Eurotunnel drives innovation in railway maintenance through the competitiveness cluster i-Trans

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i-Trans, the innovative research and development centre for sustainable transport and logistics has chosen the Eurotunnel terminal in France to demonstrate three major new innovations, supported by 14 companies, at the “Innovation Day” on Thursday 28 November.

Eurotunnel, which operates the most heavily used railway infrastructure in the world, with up to 400 trains per day, is delighted to be the showcase for the French railway industry and will present the Track Train System Availability (TTSA) project. TTSA aims to optimise the lifetime of railway infrastructure through more efficient preventive maintenance planning, thereby increasing the availability of railway infrastructure, a key success factor for infrastructure managers. In practice, rails are changed after carrying 800 million tonnes (which, for Eurotunnel, and independent of the criteria specific to high speed rail, equates to an average of once every eight years), but new developments in metallurgy, new high performance welding techniques and trials carried out by i-Trans in the Channel Tunnel mean that in future rails could be changed after carrying 1.3 billion tonnes, giving a significant gain in terms of costs.

This example demonstrates Eurotunnel’s expertise in railway maintenance and the considerable benefits that technological improvements bring for railway users.

The authorities now have all the cards in their hand to drive the standards forward to enable manufactures to transform these i-Trans successes into improved operating performance.