The earliest detailed proposal for a tunnel dates from the peace of Amiens in 1802, suggesting two tunnels with horse‐drawn vehicles and stabling facilities. Mercifully it was not built. The invention of railways made the project more practical. The London, Chatham, and Dover Company made some exploratory digs and an English Channel Company was formed in 1872. In 1966, the prime ministers of France and Britain pledged themselves to have the tunnel built. Work began in December 1987 and the tunnelling was completed by June 1991. The official opening by President Mitterrand and Queen Elizabeth II was in May 1994. After a series of embarrassing and entertaining mishaps, the first travellers passed through in November 1994.
Subjects: British History.