Early history; In 1802, French mining engineer, Albert Mathieu-Favier put forward the first ever design for a Channel Tunnel, closely followed in 1803 by an English design proposal by Henri Mottray.
From 1830, the advent of steam trains and the construction of the rail network in Britain led to the first proposals for a rail tunnel. By the mid 19th century, French mining engineer, Thomé de Gamond had spend 30 years working on seven different designs.
The first attempt at a tunnel excavation began in 1880 when the Beaumont & English tunnel boring machine began digging undersea on both sides of the Channel. In 1955, the British Defence Minister announced that he no longer opposed a fixed link on military ground.
The project was formally launched in 1973 by Edward Heath, British Prime Minister, and by George Pompidou, French President. The project was abandoned at the beginning of 1975 due to the fuel crisis.
On 30 November 1984, the British and French Governments announced their intention to seek private promoters for the construction and operation of a fixed link without public funding.
Margaret Thatcher and François Mitterrand announced that the Eurotunnel bid had been selected.