Getlink, formerly Groupe Eurotunnel, is a public company which manages
and operates the
and France, including
vehicle services, and earns revenue on other
trains through the tunnel (
freight and Eurostar
passenger). It is listed on both the
London and Euronext
markets, and was listed on the
London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The company is based in Paris.
The railway operation has 50.45 kilometres (31.35 mi) of double
track railway in the main tunnels, plus extensive surface level
terminal facilities at Folkestone in
and at Calais in France;
the operation is entirely self-contained, with connections near the
two terminals to the respective national railway networks. Signalling
and electric traction supply at 25 kV AC are also under Getlink
Train operation consists of shuttle trains conveying cars and coaches
and other trains conveying heavy goods vehicles between the two
terminals. Other trains using
infrastructure are operated by
the respective owners. In November 2017, Groupe Eurotunnel was
2 Operations and services
2.1 Car shuttle
2.3 Passenger services
2.4 Samphire Hoe
3 Rolling stock
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
The company was formed on 13 August 1986, with the objective of
financing, building and operating a tunnel between
France. The company awarded a contract for the construction of the
TransManche Link (TML). The tunnel cost around £9.5bn to
build, about double TML's original estimate of £4.7bn.
The tunnel was financed partly from investment by shareholders and
partly from £8bn of debt, and was officially opened on 6 May 1994 by
Queen Elizabeth II, and President François Mitterrand. In its
first year of operation the company lost £925m because of
disappointing revenue from passengers and freight, together with heavy
interest charges on its £8bn of debt.
In April 2004, a dissident shareholder group led by Nicolas Miguet
succeeded in taking control of the board. However, in February 2005,
Jean-Louis Raymond, the
Chief Executive appointed after the boardroom
coup, resigned and
Jacques Gounon took complete control becoming
Chairman and Chief Executive.
In July 2006, shareholders voted on a deal which would have seen half
the debt, by then reduced to £6.2bn, exchanged for 87% of the
equity. However this plan failed, and on 2 August 2006, the
company was placed into bankruptcy protection by a French court for
In May 2007, a new restructuring plan was approved by shareholders,
whereby Deutsche Bank,
Goldman Sachs and
Citigroup agreed to provide
£2.8bn of long term funding, the balance of the debt being exchanged
for equity, and the shareholders agreed to waive the unlimited free
travel and other perks that they had enjoyed.
In June 2007, the company entered into a partnership through
Europorte 2 with the Port of Dunkirk relating to rail
freight traffic; the company was to operate trains from Dunkirk to the
Delta 3 logistics terminal at Dourges, and collaborate on container
shipments to the United Kingdom, using the port of Dunkirk via the
Following the restructuring, Eurotunnel was able to announce a small
net profit in 2007, of €1 million, for the first time in its
existence. Half year earnings for 2008 rose to €26 million
(£20.6m). The net profit for 2008 was €40 million, despite the
costs associated with traffic loss from September 2008 to February
2009, following a fire in the tunnel, and this allowed Eurotunnel to
issue its first ever dividend of €0.04 per euro value.
The return to financial health allowed the company to announce on 28
October 2009, the anticipated voluntary redemption of some of its
convertible debt. By anticipating to November 2009 the reimbursement
of debt due in July 2010, it aimed to issue up to 119.4 million new
ordinary shares, and thus shore up its capital while reducing its debt
In December 2009, the company and
SNCF acquired Veolia Cargo,
splitting the business between them. The company took over French
Veolia Cargo France,
Veolia Cargo Link and CFTA Cargo are
expected to be rebranded
Europorte Link and
Europorte proximity and become part of its
Europorte freight business.
Socorail has not been announced as being rebranded.
In January 2010, the Port of Dunkirk awarded the company a seven year
concession, to operate its 200 km (124 miles) railway system.
In June 2010, the company acquired British railfreight company First
GBRf for £31 million from FirstGroup, to be merged into its
Europorte. It was rebranded GB Railfreight On 11 June 2012, a
bid by the company for three Channel ferries belonging to the former
France (in liquidation) for lease to another operator was
On 11 June 2012, Eurotunnel acquired the assets of Sea
Berlioz, Rodin and Nord Pas-de-Calais. They were chartered to start
MyFerryLink ferry company on 20 August 2012, owned by
Eurotunnel. In the year 2015, statistics estimate that over 10.5
million passengers travelled on the Eurotunnel with 2,556,585 cars,
58,387 coaches and 1,483,741 goods vehicles making use of Eurotunnel's
In November 2017, Groupe Eurotunnel was rebranded Getlink.
