How deep is the channel tunnel?

Written by joy v. smith
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How deep is the channel tunnel?
Railway tunnels have been around for a long time. (twin railway tunnels image by green 308 from

Work on both sides of the English channel tunnel or Chunnel started in 1987. In French name is the Le tunnel sous la Manche and it's considered a wonder of the modern world. It's also on the list compiled by The American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Path and Depth

The tunnel's path runs from Folkestone, Kent, near Dover in the United Kingdom to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, near Calais in northern France. At its lowest point, it's 246 to 250 feet deep. The tunnel averages 150 feet deep.

How deep is the channel tunnel?
The White Cliffs of Dover, which are chalk (White Cliffs of Dover image by Angelika Bade from


The Channel tunnel had been discussed for about a century, but in the 1980s the French and English government commissioned studies and chose a railway tunnel. The Lower Chalk was the most stable pathway because it was waterproof, and thick and stable enough, so they tunnelled through the chalk from both sides.

How deep is the channel tunnel?
Seasickness was one reason for building the tunnel. (boats image by Warren Millar from

Dangers in the Tunnel

There was always fear of a build-up of car exhaust fumes, which is why the tunnel was built for trains. There already has been a disastrous fire in the tunnel in 2008.

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