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Euro Star Rail Link

Photographs I took on 23rd September 2000 of the new channel tunnel rail link and the construction of the new M2 London bound bridge over the river Medway.

The Rt Hon. John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister, officially marked the start of construction at a traditional ground-breaking ceremony on October 15th 1998.

The ceremony took place by the Medway Crossing near Cuxton in Kent, which forms Section 1 of the Link.

Work to construct the CTRL began in October 1998 with the start of work on Section 1. Section 1 runs between the Channel Tunnel and Fawkham Junction in north Kent and opened in September 2003. Work on Section 2 began in July 2001 which will complete the UK's first high speed line into central London by the end of 2006.

The new railway leaves the Channel Tunnel complex at Cheriton, and its two tracks separate to pass either side of the Dollands Moor freight yard, where there is a junction for freight trains. The new railway follows the existing railway corridor towards Ashford to reach Ashford International station in the centre of the town. There are junctions at Ashford to enable domestic express trains from east and north east Kent to join the new railway.

West of Ashford the new railway crosses the M20 and follows the motorway corridor to Detling in the Boxley valley north of Maidstone. The new railway then passes beneath the North Downs in a 3km (2 mile) twin-track tunnel, emerging alongside the M2 to the south of Rochester. The new railway follows the M2 corridor, crossing the River Medway on a viaduct alongside the existing motorway bridge.

The new railway continues alongside the M2 and A2 as far as Pepper Hill, between Gravesend and Southfleet, where a junction enables section 1 of the new railway to turn south along the alignment of the disused Gravesend West Branch railway, to join the existing network at Fawkham Junction, approximately 8km (5 miles) east of Swanley. From Fawkham Junction, Eurostar trains will use existing tracks to reach the international terminal at Waterloo until the opening of Section.

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