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Passenger vehicle shuttle at Coquelles; the carriage immediately behind the Eurotunnel Class 9 locomotive contains a retractable side and roof and is used to load and unload the vehicles

Eurotunnel Shuttle (previously known as Le Shuttle) is a shuttle service between Calais/Coquelles in France and Folkestone in the United Kingdom. It conveys road vehicles through the Channel Tunnel. Passenger and freight vehicles are carried in separate shuttle trains.

The service is owned and operated by Eurotunnel, the Channel Tunnel owners.





Passenger vehicles

Passenger vehicles are carried in closed wagons. Half of the train (the rear rake) carries cars and other low vehicles in double-deck wagons, with the first and last two carriages of the section containing the access ramps. Coaches, buses and other high vehicles travel in the single-deck rake at the front of the train. In busy times, cars can also use this section.

Driver and passengers may leave their vehicles and walk along the train.

Eurotunnel occasionally run trains at 'half full', closing the top deck to reduce costs.

Toilets are provided in every third carriage in the double-deck section, and in the first and last carriages in the single-deck section.

Cyclists can use the Eurotunnel Shuttle to travel between Great Britain and France. This is achieved through the bicycles being housed in specially-adapted trailers and the cyclists travelling in a minibus.

Freight vehicles

Lorries are carried on semi-open wagons, with a separate passenger carriage at the front of the train for the drivers.


Safety regulations require two locomotives for all passenger trains through the tunnel (Shuttle and Eurostar), one at the front and one at the back, and both must be manned so that the train can be reversed out in case of a blockage. Plus there are attendants. In the case of the freight vehicle shuttles, these ride in the passenger carriage at the front of the train with the lorry drivers; in the passenger vehicle shuttles they patrol the train.

Passenger vehicle carriages are sealed off with fire-proof doors, and are pressurised. These doors are closed once all vehicles are loaded. They include smaller pedestrian doors which may be opened when the train is in motion to move from one carriage to the next, but then re-close automatically.

Eurotunnel has been criticised for failing to implement measures to prevent or extinguish fires in the open framed large goods vehicle carrying wagons; recommendations made by the Fire Brigade union in 1996 following a fire in the channel tunnel that closed wagons should be used to prevent the spread of fire were not acted upon.[1][2]

See also


External links


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