can anyone tell me how the euro tunnel works i.e how you board the train ect ect
It's straightforward - and very boring!
I prefer the ferry which is straightforward, takes longer - but is a lot more fun!
its only because we are travelling with children and one has been sea sick twice not nice!!!
Do any of you get claustrophbia!? ;0
Basically, you drive up to the terminal, at Folkestone and the scanner reads your car number plate so you don't even have to get out the car. Then you go through passport control. They check your passports. You might get told to drive into an area for a full vehicle search but it's never happened when I've been on Eurotunnel.
Then you go and park up and wait for your train. Get there at least 30 minutes before your boarding time so you can have a walk around, get some food (there's a Burger King and other stuff at Folkestone) and use the toilets.
They have big screens telling you when your train is boarding and they also announce when the next train is boarding. At your boarding time you drive into a holding car park (like you do when wating to get on a ferry). You have time for one last cigarette then drive onto the train. Boarding takes about 10 to 15 minutes and then the train departs.
I don't know why they have windows in the carriages because there's nothing to see!!!
At the other side you drive straight off - it takes about 10 minutes to unload the train.
There's no passport control on the other side and you're away driving on the wrong side of the road! ;)Edited: 08 July 2011, 00:24
We took the train under the channel as a family, and had a very easy time of it. Had some fears in advance of feeling claustrophobic, but didn't feel any on the train. Just like a subway, that comes out into lovely french countryside. Personally, I'm just as happy with boring -- I do NOT want excitement crossing the channel, I just want to get there safely and comfortably with contented kids.
I highly recommend it. Just consider it a long, expensive, luxurious subway ride, and bring a book or your knitting.
It's very quick and easy. We left our Garmin on and thought is was funny as it had us approaching the Channel and kept pathetically bleating out "please turn around." I think we even took a picture of it.
In no time we were done and off the train. It's easy.
It's easy peasy to board etc. If you time your arrival just right and have booked in advance you can drive straight onto the train. Once on you can stay in your car or get out and wander around. I suffer from claustrophobia but the tunnel has never bothered me at all. Only takes just over 1/2 hour to get to France and no scrambling down loads of stairs to get back to your car.
Just to correct matt 1376, you do the passport control and vehicle security check after the burger king stuff.
You will be given a "hanger" when you check in. This will have a letter on it.
When it your time to board this letter will be displayed/announced.
If you time it right you can drive straight through to the shuttle.
If you are early they may offer you an earlier departure, also if you are late(by less than 2 hrs) they will try to accomodate you with no extra charge.
It's really is the way to cross the channel.
We were on the Tunnel last Monday the 5th
Leaving the UK is as described in other posts except don't expect to have your passport checked
unless you are carrying Gas cylinders (in a caravan) there is very little to worry about unless your car is over 6 foot high and then you just go into the out of gauge lane
OH YES disabled passengers get priority boarding too so you are near the front of the train
IF you arrive too early you will be asked to wait especially when they are busy (we did on the return) just expect not to have much change out of £10 for 2 drinks but if they are not too busy you usually get on the next train
Beats the ferry for speed and comfort and you get off the train and you are straight on the Autoroute Left for Boulogne Right for Paris