UK: Network Rail and Amey have developed a tunnel drill designed to reduce the risk of vibration injuries, noise, inaccuracies and dust contamination when installing overhead electrification equipment.
The infrastructure manager noticed the potential for improvement when working with the contractor on tunnel refurbishments that require two operatives working at height in full personal protective equipment, manually holding a drill.
Working with Foulstone Forge, a rig was designed to enable an overhead line electrification drill machine to be mounted on the flat bed of a road-rail vehicle. The operator controls the base unit and the drilling arm remotely, removing the need to work at height and use rotary-percussive power tools. A dust extraction system improves the working environment, and the equipment has the ability to work around tunnel furnishings including cables, utilities and electrification equipment.
It takes just under 2 min to drill four holes 450 mm deep into concrete using 28 mm drill bits, quadruple the rate of the previous manual process.