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    Examining The Project Of The Channel Tunnel Construction Essay

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    The Channel Tunnel is considered to be the largest private sector substructure undertaking of the 20th century. It is a fixed nexus transit system consisting duplicate rail tunnels with an extra service tunnel each 50.5 kilometers in length. These run below the English Channel linking England and France. The terminuss can be found in Folkstone in the UK and Coquelles, near Calais in France.

    In 1986, a pact of Canterbury was signed set uping the political model for the undertaking. This addressed issues such as legal power, national boundaries and governmental engagement, accordingly specifying the function of the Intergovernmental Commission ( IGC ) and Safety Authority. In the same twelvemonth, the Concession Agreement was awarded to Eurotunnel ( ET ) , a bi-national company formed by the Channel Tunnel Group ( UK ) and France Manche S.A. ( France ) for 65 old ages. Eurotunnel later became proprietor and operator of the undertaking and awarded the building contract to Transmanche Link ( TML ) for the tunnel ‘s design, building, proving and commissioning. ET besides became linked to the Bankss via a loan understanding and to national railroads via a usage understanding.

    The range of the undertaking entailed the development of a system to suit the transportation of regular traffic through airport-sized terminuss onto an wholly new rail system with minimal theodolite clip and birds going at high velocities with high capacity in a confined tunnel environment. This therefore defined the engineering to be used, since a high integrating was required between plants and specific conveyance equipment, an unprecedented peal stock which included the heaviest traffic on tracks, and the largest real-time information system of all time employed to pull off birds going at high velocities.

    Undertaking Roles and Duties

    Undertaking Sponsor

    As the undertaking was in private funded, the patron had to raise finance on an unprecedented graduated table through bank loans and equity while doing portions available to the populace. The loan was secured through a pool of 203 Bankss worldwide. An addition in finance during the class of the undertaking was necessary to suit for the antecedently inconsiderate demands of the IGC and for safety and environmental concerns every bit good as the blessing of alterations made to the undertaking program by the director to turn to the committee ‘s concerns and the grade of fast-tracking between the several stages of the undertakings. Contractual issues had to be resolved during the class of the undertaking, with a revised understanding to that made with TML in 1987 being drawn up. As installing of equipment progressed, the concern shifted to the preparation of forces for the operation of the conveyance system. Keeping communicating between both sides of the tunnel was besides important in accomplishing undertaking success.

    Undertaking Manager

    The undertaking director ‘s chief duty was to be after and organize the undertaking efficaciously to run into the patron ‘s design and building specifications while adhering to be and clip restraints. During the building stage, the undertaking director had to name sub-contractors for assorted phases of the undertaking, with fixed-price contracts issued to cut down costs. Other responsibilities included the alteration of the undertaking program to suit for alterations in the original design necessitated by force per unit areas from the Intergovernmental Commission and accounting for safety and environmental concerns. The undertaking director besides had to guarantee that there was effectual communicating between the Gallic and the English sides of the tunnel building.

    Undertaking Timeline


    Jan 1990 – entire tunnel bored reached 50km

    Dec 1986 – Geotechnical survey of Shakespeare Cliff carried out. Cross channel studies developed for the 1974-1975 tunnel undertaking were refined utilizing the latest orbiter observations

    Nov. 1987 – Fundss arranged numbering ?5 billion

    Oct 1990 – Eurotunnel Signs understanding for ?1.8 billion extra bank recognition installations

    June 1992 – The installing of complex signalling, control and communicating system begins.

    Nov 1993 – Commissioning Program Menachem begins

    August 1987 – Construction work begins on both UK ( Shakespeare Cliff ) and Gallic ( Sangatte ) sides of the channel

    Figure 1: Fast-track programme for Channel Tunnel [ Event day of the months obtained from Wilson & A ; Spark ( 1994 ) ]

    Original Project Objectives

    The cardinal aim of the tunnel was to offer a comfy, fast, frequent and dependable transit service that linked the United Kingdom to France via the English Channel. ET suggested that that two rail tunnels and a service tunnel be constructed. The service tunnel was to be fitted with safety and electronic equipment of the highest criterion while the rail tunnels were to be designed to suit shuttle velocities between 100 to 160 kilometers per hour with an mean journey clip of three hours between London and Paris.

    The undertaking was ab initio scheduled for opening on the 15 May, 1993. This meant that the clip taken between design consideration and completion of the undertaking was set at seven old ages. Since Eurotunnel could non get down gaining grosss until the tunnel became operational, schedule overproductions were linked straight to loss of gross, and were considered a more detrimental effect than direct cost additions. Based on the conceptual design, the budget was estimated at ?5 billion.

    It can hence be observed that the quality of the system was of greatest importance in this undertaking. A via media was necessary between the coveted quality and the clip taken to accomplish this quality, since as the clip increased, so did the costs ( in the signifier of lost gross ) . Figure 2 indicates the time-cost-quality relationship for the Channel Tunnel undertaking. The ruddy point represents the comparative importance of quality with regard to clip.

