Eurotunnel to host Railenium railway testing to speed up the standardisation of civil engineering structures

Eurotunnel, one of the founder members of the Railenium consortium, is delighted to make its railway infrastructure available for trials that will bring progress in both safety and innovation.

A convention was signed today, in Coquelles, to enable the trials to start in 2015. As the most heavily used rail track in the world, with up to 400 heavy trains per day (Shuttles which are 800 meters long weighing 2,400 tonnes, carrying trucks or passenger vehicles), the 50 km long Channel Tunnel provides an exceptional test bed for operators to trial and prove the products they develop. For manufacturers, there is a considerable advantage to conducting tests on such live infrastructure, as they can test up to five times faster than they could using the classic network. Eurotunnel can provide the benefits of a closed circuit under full technical control, perfect conditions for a faster and more precise testing environment.

The trials will enable measurement of rail track and equipment durability and will provide informative fatigue testing on the behaviour of track laid on ballast compared to that laid on concrete. They will also provide an opportunity to test different loads at different speeds and the options for preventive maintenance and automatic repairs. Manufacturers will thus be able to gain acceptance certification and bring new products to market quicker.

Railenium is the European institute for technological research in railway infrastructure. It is recognised around the world for excellence and innovation in the railway sector. Eurotunnel is pleased to see that railway infrastructure is attracting major investment and is considered an interesting field for study and innovation. For the past 21 years, Eurotunnel has demonstrated that efficient and reliable infrastructure brings added value to customer service.