Chunnel

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Chunnel

Postby Smythe Dakota » Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:57 am

In the Chunnel (the underwater auto tunnel connecting France with the U.K.), do autos drive on the right, as in France, or on the left, as in the U.K.? Does anybody know?

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Re: Chunnel

Postby MCC » Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:37 am

Smythe Dakota wrote:In the Chunnel (the underwater auto tunnel connecting France with the U.K.), do autos drive on the right, as in France, or on the left, as in the U.K.? Does anybody know?

Bill Smythe

Neither.

The cars are loaded onto trains.

Channel tunnel.


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Postby JPF » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:18 pm

To anticipate the next question :

Wikipedia wrote:Trains
Trains often do not operate on the same side of the road as cars do. In France for instance, trains drive on the left, with the exception of the Alsace region where they keep to the right because the lines were built in the late 19th century when Alsace had been part of Germany where trains also go on the right.
...............

Countries with trains generally keeping to the left (incomplete list) :
• Argentina
• Australia
• Belgium
• Denmark
France (except the Alsace region)
• Hong Kong
• India
• Ireland
• Italy
• Japan
• Portugal
• Singapore
• Slovenia
• South Africa
• Spain
• Sweden
• Switzerland
• Taiwan (except Taipei Rapid Transit System)
UK

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Postby Smythe Dakota » Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:50 am

Also true in some places in the USA. The Chicago and North Western Railway, for example, advertised itself as a southpaw railroad, explaining that, as the lines were built outward from Chicago, stations were traditionally built on the right (as viewed from an outbound train), so that, when the lines later went to double tracks, it made more sense to have the stations neighboring the inbound track than the outbound.

This is still reflected in Chicago-area suburban commuter trains, where the three lines operated by Union Pacific (which bought out Chicago and North Western a few years ago) still operate on the left. All other Chicago-area lines (I believe) operate on the right.

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Postby Smythe Dakota » Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:54 am

Anyway, the next question is, do trains in the Chunnel operate on the left or the right? My guess: Both. Whichever track a train is on, it presumably reverses itself and uses the same track for the return trip. Thus they'd always have two trains in service at any given moment, one in each direction, one on each track, and neither would ever have to switch tracks.

At least, that's how they do it on those little people-mover trains at the Las Vegas airport.

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Postby JPF » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:53 am

Image

Smythe Dakota wrote:Anyway, the next question is, do trains in the Chunnel operate on the left or the right? My guess: Both. Whichever track a train is on, it presumably reverses itself and uses the same track for the return trip. Thus they'd always have two trains in service at any given moment, one in each direction, one on each track, and neither would ever have to switch tracks.

Um, it would be messy in the tunnel:(

EuroTunnel wrote:The Channel Tunnel is 50km long.
At peak times, such intense use means one train every 3 minutes.
Eurotunnel Shuttles are 800m long and travel at 140km/h.

How many trains are in the tunnel at peak times:?:

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Postby Smythe Dakota » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:38 am

Hmm, there would have to be slightly more than 7 trains in each direction, for a total of almost 15 -- and that's not taking into account stationary time for loading and unloading at each end, and for switching. So it's probably around 20.

So that validates my original question -- do they travel on the left or right? Since, according to another post, both British and French trains travel on the left, that makes my next guess easy.

Apparently there's a massive rail yard at each end. There would have to be, with trains operating so frequently.

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Postby udosuk » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:08 pm

Bill, I see you are a lazy reader (just like me:D ), so I'll quote directly from the source MCC gave you:

Wikipedia wrote:The current tunnel

The Channel Tunnel consists of three parallel tunnels running between the respective portals, or tunnel entrances, at either end. There are two rail tunnels, measuring 25 feet (7.6 m) in diameter and about 98 feet (30 m) apart, which carry trains north and south. In between the two rail tunnels is a service tunnel, measuring 16 feet (4.8 m) in diameter. The service tunnel, served by narrow rubber-tyred vehicles, is connected by cross-passages to the main tunnels at intervals of approximately 1,230 feet (375 m). It allows maintenance workers access to the rail tunnels and provides a safe route for escape during emergencies.

The two running tunnels are directly linked every 820 feet (250 m) by pressure relief ducts (PRDs) that pass over the top of the service tunnel and do not connect to it. The PRDs alleviate the piston effect of trains by allowing airflow from moving trains to pass into the other running tunnel. Additionally, there are enormous caverns near each end of the tunnel allowing for a rail crossover between the main tunnels.

At each portal there is a major facility allowing for trains to disassemble and turn around, including customs, maintenance, and other necessary services. The French portal facility is as large as Heathrow airport.


I think this gives almost all the info you need to know...:idea:

(I suppose the North-bound tube is naturally to the West of the South-bound tube...)
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Postby MCC » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:48 pm

Wikipedia wrote:In an unusual move, the British and French governments agreed to provide immigration staff at opposite ends of the tunnel; thus the French immigration control posts are located in the United Kingdom, while the British ones are in France. This leads occasionally to unusual incidents, for example when a French police officer wandered into the non-international part of Waterloo station while carrying a firearm.[4] In the 1990s, the French authorities tried to arrest a French national working in the British terminal at Folkestone who had been evading French military service.

So technically you'll be on French soil whilst still in Britain and British soil whilst still in France.


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Postby Bigtone53 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:06 pm

Folklore has it that when some years ago, it was decided that Sweden would change from driving on the left to driving on the right, it was announced that the change would be made 'gradually'.
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Postby underquark » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:54 pm

I think you'll find that it was Ireland who proposed that trucks try it out one week followed by cars the next. This was just shortly after they proposed buying two Concordes - one for crop-spraying and the other for air-sea rescue.
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