Channel tunnel trains will not sell refreshments: Operator provides lavatories but not other facilities.

THE TRAINS that will take cars and coaches through the Channel tunnel will have no facilities for drinks or refreshments during the journey, the operator Eurotunnel confirmed yesterday.

Enormous Le Shuttle trains, which are 5.6m high (18ft), one-third of a mile long and take up to 180 cars, were shown at Calais for the first time yesterday by Eurotunnel which took over the tunnel last week.

Christopher Garnett, Eurotunnel's commercial director, said there was no need for any facilities: 'The journey will only take 35 minutes. There is a toilet every third carriage but we didn't feel that we needed to provide anything else.'

Nor will there be much to entertain the passengers. There are only five small windows on each level of the 24 carriages - half of them double- deckers - that will make up the trains. Mr Garnett said the size of the windows had been dictated by safety requirements for the 31-mile journey through the tunnel at speeds of up to 85mph. 'In any case, there is a lot of artificial light inside,' he said.

The compartments, which will each take five cars, are roomy enough for people to leave their vehicles to stretch their legs. But unlike the ferries, which have become floating hypermarkets, there will be nowhere for them to go except the lavatory - no shops, no duty frees, not even a drinks machine.

The ribbed aluminium carriages, said by Eurotunnel to be the most sophisticated ever built to cope with the stringent safety requirements, look like a Fifties fantasy spaceship.

Inside, each compartment is separated from its neighbour by a fire gate, and there will be six crew in addition to the two drivers to deal with any emergency. Each train, which cost about pounds 40m, has 100 emergency doors, 380 cameras and monitors, and display panels visible from each car giving information on the journey's progress.

Motorists will use one of four loaders to drive on to the train and Mr Garnett dismissed any doubts about how long this process will take. He said: 'Motorists will get from British motorway to French motorway in an hour, saving an hour and a half on the ferry'.

He said that on a windswept day like yesterday, where squally showers prevented hovercraft from operating and delayed ferries, time savings would be much greater.

Eurotunnel claims it will take only eight minutes to unload each train and as customs will be cleared before entry on to the train, motorists will be free to drive straight off on to the motorway system. There will be no bookings and Eurotunnel expects most people to buy their tickets from toll booths at the entry to the terminals. Mr Garnett said there would be four price bands covering winter, spring/autumn, summer, and peak time Fridays and weekends. But unlike ferries there would only be one price for any particular day.

Although details are not being disclosed until 12 January when tickets go on sale, Mr Garnett said that fares would be broadly in line with those of ferries.

Services for lorry shuttles, which are being kept entirely separate from cars, will start on 7 March. But delays to delivery of the rolling stock means that Eurotunnel will only start passenger shuttles on 7 May, the day after the official opening of the tunnel by the Queen and President Francois Mitterrand.

Initially there will be two shuttles an hour, moving to four at peak times, with a 24- hour service every day of the year.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum