HS1, legally known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), is a 67-mile long high speed railway linking London with the Channel Tunnel.
Booth Industries were contracted to design, manufacture and install cross passage bulkhead and door assemblies for each cross passage along the line under the Thames and beyond, as well as for the track level ventilation shafts.
These complex but essential safety features provide both a route away from an incident for evacuating passengers, and a two-way access route for emergency services.
What were the project complexities?
As well as being wide enough to accommodate evacuating passengers and emergency personnel, the cross passages & doors were to also act as a fire barrier between tunnels, preventing the entry of smoke into the non-incident tunnel, and sealing one tunnel from another to enable pressurisation of the non-incident tunnel in an emergency.
They also needed to facilitate day-to-day needs – providing a secure environment for specialist equipment, offering access for services such as electrical cables and water pipes, and protecting maintenance staff from train-induced airflows when working in cross passages.
What did we overcome?
The project was somewhat of an unknown quantity to us at the time, although we had worked in tunnels previously, our experience at the time of CTRL was still quite limited. Working on a project of national critical infrastructure was something we had to adapt to and learn quickly to make sure everything was on time and installed correctly.
Fortunately, we were able to draw on years of experience throughout the business, from engineering and design through to manufacture and installation, and the cross passage doors and bulkheads were fully installed, accepted and assured in line with the project programme. Over 15 years later, in the harsh conditions of the underground rail tunnel under the Thames, the doors are still protecting the cross passages as required, with minimal maintenance and maximum reliability
What did Booth achieve?
Our successful completion of the CTRL project created a lasting legacy for excellence in cross passage door & bulkhead solutions. Many years and many further successful projects later, we were the obvious choice to follow up on our HS1 success and become the chosen cross passage door supplier for HS2.
We also achieved a bespoke, performance-assured solution that is both practical to deploy, and that offers full-life ease of maintenance. The latter is critical as CTRL is a full-time operating railway, and all maintenance must be carried out in short Engineering hours during the night.
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