Operations and services
Main article: Eurotunnel Shuttle
The company operates shuttle services with Eurotunnel Class 9
Main article: Europorte
Europorte operates freight trains in France, as well as the cross
channel freight services performed by
Europorte 2 before 2009. Since
the part acquisition of
Veolia Cargo in 2009, it also provides rail
transport services to industrial locations through Socorail.
Passenger services are operated by Eurostar, who has a practical
monopoly on tunnel passenger services. Eurotunnel levies charges on
Eurostar (currently £25 per passenger per return journey) and other
operators for use of the tunnel.
Deutsche Bahn planned to operate passenger trains between London and
Cologne using the tunnel; planning started
around 2005, but the plans were shelved in February 2014, because of
the special safety and security requirements in the tunnel.
The company also owns the small nature reserve of
Samphire Hoe on the
coast of the United Kingdom, which was created from Channel Tunnel
spoil during construction in the 1980s/90s. The road tunnel down, the
ventilation area and the reserve itself are all owned by Eurotunnel.
Used for vehicle shuttles
Europorte Channel for freight services
High-speed rail in Europe
Irish Sea Tunnel
^ a b c d e f Groupe Eurotunnel SE 2014 Registration Document
^ a b "History". Eurotunnel. 1984-11-30. Archived from the original on
2010-11-23. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
^ O'Connell, Dominic (2006-01-08). "Channel tunnel project has made
Britain £10bn poorer". The Times. Archived from the original on
2011-06-12. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
^ Ipsen, Erik (1996-04-23). "Bank debt causes £925m loss at
Eurotunnel". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved
2010-04-27. [dead link]
^ Norris, Floyd (2005-06-11). "Chief of Eurotunnel quits amid turmoil
on board". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
^ "Eurotunnel faces debt opposition". BBC News. 2006-06-04.
^ Harrison, Michael (2006-07-14). "Eurotunnel blames Deutsche as it
files for bankruptcy protection". The Independent. London. Archived
from the original on 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
^ "Eurotunnel gets court protection". BBC News. 2006-08-02. Retrieved
^ "Eurotunnel 'saved' by investors". BBC News. 2007-05-25. Retrieved
Channel Tunnel freight deal follows crucial vote",
www.railwaygazette.com, 1 July 2007
^ "Eurotunnel and the Port of Dunkirk together on rail freight",
www.usinenovelle.com (in French), 15 June 2007
^ "Pour la première fois de son histoire, Eurotunnel est devenu
bénéficiaire". Le Monde. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
^ "PEurotunnel reports first profit". BBC News. 2008-04-08. Retrieved
^ "Premier dividende pour les actionnaires d'Eurotunnel". Le Figaro.
2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
^ "2008 Summary". Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. 2009-03-23. Retrieved
^ "Eurotunnel tourne la page de sa dette". Le Figaro. 2009-10-28.
^ Eurotunnel completes
Veolia Cargo takeover James Faulkner 1 December
^ "DUNKERQUE PORT choisit EUROTUNNEL pour l'exploitation et la
maintenance de son réseau férré", www.dunkerque-port.fr (in
French), 13 January 2010
^ FIRSTGROUP PLC : Disposal of rail freight business[permanent
dead link] PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX , 1 June 2010 , via
^ Eurotunnel buys GBRf from
FirstGroup 1 June 2010 , uk.reuters.com
^ Wright, Robert (2012-06-11). "Eurotunnel to take over SeaFrance
vessels". Financial Times. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
^ Smith, Peter C. (2012). Offshore Ferry Services of
Scotland. Pen and Sword. p. 70. ISBN 9781848846654.
Retrieved 29 November 2016.
^ "Eurotunnel statistics for use during 2015".
^ Eurotunnel rebrands as
International Railway Journal 20
^ Group Eurotunnel rebrands as
Getlink Railway Gazette International
20 November 2017
^ "Interview with
Eurostar Chief Executive" (PDF). Archived from the
original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
^ DB puts London -
Frankfurt plans on ice, 19 February 2014
^ "Eurotunnel's Rail Buy". Daily Express. 2011-07-19. Retrieved
"Eurotunnel operations in profit for the first time". RAIL.
No. 325. EMAP Apex Publications. 25 February – 10 March 1998.
p. 9. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.
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