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Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel is a 50.45-kilometre railway tunnel that connects Folkestone, Kent, in England, with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, near Calais in northern France, beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. It is the only fixed link between the island of the European mainland. At its lowest point, it is 75 m deep below 115 m below sea level. At 37.9 kilometres, the tunnel has the longest underwater section of any tunnel in the world. The speed limit for trains through the tunnel is 160 kilometres per hour; the tunnel carries high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, the Eurotunnel Shuttle for road vehicles—the largest such transport in the world—and international freight trains. The tunnel connects end-to-end with the high-speed railway lines of the LGV Nord and High Speed 1. In 2017, through rail services carried 10.3 million passengers and 1.22 million tonnes of freight, the Shuttle carried 10.4 million passengers, 2.6 million cars, 51,000 coaches, 1.6 million lorries. This compares with 11.7 million passengers, 2.6 million lorries and 2.2 million cars through the Port of Dover.

Plans to build a cross-Channel fixed link appeared as early as 1802, but British political and media pressure over the compromising of national security had disrupted attempts to build a tunnel. An early attempt at building a Channel Tunnel was made in the late 19th century, on the English side, "in the hope of forcing the hand of the English Government"; the eventual successful project, organised by Eurotunnel, began construction in 1988 and opened in 1994. At £5.5 billion, it was at the time the most expensive construction project proposed. The cost amounted to £9 billion, well over its predicted budget. Since its construction, the tunnel has experienced a few mechanical problems. Both fires and cold weather have temporarily disrupted its operation. People have been attempting to use the tunnel to illegally travel to the UK since at least 1997, creating the ongoing issue of the migrants around Calais on the French side, causing both diplomatic disagreement and violence. In 1802, Albert Mathieu-Favier, a French mining engineer, put forward a proposal to tunnel under the English Channel, with illumination from oil lamps, horse-drawn coaches, an artificial island positioned mid-Channel for changing horses.

Mathieu-Favier's design envisaged a bored two-level tunnel with the top tunnel used for transport and the bottom one for groundwater flows. In 1839, Aimé Thomé de Gamond, a Frenchman, performed the first geological and hydrographical surveys on the Channel, between Calais and Dover. Thomé de Gamond explored several schemes and, in 1856, he presented a proposal to Napoleon III for a mined railway tunnel from Cap Gris-Nez to Eastwater Point with a port/airshaft on the Varne sandbank at a cost of 170 million francs, or less than £7 million. In 1865, a deputation led by George Ward Hunt proposed the idea of a tunnel to the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day, William Ewart Gladstone. Around 1866, William Low and Sir John Hawkshaw promoted ideas, but apart from preliminary geological studies none were implemented. An official Anglo-French protocol was established in 1876 for a cross-Channel railway tunnel. In 1881, the British railway entrepreneur Sir Edward Watkin and Alexandre Lavalley, a French Suez Canal contractor, were in the Anglo-French Submarine Railway Company that conducted exploratory work on both sides of the Channel.

On the English side a 2.13-metre diameter Beaumont-English boring machine dug a 1,893-metre pilot tunnel from Shakespeare Cliff. On the French side, a similar machine dug 1,669 m from Sangatte; the project was abandoned in May 1882, owing to British political and press campaigns asserting that a tunnel would compromise Britain's national defences. These early works were encountered more than a century during the TML project. A 1907 film, Tunnelling the English Channel by pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès, depicts King Edward VII and President Armand Fallières dreaming of building a tunnel under the English Channel. In 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference, the British prime minister, David Lloyd George brought up the idea of a Channel tunnel as a way of reassuring France about British willingness to defend against another German attack; the French did not take the idea and nothing came of Lloyd George's proposal. In the 1920s, Winston Churchill had advocated for the Channel Tunnel, using that exact name in an essay entitled "Should Strategists Veto The Tunnel?"

The essay was published on 27 July 1924 in the Weekly Dispatch, argued vehemently against the idea that the tunnel could be used by a Continental enemy in an invasion of Britain. Churchill expressed his enthusiasm for the project again in an article for the Daily Mail on 12 February 1936, "Why Not A Channel Tunnel?"There was another proposal in 1929, but nothing came of this discussion and the idea was shelved. Proponents estimated the construction cost at US$150 million; the engineers had addressed the concerns of both nations' military leaders by designing two sumps—one near the coast of each country—that could be flooded at will to block the tunnel. But this did not appease military leaders, other concerns about hordes of tourists who would disrupt English life. Military fears continued during the Second World War. After the fall of France, as Britain prepared for an expected German invasion, a Royal Navy officer in the Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development calculated that Hitler c

LU postcode area

The LU postcode area known as the Luton postcode area, is a group of seven postcode districts in England, within three post towns. These cover south small parts of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire; the Luton post town forms a group of LU1 to LU4, in the east. The Dunstable post town forms a central strip of two postcode districts, LU5 in the north and LU6 in the south; the Leighton Buzzard post town forms LU7, in the west. The approximate coverage of the postcode districts: Perry Green was used as the locality in the LU2 postal addresses of some properties in Peters Green. Old Linslade was used in the LU7 addresses of Old Linslade, but these now include the words Heath and Reach. Postcode Address File List of postcode areas in the United Kingdom Royal Mail's Postcode Address File A quick introduction to Royal Mail's Postcode Address File

Knokke Casino

Knokke Casino is a sea-front casino in the town of Knokke, in the administrative community Knokke-Heist, in the province of West Flanders in Flanders, Belgium. The largest of Belgium's ten casinos, it is known for its artwork by Keith Haring, René Magritte and Paul Delvaux, it is the first in different Belgian towns, designed by Léon Stynen. The late twenties building was damaged during the second world war; the subsequent renovation allowed surrealist master Magritte to create a giant 360° mural, finished in 1953, comprising eight panels called The Enchanted Domain. The Kroonluchterzaal contains a 6-ton chandelier made of Venetian crystal; the chandelier is 6.5 metres high. Some 22,000 pieces of glass were used and 2,700 lamps light up the main hall, it was created by designer Al.. David. Former members of the Casino's orchestra include, in composer and violist, Jef Maes. Among the events held at the casino are finals of the Miss Belgium contest, competitions to select the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, the premiere of Hugo Claus' dramatic sketch Masscheroen.

In July 1963, Jacques Brel headlined at casino for the fifth Coupe d'Europe de Tour de Chant. During this engagement, he performed the classic "Mathilde" for the first time. Media related to Casino Knokke at Wikimedia Commons Official website