Catalogue description Channel Tunnel Construction Consortia: Tender Submission Documents

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Details of BS 29
Reference: BS 29
Title: Channel Tunnel Construction Consortia: Tender Submission Documents

The records in this series include details of various proposed Channel crossings and supporting documents that were submitted to the Department of Transport for approval, following the setting up in 1981 of a working group to investigate proposals for a Channel Tunnel. The records comprise the submissions made by four groups and a small number of departmental papers evaluating them in engineering terms.

Date: 1984-1985
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Channel Tunnel Group, 1985-1986

France Manche, 1985-1986

Physical description: 69 file(s)
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 2018 Department for Transport

Selection and destruction information: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

In 1981 the UK Prime Minister and the President of France agreed to set up a working group to investigate proposals for a Channel Tunnel and in June 1982 this Franco-British study group reported, favouring a twin railway tunnel served by both conventional trains and a vehicle carrying shuttle service. In April 1985 promoters were formally invited to submit scheme proposals.

Four submissions were shortlisted: Channel Tunnel Group/France-Manche (CTG/F–-M), a rail proposal based on the 1975 Channel Tunnel scheme; Eurobridge, a 4.5 km (2.8 miles) span suspension bridge with a roadway in an enclosed tube; Euroroute, a 13 mile tunnel between artificial islands approached by bridges; Channel Expressway, large diameter road tunnels with mid-channel ventilation towers.

The British Channel Tunnel Group consisted of two banks and five construction companies while their French counterparts France–Manche consisted of three banks and five construction companies. On 2 July 1985, the groups formed Channel Tunnel Group/France–Manche (CTG/F–M).

Public opinion strongly favoured a drive-through tunnel but ventilation issues, concerns about accident management and fear of driver mesmerisation led to the only shortlisted rail submission, Channel Tunnel Group/France- Manche (CTG/F-M), being awarded the project in January 1986. Among reasons given for the selection was that it caused least disruption to shipping in the Channel, least environmental disruption, was the best protected against terrorism and was the most likely to attract sufficient private finance. Following the award of the project CTG was subsumed by the newly formed Eurotunnel Plc and F-M was replaced with Eurotunnel SA and together these formed the Eurotunnel Group.

The design and construction of the Tunnel was done by the ten construction companies in the CTG/F-M group. The French terminal and boring from Sangatte was undertaken by the five French construction companies in the joint venture group GIE Transmanche Construction. The English Terminal and boring from Shakespeare Cliff was undertaken by the five British construction companies in the Translink Joint Venture. The two partnerships were linked by TransManche Link (TML), a bi-national project organisation. TML was thus contracted to build the tunnel for its customer, Eurotunnel, who would own and operate it.

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