1875: Proposal for a Tunnel Under the Channel

In 1875 a book "Nouveau Projet de Tunnel Transmarin pour la Traversée de la Manche" was published in Paris. The author was J. Castanier.

The proposal was for a double-track tunnel consisting of two separate tubes. The picture below shows one of the tubes.  There is an elevated compartment for the guard on the  last coach!
The parallell tubes where to be connected by transversal tubes at intervals. Several such connections are shown above. One reason for the connections was to increase the strenght of the unnel structure. .

Smoke emission from the engines might become a problem. Castanier proposed to this end that the tunnel should emerge briefly on an artificial island built on the banks of Varne. At these banks the depth of the channel was only five metres. The picture below shows most of the tunnel; it is remarked that the drawing is not to scale.  Dover is to the left,  Calais to the right. 

Hela tunneln

Below is a detail picture of the artificial island with the "breathing station" (Gare de respiration).  The diameter of the island was to be 150 - 200 metres.  It should be provided with lighthouses and a staff building. The turntables where probably for temporary storage of defect rolling stock, and perhaps cars for provisions to the staff of the island station.
Konstgjord ö

All pictures scanned from a copy of Castaniers book found in the library of Svenska Järnvägsklubbens (the Swedish Railway Club) .

1917: Signalling for  an Electrified Channel Tunnel

Railway Gazette (UK) for November 23, 1917, had a description of signalling and safety measures for a tunnel between England and France. The summary below is from an abstract of this article in "Railway Signal Engineer" (USA) for February 1918 [pp 59-60]:

General Data

Block Working and Safety Arrangements in Tunnel




Last updated November 18,  2006