Concrete Repairs Ensure Channel Tunnel Stays on Track

Photo Credit: By Kenyh - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Channel Tunnel is a 50.5 kilometre (31 mile long) railway line which links Folkestone in Kent to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in France. It opened in 1994 and around 400 trains pass through it every single day. The volume of traffic (which includes 53 tonnes of freight being transported daily) combined with the age of the track means that the sleepers are under a significant amount of pressure on a daily basis which requires them to be regularly maintained. This is why the specialist concrete repair company, Concrete Repairs Ltd were brought in in 2011 to carry out a 5 year project to maintain and repair the track’s concrete rail sleepers.

Concrete repair experts at SIG Construction Accessories Thurrock supplied the specialist material Sikafloor Level 30 for this project. This is a rapid set levelling compound which provides early strength - something which was vital on a project like this.

Dan Meheux from SIG CA Thurrock says "The Channel Tunnel is normally closed from midnight until around 5am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays which is when general maintenance can take place and when the crew at Concrete Repairs Ltd can work on the track. This restricted timeframe means that everything needs to be in place so the crews working on the tracks don't experience any delays."

He continues, "The trains use just one tunnel when the work is carried out as opposed to both which means more of the track can be accessed for repairs. As the contractor is working throughout the night and materials can't be stored in the tunnel, it is our job to ensure the deliveries are made on demand, as and when required."

As well as providing Sikafloor Level 30, SIG CA Thurrock also supplied PU injection and mortars. The value of the project was around £20,000 and the ongoing repair and refurbishment project is due to completed in 2016.

Photo Credit: By Kenyh - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0