From ‘The Western Daily Mercury’- 7th August 1880
Indications, the Paris correspondent of the ‘Daily Telegraph’ writes, present themselves periodically to show that the promoters of the tunnel under the Channel are rigorously carrying on their experiments to test the practicability of the project. In the ‘Journal Official’, of the 6th August 1880, published a decree, issued at the instance of the Minister of Public Works, prolonging for three years the time allowed to the Submarine Railway Company for competing their arrangements for the final execution of the scheme. The original concession containing the requisite declaration of “public utility” was dated Aug. 2nd, 1875, and was granted in official language for “a railway starting from a point to be determined on the line from Boulogne to Calais, and passing under the sea in the direction of England, to join a similar railway leaving the English coast in the direction of France.” This concession was to remain in force for five years at the end of which time the Government had the option of extending the concession for a further period of three years. The first portion of the period granted had lapsed, and the Government, at the request of the company, after examination of the technical reports on the works that had been carried out, and acting on the advice of a special committee, prolonged the concession until August 2nd, 1883. The Government recognised that the soundings and borings have been thoroughly and practically effected, in accordance with the official suggestions, and conceded that its further concession would facilitate the negotiations between the French and English companies with a view to a common execution of the project. The total length of time devoted to preliminary experiments was eight years, and by the end of that time it was hoped we would be completely enlightened as to the practicability or otherwise of this desirable undertaking.