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Railway history

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link is Britain's first major new railway for more than a century, and the UK's first high-speed line. Construction of the 74km Section 1, to Fawkham Junction in north Kent, is now more than 54 percent complete and on schedule to open in 2003.

At Fawkham Junction it will connect to the existing network into London's Waterloo International Station. Preliminary works have begun on Section 2, the 39km stretch between north Kent and central London that will cross the Thames at Dartford and run through Essex to St Pancras Station in north London.

The major civil engineering for Section 2 is on schedule to begin around the middle of this year and is due for completion in 2007.

Project manager and designer Rail Link Engineering is a consortium of consulting engineers Arup and Halcrow from the UK, Bechtel from the US and Systra from France.

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