The channel tunnel is really 3 tunnels, running parallel to each other. Trains go through 2 larger tunnels. A smaller service tunnel – used for ventilation and access – runs between the 2 train tunnels. The tunnels don’t run straight – they curve gently up and down or left and right.
How Does the Chunnel Work?
The Chunnel, or Channel Tunnel, is an underwater rail link between England and France that opened in 1994. It is the longest underwater tunnel in the world, stretching for more than 31 miles (50 km) beneath the English Channel. It is an engineering marvel, and many people wonder how it works.
The Chunnel is composed of three separate tunnels. Two of the tunnels are for trains travelling in opposite directions, and the third is used for service and emergency access. The tunnels are dug through the chalk bedrock of the seabed, and the walls and ceilings are lined with concrete.
The Chunnel is divided into three sections. The first is the central service tunnel, which is used by maintenance and emergency vehicles. The second is the north running tunnel, which carries trains from England to France. The third is the south running tunnel, which carries trains from France to England.
To operate the Chunnel, an electric traction system is used. This system is powered by electricity delivered via overhead catenary wires. The catenary wires are connected to an alternating current (AC) motor, which drives the train along the track. The traction system also houses lighting and ventilation systems that are needed to keep the tunnel safe and comfortable for passengers.