Europe: Channeling under the Streak

For more than 160 years, French and British engineers have proposed linking their countries with a tunnel under the English Channel. Though the plan appealed to many people—from seasick travelers to "one Europe" visionaries—it never came alive. The reason: Britain's reluctance to violate what Gladstone called "that streak of silver sea" that for centuries protected the island nation from invaders.

Last week, after two years of discussion, an Anglo-French committee of government transport experts endorsed a plan to connect Dover and Calais by means of a 32-mile, $407 million railroad tunnel. The committee found either of two approaches feasible: a...

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