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Channel tunnel - Essay Example

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Channel tunnel

The Transmanche Link (TML) is the contractor who is responsible for the Channel Tunnel design, construction and commissionioning of the project. Design of the Channel Tunnel The design scale was massive and highly intricate and hence it was categorized into five divisions – a) System throughput b) Performance of shuttle trains c) Environment d) Safety and passenger evacuation e) Scenarios and operational procedures The design of the Channel Tunnel included four phases: 1. Development Study 2. Outline Design APS) 3. Definitive Design (APD) 4. Detailed Design (PEO) The design of the project was so intricate and diverse with a huge volume of work and specialties involved that sub-contracts making use of the expertise of major independent companies were accepted. Design teams such as BETU (Tunnel design office) and BETER (Terminal design office) contributed their expertise. 1. Structural design a) The Service Tunnel The Service Tunnel Transportation is designed with 24 rubber-tyred vehicles rolling along at top speed of 80 kph that is electronically guided by cables that are embedded but allows for the maintenance of permanent equipment. These shuttles are 650m in length having a single deck. There are open wagons that are 20m in length, 4 m in width and 5m in height with a load capacity of 44T. It is designed in such a way that special amenity coaches are provided to carry drivers between the locomotive and the HGV wagons. b) The Main Railway Tunnels (RTs) The design comprises of two tunnels 50 km in length and running parallel to each other with a distance of 30m. Each tunnel has a single rail track, overhead catenary, power supply, cooling pipes, two walkways, a drainage system and other auxiliary services. These tourist shuttles are designed with an average capacity of 135 vehicles and a length of 775m. Each end has a loading and unloading wagon and 12 twenty-five meter long carrier wagons that are closed and identical. Special Design Features Rail Signaling System The rail signaling system is so designed so as to ensure safety to passengers, drivers, goods and locomotive behavior. All information is directly relayed within the drivers cabin. It also includes an automatic speed limit to ensure safety. Track System Since this railway is the most heavily trafficked with an average of about 240,000,000 tonnes per year, the design is made to match this output. It has a strong support system made of concrete to last for a minimum of 50 years. The strong framework is made highly tolerant for safety to life and property and is also designed with a rail fastening to allow minor service adjustments for maintenance and changing of components. The design also includes a low aerodynamic resistance that allows airflow under the trains. The tunnels comprise of a non-ballasted track made of concrete consisting of UIC 60kg/lm rail tracks that is mounted on pairs of independent support blocks. The tracks are isolated from the support blocks by nylon clips and rubber ‘O’ ring. Such designing not only lends resilience but also maintains a high level of geometric tolerance. The design also contributes towards increasing speed that is 200km/h for TGVs through trains, while shuttles go at 160 km/h. Rolling Stock Rolling Stock comprises of 43 locomotives and 512 wagons that include ...Show more


Channel Tunnel Order No. 745930 Table of contents 1. Introduction 2. Structural Design 3. Foundation Design 4. Others Introduction In 1985, the Euro Tunnel was part of a competition and had won the first place for its spectacular design genius. The Euro Tunnel (ET) is a bi-national company comprising of Channel Tunnel Group (UK) and its owner and chief operator of the project France Manche S.A (FR) The Euro Tunnel comprises of 3 tunnels i.e…
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