 specifically to create a powerful Anglo-French company "Eurotunnel" and its partner "Transmansh Link" - a consortium of French and British construction companies - seriously got down to business. It is interesting that one-third of funds for the construction came from Japan, 13 per cent - from Germany, 18 percent - from France and from England - only 9.
There was a call for proposals. The project Putten two tidal power in the form of dams partially block the Strait on both sides, leaving ^ six-kilometer channel. Trains and cars move along \ dam, and then descend into the tunnels and cross the fairway.
"Evromost" offered to build 70 meters above the water pipe dead, hanging from a farm on the pontoons.
The "Evrodoroga" the most difficult: vehicles for devyatikilometrovomu suspension bridge reaches an artificial island on the helical ramp move down the tunnel length and nineteen kilometers. Then they get on the second artificial island and a bridge next arrive at the coast. In the middle of the strait - the third man-made island.
The result has been selected "France - Channel": three tunnels - two vehicles and between the service.
December 15, 1987 on the English side of the tunnel began laying. On the French side it began drilling a February 28, 1988. Since the first moment Sangat, a few kilometers from Calais, had to build a huge cylindrical shaft diameter of 55 and a depth of 66 meters. The fact that the coast of France blue chalk layer - quite easy for penetration and at the same time waterproof rocks, which is designed and the trajectory of the tunnel - goes sharply deeper. To get to it and start drilling, and needed a "hole" in the Sanga-ones. From this mine three French drills went to the northwest, to Dover, and the other two - in the direction of the village of Coquelles, the future French station. One of the two cars is doing a gallery service, the other, larger in diameter, reaching to the point where the railway should go to the surface and walk to the train station, I turned back, and digged in the second transport tunnel to the "pit».
In the same shaft at the Sangat are pumps for pumping quicksand, hinder the work of the French coast. Pumping was piped quarter of a meter in diameter and a total length of thirteen kilometers. Il accumulated in a special storage on the beach, eight hundred meters from the mine to the Sangat.
In the midst of work in both tunnels was to eleven unique tunneling machines created by the American company
"Robbins." Each of them has a length of 250-300 meters and a weight of 1-2, 5 tons. Each machine has its own name: Robert, Brigitte, Catherine, Virginia ... The crew - 40 people. The French continued change of 8:00, the British - 12 machines operating on the French side, which had to deal with quicksand, were sealed as a submarine. They are able to withstand the water pressure to eleven kilograms per square centimeter. Tungsten incisors bite into the head of the rock, making the 2-3 rpm, and moved forward by hydraulic pistons, fixed in the ground at the nozzle rests on the ground. "Teeth" of the tungsten carbide was allowed "gnaw" depending on the conditions of 300 meters per week.
The total length of all three underground pipes - more than 150 kilometers, the length of one way - 52, 5 kilometers, of which about 38 kilometers under the sea passes. It was taken out 6, 5 million cubic meters of rock, crushed rotating heads, if such a diminutive name suitable for disc diameter of 8, 8 meters.
To the machine, and with them people do not get lost in the blue chalk, operators adjusted the route using computers and video monitors. The laser beam is perceived by a photosensitive device of the machine, prompting the driver directions. Before the sinking of the satellite observatory helped calculate the trajectory ...
Depleted breed received on the conveyor belt and sent to a freight train. Total extracted nearly 10 million cubic meters of rock that allowed the British to make a small stock of it. And the French mixed it with water, the resulting semi-liquid mash pumped ashore and dumped immediately near the dam height of 53 meters.
Drilled a half meters, the car wore a concrete wall segments are made on the surface and transported by the place of work. Concrete ring consisting of six segments, weighed nine tons. A total of triple the tunnel went about one hundred thousand of these rings on each indelibly marked with a number. The walls are almost half-meter thickness. For the greater strength of the concrete is reinforced with granite, mined in the depths of the Scottish mountains.
After completion of the work to take out huge machines to the surface proved to be too expensive, although the cost of each of them at least a hundred million francs. Dismantling of machines, used and hardly suitable for further work, too complicated and time-consuming. So we decided to leave them underground roadway in short, to turn away from the side or bottom of the tunnel. The last meters were completed by traditional methods - a jackhammer.
