EUROPE: Clayton Equipment Ltd has designed, built and commissioned for Balfour Beatty a 500 m long construction train that will be used to install high-voltage cabling in the Channel Tunnel, under the ElecLink project to provide an electrical connector between the national grids of France and the UK.

Existing main line wagons have been fitted with 24 working platforms, each 20 m long. The wagons are equipped with ‘integrated systems’ which include 36 drilling machines capable of drilling 144 holes in a single sequence, and 24 hydraulic handlers for positioning the 320 kV DC cabling that is to be installed in the North Running Tunnel. The construction train is powered by self-contained batteries with capacity of 1750 kWh.

According to Channel Tunnel concessionaire and ElecLink owner Getlink, work on the project is progressing on schedule for entry into service at the start of 2020. This is expected to mark ‘a significant step-change’ in the profitability of the Channel Tunnel operator.