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Channel Tunnel Rail Link

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link (or CTRL) is a British project to construct a 108 km high speed rail line from London to the British end of the Channel tunnel.

While on the French side high-speed track to Paris has been in operation right from the opening of the tunnel, Eurostar trains must still use old tracks through Kent, and cannot run at their full speed of 300 km/h.

When the second phase of the CTRL is opened, Eurostar trains will run to St Pancras station[?] on the north side of central London, instead of Waterloo Station to the south. This route will use a new 2.5 km twin tunnel under the Thames from West Thurrock in Essex to Swanscombe in Kent.

The CTRL project is one of Britain's largest civil engineering projects, encompassing new bridges and tunnels as well as many kilometres of track. After local protests early plans were modified to put much more of the track in tunnel where it nears St Pancras. The CTRL building works are causing considerable disruption, but bringing much redevelopment (of the run-down area of post-industrial and ex-railway land close to Kings Cross and St Pancras) in their wake.

The project is due to be completed in 2007.

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