The Channel Train was very efficient. Didn't have any printed receipt so handed our Ipad out the window with the email receipt. The lady at the window was bemused by our early arrival and our obvious excitement. She put us on an earlier (and should have been more expensive train) !
In short the process is:
- check in at the arrival gate
- receive a tag with a letter to display in the windscreen (T)
- go to parking area and visit shops
- watch the billboard for advice of your "letter" loading
- race to car and drive to the train - guys can view the ticket to ensure only the correct lettered vehicles are loading
- go through another gate where the guy sorts vehicles into lanes for specific carriages - being over 2M tall we go into a single deck carriage (cars can go into a double deck carriage)
- drive on (from boarding call to train departure less than 30 mins)
- sit in car with windows down - chat
- drive off 35 mins later in France straight on to a freeway.
At its lowest point, it is 75 m (250 ft) deep and does not go in a straight line. At 37.9 kilometres (23.5 mi), the tunnel has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world and had to follow layers in the rock stratum so depth varies. It is now 20 years old. Your ears pop just like flying. The trucks that constantly constantly cross the channel travel on dedicated trains.
Apparently we had forgotten to load some items into the truck. One item missing was the country sticker for the rear bumper which we had ordered especially - yes it is a requirement to display country of origin in the EU. So we spent the time at the waiting area - "dodgying up" a sticker from vinyl letters we had bought at a hardware store, a piece of white backing paper, a plastic sleeve we found in the truck and some duct tape.