As LeShuttle (formerley Eurotunnel Le Shuttle) marks its 30th anniversary in 2024. Here are 30 facts about this remarkable feat of engineering, which highlight its significance, innovation and impact on both sides of the Channel.

1. The Channel Tunnel is 32 miles long between the two terminals in Folkestone and Calais, and the undersea section is 25 miles long, making it the longest undersea tunnel in the world.

2. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II made history as the first passenger aboard LeShuttle on 6th May 1994, marking a momentous occasion in British and European transportation.

3. More than 100 million vehicles, and nearly 500 million people, have boarded LeShuttle since its inception.

A car driving through a LeShuttle coach

LeShuttle has transported more than 100 million vehicles in its time.

4. If you parked all nine LeShuttle passenger shuttles end to end they would stretch over four miles.

5. LeShuttle has transported more than 3.5 million pets since 2000, an average of 156k a year. They have also transported all kinds of weird and wonderful animals, including red pandas, jellyfish, sloths, orangutans, pythons, bears, wolves and even snow leopards.

6. Samphire Hoe Country Park owes its existence to the Channel Tunnel, as 4.9m cubic metres of chalk excavated during construction enlarged the British Isles by 90 acres.

7. Contrary to popular belief, the Channel Tunnel comprises not one, but three tunnels. Two carry LeShuttle passenger vehicles and freight, as well as Eurostar services, while a smaller service tunnel lies in between.

A woman and her dog aboard LeShuttle

Over 3.5 million pets have travelled on the service.

8. In 2014, Tour de France champion Chris Froome blazed a trail by becoming the first cyclist to pedal through the Channel Tunnel, completing the 31-mile journey in a remarkable 55 minutes.

9. BBC One’s Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge took on the tunnel in 2018, spending more than eight hours traversing its length.

10. The Channel Tunnel served as the backdrop for the Anglo-French crime drama series The Tunnel, filmed for Sky Atlantic.

11. Since its inauguration, the Channel Tunnel has welcomed the equivalent of six-times the population of the UK.

Two passengers waiting to board LeShuttle

Groups of all sizes can book, making it a much greener way to travel.

12. A staggering 1 million e-commerce express delivery parcels embark on LeShuttle daily, highlighting its pivotal role in modern trade and logistics.

13. A LeShuttle passenger train measures nearly 800m, equivalent to seven football pitches, showcasing the sheer scale of it.

14. Joining landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Panama Canal, the Channel Tunnel is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World as named by the American Society of Civil Engineers

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15. When the Channel Tunnel was completed, it reconnected Great Britain with the European mainland by land for the first time since the Ice Age, over 8,000 years ago.

16. More than 2 million passenger vehicles were transported in 2023 (up 6% on 2022).

17. The busiest day of 2023 was March 31st on which 7,858 passenger vehicles were transported on LeShuttle from Folkestone to Calais.

18. LeShuttle says it emits 73 times less CO2 compared to ferry travel.

19. 25% of the trade between the UK and the EU comes through the Channel Tunnel on LeShuttle.

Cars queuing to board LeShuttle

Source: Jacky Lannoy / Eurotunnel

The crossing from the UK to mainland Europe takes just 35 minutes.

20. Two million passenger vehicles use LeShuttle each year on average.

21. Over 480 million passengers have embarked on the Channel Tunnel journey over three decades.

22. The Channel Tunnel is built underneath the sea bed, and is 75m below sea level at its deepest point.

23. A train or shuttle navigates the tunnel every four minutes during peak hours.

24. Eleven tunnel boring machines, 450 km of pipe work, and seven years of intensive work laid the foundation of the tunnel.

Cars driving off of LeShuttle

Source: Dennis Watts LRPS

When the Channel Tunnel was first completed, it was the first time mainland Europe and the UK had been connected by land since the Ice Age.

25. The construction of the Channel Tunnel required 720,000 concrete segments.

26. 13,000 engineers, technicians and workers contributed towards building the tunnels.

27. Over the years, LeShuttle’s passenger side has travelled 54,000,000km, equivalent to circumnavigating the globe 1,350 times.

28. LeShuttle offers the quickest route to Europe, with a start-to-finish journey time of just 35 minutes.

29. LeShuttle travels at nearly 87 mph.

30. The 11 boring machines that dug the Channel Tunnel weighed 12,000 tonnes in total - heavier than the Eiffel Tower! One was too big to be removed from the tunnel itself so it simply made a left turn and was buried under the sea.

As well as coaches, group bookings are available for various types of vehicles, including scooters. Special rates also apply for 20 or more vehicles for those driving in separate vehicles. For more information about group travel with LeShuttle, go to