    Figure 2: Time-Cost-Quality Analysis

    Undertaking Strategy

    The graduated table of design was monolithic and accordingly broken into several smaller undertakings that ran at the same time to accomplish the overall aims.

    Realistic clip estimations for the undertaking were obtained from elaborate agenda planning during the origin stage of the undertaking. This included activity definition, activity sequencing, and activity continuance to develop a baseline undertaking agenda. During the class of the undertaking, monitoring and re-evaluation of the clip estimations were performed by the execution of a hierarchal planning/control system. This allowed overall strategic planning, proper coverage to direction and elaborate logging of daily activities utilizing a computerized coverage system to supervise the advancement on all facets of the undertaking.

    Harmonizing to the Channel Tunnel Treaty, Eurotunnel had to obtain support for the undertaking from private beginnings, without authorities assistance or loan warrants. Hence, funding was obtained through equity and loan capital markets.

    The Intergovernmental Commission ( IGC ) was put into topographic point to guarantee the quality aims were achieved. This included execution of a Safety Authority which was responsible for monitoring and stipulating design processs, specifications, building and issues related to the environment, operation and safety. Since the undertaking was bi-national in nature, the IGC mandated that if there were differences in the criterions of the two states, the higher of the two should predominate. The Quality Management program included quality planning, quality confidence and quality control.

    Contracts played an indispensable function in specifying the range of work, cost, timeline and regulations of battle ( or punishments ) .

    Contract Strategy

    During the conceptual design stage, Eurotunnel contracted TML for the building of the tunnel. The contract understandings were based on estimated costs since at this phase of the undertaking, elaborate design was uncomplete and hence, fixed monetary values were non available. Based on the estimated costs, the contract had three aspects:

    Lump amount works for the building of terminuss and installing of mechanical and electrical equipment in both tunnels and terminuss.

    Target plants, for all tunnelling and related equipment such as the tunnel deadening machines. The agreement was that if the existent cost was less than the mark cost at completion, the contractor will have 50 % of the nest eggs, while if the existent cost exceeded the mark cost, the contractor was required to pay 30 % of the surplus, up to a upper limit of 6 % of the mark cost.

    Procurement points for the turn overing stock and its associated equipment on a cost reimbursement footing with a procurement fee.

    Undertaking Manager Type and Style

    ET comprised chiefly of Bankss and contractors. Throughout the undertaking, ET was mostly criticised for its attack to plan and direction. This resulted in failure to present the undertaking harmonizing to the patrons ‘ clip, cost and quality aims. Additionally, since ET ‘s administration was bi-national, a exclusive undertaking director could non be identified.

    Organizational Structure

    Eurotunnel ‘s organizational construction can be described as functional, but its two board system made it alone. This is depicted in Figure 3 below.

    Figure 3: Eurotunnel Management Structure: Joint-Board System ( adapted from Stannard ( 1990 ) )

    Scheme Analysis

    In retrospect with the original undertaking aims, the Tunnel was non opened until 6 May 1994 at a cost of about ?12 billion. Additionally, original specifications for the rail system and tunnel quality were revised in order to maintain costs down.

    Many studies have analysed the Channel Tunnel undertaking in an attempt to find what went incorrect in such a monolithic building venture. From its origin, it was plagued by fiscal and proficient sufferings, blown agendas and extremely public conflicts between the company pull offing the undertaking, ET, and its contractors, TML.

    One of the factors responsible for the cost overproductions stem from the short clip allocated for bidders to put their proposal for the undertaking in the origin stage. Due to clip restraints merely a conceptual design was presented and priced. All item design was to be completed during the building stage after the command was won ( an illustration of fast-tracking in the plan ) . Consequently, a figure of design jobs were non identified from the oncoming of the undertaking and no commissariats were made for them in ET ‘s initial cost estimations. A typical illustration of this was the demand for air-conditioning in the tunnel, and hence, an extra ?200 million to suit this new design facet. Subsequently on, this lead to differences between ET and TML about who was responsible for these cost overproductions.

    Another of import factor to see was the hapless communicating between the British and Gallic squads, in add-on to ET and TML. Undertaking communications was an of import facet in undertaking planning, particularly for a undertaking of this magnitude. The multi-national squad of about 15,000 individuals included the politicians, governmental workers, bankers, attorneies and analysts who were responsible for obtaining an approved proposal program and funding, and the building workers, mechanics and applied scientists who were responsible for the existent execution of the undertaking. With a undertaking force of this size, an executional communicating program was necessary to turn to horizontal and perpendicular communicating channels.

    An analysis of the Risk Management revealed that focal point was on technology hazard as compared to treat and blessing hazard, such as IGC safety determinations and blessing, while the concern hazard was addressed via contractual understandings.

    During the undertaking life, several cardinal members of the ET squad resigned and TML ‘s direction besides underwent important alteration. Schemes were adjusted given the deprecating position of the undertaking. Administrations involved such as the Bankss, Safety Authority, environmental issues, local authorization and public sentiment interfered strongly and for good in this undertaking that was invariably under media examination.

    The Channel Tunnel was able to defy all these holds and cost overproductions chiefly because of its extremely robust future income watercourse.

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