National Geographic : 1994 May
Adream (or nightmare) come true The ultimate British nightmare, invasion by tunnel, mate rializes in an 1803 French engraving. For two centu ries the idea of an under-Channel link repeatedly surfaced, only to founder on the shoals of British anxiety. "The reputation of England has hitherto y n/ depended upon her being, as it were, virgo intacta," proclaimed Lord Randolph Chur chill in torpedoing an 1889 proposal. Cros ' Chalkm art To dig the tunnel, Fa,,u - Gault .ay engineers followed a layer of Green nd chalk marl laid down 95 million years ago. "A tunneler's dream," Colin Kirkland, the project's technical director, calls the 80-foot-thick bed of stone. Impervious to water, soft as soap, the . : : marl extends in a nearly unbroken line from Folkestone to Coquelles. T ,I s -.