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This article is about the Eurotunnel company.
See the Channel Tunnelmarker for a description of the underground structure.

Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. ( , ) manages and operates the Channel Tunnelmarker between Great Britainmarker and Francemarker. The Company operates the car shuttle services and earns revenue on other trains (freight by DB Schenker (formerly EWS) and SNCF and passenger service by Eurostar) passing through the tunnel. It is listed both on the London Stock Exchange and the Euronext.

The railway operation involves of double track railway in the main tunnels, plus extensive surface-level terminal facilities at Folkestone in the UK and at Frethun in France; the Eurotunnel operation is entirely self-contained, with connections near the two terminals to the respective national railway networks. Signalling and electric traction supply at 25kV ac are also under Eurotunnel control.

Train operation consists of operating shuttle trains conveying cars and separate trains conveying heavy goods vehicles between the two terminals. Other trains passing through Eurotunnel infrastructure are operated by the respective owners.


The Company was formed on 13 August 1986 with the objective of financing, building and operating a tunnel between Englandmarker and Francemarker.

The Company let a contract for the construction of the tunnel to TransManche Link. The tunnel cost around £9.5bn to build, about double its original estimate of £4.7bn. The tunnel, which was financed partly from investment by shareholders and partly from £8bn of debt, was officially opened on 6 May 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II and President François Mitterrand. In its first year of operation the Company lost £925m because of disappointing revenues from passengers and freight together with heavy interest charges on its £8bn of debt.

In April 2004, a dissident shareholder group led by Nicholas Miguet succeeded in taking control of the board. However in February 2005 Jean-Louis Raymond, the Chief Executive who had been appointed following the boardroom coup during the previous year, resigned and Jacques Gounon took complete control becoming Chief Executive as well as Chairman.

In July 2006, shareholders voted on a deal which would have seen half the debt, by then reduced to £6.2bn, exchanged for 87% of the equity. However, this plan failed and, on 2 August 2006 the company was placed into bankruptcy protection by a French court for six months.

In May 2007 a new restructuring plan was approved by shareholders whereby Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup agreed to provide £2.8bn of long term funding, the balance of the debt was exchanged for equity, and the shareholders agreed to waive the unlimited free travel and other perks that they had enjoyed.

Following the restructuring, Eurotunnel was able to announce a small net profit - €1 million for 2007 - for the first time in its existence. Half-year earnings for 2008 rose to €26 million (£20.6m). The net profit for 2008 was €40 million, despite the costs associated with traffic loss (from September 2008 to February 2009) following a fire in the Channel Tunnelmarker, and this allowed Eurotunnel to issue its first ever dividend of €0.04 per Euro value.

The return to financial health allowed Eurotunnel to announce on October 28, 2009 the anticipated voluntary redemption of some of its convertible debt. By anticipating to November 2009 the reimbursement of debt due in July 2010, Eurotunnel aimed to issue up to 119.4 million new ordinary shares and thus shore up its capital while reducing its debt load.

In late 2009 Eurotunnel and SNCF acquired Veolia Cargo splitting the business between them; Eurotunnel took over french operations: the subsidaries Veolia Cargo France, Veolia Cargo Link and CFTA Cargo acquired by Eurotunnel are expected to be rebranded as Europorte France, Europorte Link and Europorte proximity and become part of its Europorte freight business. Socorail has not been announced as being rebranded.


The subsidary Europorte operates freight trains in France as well as the through channel freight services performed by Europorte 2 before 2009


Car shuttle

The Company operates the Eurotunnel Shuttle car shuttle services with the use of the following locomotives:



Electric locomotives operate vehicle shuttles.

Eurostar and other services

Eurotunnel also earns revenue by levying charges on Eurostar (currently £25 per passenger per return journey) and other operators for use of the tunnel.


  1. Eurotunnel: History
  2. Channel tunnel project has made Britain £10bn poorer
  3. Bank debt causes £925m loss at Eurotunnel
  4. Chief of Eurotunnel quits amid turmoil on board
  5. Eurotunnel completes Veolia Cargo takeover James Faulkner 1/12/2009
  6. Interview with Eurostar Chief Executive

See also

External links

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