250 Millionth Person Through Channel Tunnel

21 July 2010, 07:57 | Updated: 21 July 2010, 09:10

It's a big milestone for the Channel Tunnel as the 250 millionth customer travels under the channel to France.

That's the equivalent of nearly four times the population of the UK using the tunnel since it opened in 1994.

Around 1 million trucks and 2 million cars use the tunnel each year, along with 55,000 coaches, 2,500 rail freight trains and 10 million Eurostar passengers.

The Channel Tunnel is the longest undersea tunnel in the world at 38km and there are a total of three tunnels linking Folkestone with Coquelles in northern France.

Construction of the tunnel started in 1988 and it was eventually opened six years later (pictured).

Channel tunnelSince it opened, there have been three fires in the tunnel. The most recent was in September 2008 when a fire started on a freight train heading towards France.

The tunnel was completely closed for two days, and services didn't resume completely until February 2009 after major repairs were carried out.

Last winter five Eurostar trains, with 2,000 people on board. broke down inside the tunnel when snow on the trains caused a problem with the electricity supply to the tracks.

It was the first time a Eurostar train had had to be evacuated inside the tunnel which was able to reopen the following morning.