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Britain, France Plan Channel Rail Tunnels
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Jan 21, 1986
Start Page: 1
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

In a decision that could break the historic and geographic isolation of Britain, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Francois Mitterrand of France announced approval Monday of an enormous $6.6-billion project to realize an engineering dream of old-the linking of Britain to France by two railroad tunnels beneath the English Channel.

In Britain, the decision to build only rail tunnels was regarded as a kind of defeat for Thatcher, who was known to favor a bridge or tunnel for cars as well but gave in to French insistence on the rail lines. Perhaps to assuage her, the joint announcement held out some hope of a future, additional road link.

The three proposals rejected by Mitterrand and Thatcher were an elaborate scheme of bridges, sea islands and a tunnel for cars with a longer separate tunnel for trains; a system of parallel tunnels for cars and trains, and a plan for a bridge across the channel for cars and an underwater tunnel for trains.

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