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The 'Chunnel' officially opens

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A centuries-old dream comes to fruition today as an underwater tunnel joining England and France is officially opened. Queen Elizabeth II and French president François Mitterrand cut the ribbon on the Channel Tunnel, or "Chunnel," the 50-kilometer tunnel under the English Channel that provides a historic land link between the two nations. In this 1994 report from CBC-TV's The National, Ann MacMillan covers the ceremony and the excitement surrounding the opening of this marvel of engineering and symbol of greater European unity.
• The first recorded proposal for a tunnel under the English Channel dates back to 1802. French engineer Albert Mathieu proposed the link to French leader Napoleon Bonaparte during the very brief Peace of Amiens -- March 1802 to May 1803 -- between England and France.

• The Chunnel is spans 50 kilometers, 37 of which are underwater. The average depth is 45 meters below the seabed.

• One year after the Chunnel opened, tunnel operator Eurotunnel announced a loss of £925 million ($1.9 billion Cdn), one of the biggest in UK corporate history at the time. The Chunnel first ran a profit in 2008, 14 years after opening.

Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: May 6, 1994
Guest(s): Queen Elizabeth, François Mitterrand
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Ann MacMillan
Duration: 2:10

Last updated: May 7, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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