Date set for Channel Tunnel re-opening

The complete reopening of the Channel Tunnel following last month’s serious fire is scheduled for mid-February 2009, it was announced today.

Tunnel operator Eurotunnel said the total budget for the restoration of the tunnel was expected to be “less than €60m”.

Eurotunnel added that it had approved contracts for the work to renovate the damaged section of tunnel and that a number of companies would be involved.

Jacques Gounon, chairman and chief executive of Groupe Eurotunnel, said: “Eurotunnel has retained a group of companies who all have an excellent knowledge of the Channel Tunnel and whose recognised skills can guarantee the safety and speed of the works.

“The goal is to regain full operations in the north tunnel by mid February to re-establish the best quality of service for our many customers.”

In last month’s fire, a total of 32 people were led to safety after a lorry on board a shuttle train caught alight about seven miles from Calais.

Services were severely disrupted for a short time but are now almost back to normal.

Transport Minister Lord Adonis said earlier this week that a full report on the fire from the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority would be produced by September 2009 at the latest.


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