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See how the land lies

Construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Section One has just passed the halfway point. Nina Lovelace took to the air to check on progress along the 74km route and stopped off at the new Medway bridge for a closer look.

Over 12M. m3 of earth has been moved, 8,000 piles have been driven and over 250,000m 3ofstructural concrete has been poured since construction work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link got under way in autumn 1998. With work now over halfway complete on the route from the coast to Fawkham Junction in north Kent where the line connects into London, the prospect of being able to use Britain's first new rail route for over a century is in touching distance. The job is reported to be on budget and on time for an opening in 2003.

Preliminary works for section two, which takes the line from North Kent under the Thames to St Pancras via new stations at Ebbsfleet and Stratford have also begun with contracts worth £1.4bn due for award next year.

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