asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer of Viscount Goschen of 19th March 1996 (
WA 96), how the Channel Tunnel Rail Link can be said to accommodate standard continental rolling stock when it quotes connection only to existing railways having two different non-Continental loading gauges—namely, standard BR clearance and Eurotunnel shuttle clearance; and whether, in the light of the above, they will introduce legislation to ensure that the Channel Tunnel Rail Link will be built as is presently intended.
Loading gauge refers to the space provided around and above railway tracks which define the largest size of vehicle which can use the railway. It is a condition of the Development Agreement with London and Continental Railways, who will construct and operate the CTRL, that the railway is designed to at Least UIC "C" gauge, the largest loading gauge in regular use on European main lines. The loading gauge of the Channel Tunnel is even larger, to accommodate the Shuttle trains, and does not therefore present a restriction.