There is now a very high chance that Eurotunnel, the Anglo-French consortium operating the Channel Tunnel rail-link between London and the continent, could be liquidated by this September, having failed to reach a key agreement earlier this week with creditors. The saga of how the operator would persuade a group of banks to let it restructure a huge pile of debt has been chugging along for months. Now there is a real risk that this marvel of civil engineering could be known as one of the biggest transport commercial flops in history. The free-marketeer in me says well, the venture was never based on fully commercial grounds in the first place. The folks concerned probably no doubt rightly thought that if the project was a flop, then the fortunate taxpayers of Europe would pick up the tab, just as they did with that other venture of high-tech wonder and dubious economics, Concorde. The romantic in me would be very sad to see this wonder of rail come to an end. I have used the Eurotunnel service several times, both for work and for short breaks to France in recent years. Every time I have marvelled at the smoothness of the service, only occasionally marred by delays in the English side of the operation, or by the odd rude French ticket inspector.
It certainly beats messing around in airport lounges, that is for sure.