20 January:    Choice of the France Manche – Channel Tunnel Group project

10 March:       Offices in Clamart for the first team of TMC.

30 may:          Public information meeting by Eurotunnel and TransManche Construction (TMC) in Calais

13 August:      Signature of the contract between TransManche Link (TML) and Eurotunnel.

1 September: Arrival of the TMC staff on the construction site

1 October:      First offices of TMC in a villa at Sangatte.

15 October:    TMC leaves Clamart for Saint-Quentin – Yvelines.

4 November: Granting of the building permit of the Sangatte shaft.

6 November: Start of the Sangatte shaft works.

7 November:  First TBM order for the service tunnel under sea Tunnel Boring Machine.



5 January:      Start of the diaphragm walls of Sangatte shaft.

13 February:  Announcement by TMC of a minimum rate of 75% regional labour hiring.

15 June:          Start of the work of the Fond Pignon Dam.

10 August:      Installation of all TMC staff on the sites and in Calais.

15 October:    Start of the work of the Coquelles Terminal.

10 October:    TMC Forum – Regional Companies in Lille.

31 October:    Staff number on the French site reaches 1,000 people.

29 November:            Start of the tunnel driving in Great Britain.

10 November: first French segment prefabrication.

21 December: Completion of the Sangatte shaft.



28 January:    Visit of the President of the Republic François Mitterrand who goes down to the bottom of the Sangatte shaft.

29 January:    The Service Tunnel TBM T1 is transported through Coquelles, from the Port of Calais to join the Sangatte shaft on a 192 wheels trailer..

30 January:     The TBM T1 goes down in the Sangatte shaft.

March 2:         Start of the French tunnels in France by the T1 TBM Brigitte in the service tunnel under sea.

24 June:          Stopping of the TBM T1 due to the breaking of the screw used to excavate materials.

28 June:          Start of French under land service tunnel by the T4 TBM Virginie, second TBM in service.

20 July:           Commissioning of the TBM T1 after a rapid repair of the broken extraction screw at the Calais workshops of the SOCARENAM Company.

4 September: If the 215 meters progress in the first 6 months of the TBM T1 is considered insufficient here or there, it does not worry unduly professionals who manage the updates needed to adapt this prototype machine to the unforeseen geological conditions encountered.

25 September Even though the T4 TBM is still in startup period, the actual progress of 90 meters per week after 3 months, is reassuring as to the actual abilities of all the TBMs.

30 September: Staff number on the French site reaches 2,000 people.

28 November: Start of the undersea French north running tunnel by the T2 TBM Europa, 3 TBMs are in service.


30 January:     Start of the French under land south running tunnel by the T5 TBM Pascaline. 4 TBMs are in service.

27 March:       Start of the French undersea south running tunnel by the T3 TBM Catherine, the 5 TBMs are in service.

27 April:          First breakthrough on the French side of the TBM T4: completion of the underground service tunnel.

10 June:          Prefabrication of the 50,000th segment.

20 August:      Guy Joly is victim of a fatal accident at the PK 4.1 of the undersea service tunnel.

31 October:    Staff number on the French site reaches 3,000 people.

18 December: Second breakthrough of TBM T5: completion of the under land south running tunnel. The T5 becomes the T6 as it is turned back 180 °.

19 December: Prefabrication of the 100,000th segment.



23 February:  Start of French under land north running tunnel by the T6 TBM Séverine.

May 15:          René-Saint-Georges is victim of a fatal accident on the segment prefabrication plant Park.

June 3:            Extra height of the Fond Pignon dam to accommodate the additional filling of the 8.15 Km overburden drilled by the French undersea tunnels.

31 August:      French site peaks at 5234 number of TMC staff and subcontractors.

15 October:    Start of the works of the French crossover.

22 October:    Prefabrication of the 200.000th segment.

30 October:    A borehole probe of 108 meters, drilled between the 2 undersea French and English service tunnels allows checking the accuracy of their respective positions.

31 October:    The T1, TBM prototype and pioneer, ends its 15.6 km course, an exemplary achievement by tenacity, competence and enthusiasm of its team who always solved the countless geological and mechanical difficulties encountered.

29 November:  Third breakthrough with the T6, in the Sangatte shaft: the boring of the

underground tunnels is completed.

1 December:   The historical breakthrough…  Britain is quite no more an Island… 4th French breakthrough… and an unforgettable moment for all the builders Philippe Cozette welcomes Graham Fagg.



26 April:          the T2 TBM of the undersea north running tunnel crosses the border.

May 16:          Trade union book workers try to go to England through the service tunnel.

May 22:          5th breakthrough with the end of the 20.007 meters boring of the French undersea north running tunnel.

May 30:          Prefabrication of the 248.165th and last segment.

June 22:          Discovery at the pumping station SW3 of a 95 million years old Cretaceous mollusk giant anapuzosia fossil.

June 28:          6th and last French breakthrough with the completion of the undersea south running tunnel. End of the boring of the 150 km of tunnels 3 days ahead of the original program.

July 8:             The ball of the 1991 rugby World Cup crosses the English Channel by the service tunnel.

July 15:            start of prefabrication of the 340,000 sleepers for the tunnels railway tracks.

December 6:   Visit the tunnels by the families of employees of TMC.

December 20: End of digging the cross passages.



January 20:     Completion of the work of the French crossover.

April 2:            Delivery of the works of the traffic control building of the Terminal.

April 3:            The Duke of Edinburgh crosses the Channel in a boxcar for personnel.

May 5:            Beginning of the concreting of the invert of the running tunnels.

July 31:           Completion of the shuttles maintenance building of the Terminal F40.

September 4: Inauguration of the road interchanges of Fort Nieulay: entrance door to the Tunnel.

October 15:    Beginning of the laying of the final track in tunnels.

December 14: Delivery of the first Brush locomotive.

December 20: Switching on of the catenary system of the Terminal.



January 28:     Statutes of the Amicale des bâtisseurs are published in the Official Gazette.

March 12:       First crossing of a train on permanent track.

March 15:       End of the work of the Terminal.

June 20:          A towed Eurostar train goes through the Channel tunnel.

July 1:             End of the work of the electromechanical equipment.

5 July:             Switching on of the catenary system.

September 6: Beginning of the tests of the rolling stock in the tunnel.

October 15:    The central control centre takes the system in hand.

December 10: Handing over the keys of the Tunnel under the Channel by TML to Eurotunnel.



January 28:     At Coquelles, first General Assembly of the Amicale des bâtisseurs du Tunnel sous la Manche.

May 6:            At Coquelles, Inauguration of the Channel Tunnel by Elisabeth II, Queen of England and François Mitterrand, President of the French Republic.




Conception, construction et chantier du Tunnel sous la Manche