Eurotunnel should be operating by June 15, 1993, said Charles Buchanan, a marketing executive with the project. Drillers from England and France, working on the first section, linked up last week.
Three tubes will stretch 31 miles under the English Channel from Folkstone, England, to Calais, France. Passengers and vehicles will be carried aboard Britrail and French Rail trains.
Mr. Buchanan said the rail crossing should shave as much as 1 1/2 hours off the passage for vehicles. From the time a car leaves the roadway on one side to the time it hits pavement on the other should take about an hour, he estimated. "About 28 minutes" of that will be spent in the tunnel. (Passengers will be able to get out of their cars and walk around during the rail ride, said Kajsa Agostini of the French Government Tourist Office.)
Passengers will not need to go through customs twice, just once upon entering Eurotunnel, Mr. Buchanan said.