During the work in the tunnel between the "Eurotunnel" and "Transmansh Link" disagreement. The cost of construction, originally estimated at 5, 23 billion pounds, according to the forecast of 1990, was already 7 billion. In the end, the tunnel cost 10 billion pounds. Rumors about the imminent bankruptcy "Eurotunnel". Partners showered each other mutual claims. Together started the works threatened to end as ignominiously as many times before ...
But here in the monetary battle decisively broke the Bank of England. In 1993, he called rasshumevshihsya partners in order threatened by the arbitral tribunal. Nobody wanted to spoil relations with financiers. Work started arguing again. The discovery of the object originally scheduled for May 1993, and then moved in August, and then in December. Only 6 May 1994 the dream of many generations to come true. The English journalist Cathy Newman could not hide her joy: "If the tunnel, we add a little rapport - that mean 13, 5 billion dollars between friends? ..»
What is this architectural and engineering marvel called the "project of the century", which participated in the construction of 15 000 workers?
The most important thing - these are three of the twin tunnel: the two extremes - a diameter of 7 meters 6 - rail, average - 4, 8 meters in diameter - the service. The distance between the transport tunnels - 30 meters. The depth under the seabed - 40 meters. The total length of the route - 49, 4 kilometers, are under water - 38. For example, the next of kin Lamanshskogo underground path - Seikan Tunnel connecting the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, Length: its length 54 kilometers, but only about 24 of them are under the water.
Under the ground, there are two junction with arrows to train, if necessary, can pass from one tunnel to another without leaving the surface. Patrols are placed in the underground halls of height 60 and a width of 20 meters each. One is located 8 kilometers from the English coast, the other - 17 kilometers from the French.
Every 375 meters located transverse communication service and fire-fighting purposes. Every 320 meters - ducts to equalize pressure, because runaway train reserves the thin air.
In addition to scheduled passenger and freight trains of "Eurostar", under the Strait ply special trains "Eurotunnel" - "Space Shuttle". They are designed for the transport of vehicles. Transverse carriages "Shuttle" - the most extensive in the world. The length of each formulation of 8800 meters: 12 double-deck cars - passenger car, 12 one-tier - for buses and trucks, plus a locomotive and two carriages with special ramps - loading (rear) and discharge (front). The vehicles in the order of priority (in size) and call in the tail through the moving train - until it is full. The procedure lasts about eight minutes.
Movement of international trains company "Eurostar" room and provides high speed. In order not to disrupt this harmony, their engines adapted to the standards adopted in England, France and Belgium: mains voltage, signal systems and electrical equipment. At peak hours the tunnel passes to twenty trains per hour in each direction. From a single center in Folkestone carried out computer control the movement of trains, including automatic speed control.
Particular attention is paid to safety. "Trains in the same direction, spatially isolated - wrote in the journal" Technology - Youth "Alexander Kireev - that eliminates the risk of head-on collision. Raised platforms, which stretch along the tunnel in each track, protect trains from falling in the event of a derailment. Cross gallery fitted with fire doors withstand temperatures up to 1,000 degrees. The service tunnel ventilation slightly distended atmospheres) air so that a fire in a railway tunnel smoke penetrated into the service. To take the smoke, there is a powerful system of assisted ventilation. Each train has two locomotives - in the head and in the tail: structure caught fire immediately went to the terminus, which is near (it is clear that it is easier to put out a fire on the shore). If both the faulty motor car, a diesel locomotive is specially equipped to arrive at the scene, and drag the part of "the street".
To prevent excessive warming of air moving train on the water supply network with a total length of 540 kilometers, consisting of steel tubes with a diameter about half a meter, constantly circulates 84 tons of cold water. The network is powered by two factories, refrigerators - one on the French side, the other in English.
And, of course, the daily life of the tunnel LaManshskogo oversee computers combined into three systems of information control and communication ... with terrorists more difficult, but tough screening of passengers and vehicles must be effective enough. Task easier is that access to the tunnel is possible only through two entrances on the coasts. "