How to cross the border channel tunnel

Written by gail chandler
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The Channel Tunnel, or "Chunnel," provides a route between England and France under the English Channel. The tunnel is 31 miles long, with 24 miles of the tunnel actually below the surface. Passengers can travel the Channel Tunnel on high-speed trains. One option is the Eurotunnel, which operates rail service for passengers and their vehicles between Folkestone, England, and Calais, France.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Passport and visa (if required)
  • Car insurance and registration (if travelling the Eurotunnel)

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  1. 1

    Know when you want to travel. The Eurotunnel operates trains 24 hours a day. There are two trains per hour from 6 in the morning until midnight, and one train per hour from midnight until 6 a.m. The Eurotunnel is busiest from about 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are two single-track, single-direction tunnels, with one going in each direction.

  2. 2

    Make advance reservations to travel the Eurotunnel. The prices are cheaper, and you will be guaranteed travel. Call ahead or book online at the Eurotunnel website (see Resources section).

  3. 3

    Be sure to have your travel documents, including passport and visa, car registration and insurance handy to show to officials. If you are renting a car, have your rental agreement available.

  4. 4

    Arrive at least an hour before departure time. This will allow you time to check in, go through security and board.

  5. 5

    Drive your car onto the train. Attendants, officials and clearly marked signs will guide you into the train and to a parking spot.

  6. 6

    Once you arrive, attendants and officials will guide you off the train and direct you toward the highway.

Tips and warnings

  • For the best fares and availability, book at least a day in advance of travel.
  • There are several ticket options. Be sure to pick the one best suited to your travel needs.
  • Check for specials available for museum and attraction tickets purchased with your Eurotunnel ticket.
  • There may be a fine if you do not arrive early for your departure. Check with the Eurotunnel office to be sure.

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