Cooperating to improve tunnel operations and safety
The companies connected to the test gallery showed us how research and development in the test gallery have ensured that their products are optimised for the challenges in tunnels. By full-scale testing, the Elkuch AG Tunnel Solutions tests their emergency doors in conditions with high shifting pressure to make sure that new innovative solutions can be implemented in even more challenging conditions and with higher requirements. High speed rail tunnels with extreme high shifting pressure (600 Pa), is an example of such conditions.
An other challenge is to find cost-effective installation solutions for large tunnel projects. Several companies have collaborated to find a door element solution and a method for installation in long tunnels. The result is impressive and it takes 10 minutes to place the element in the right position. The solution includes a specialised mechanism used for placement of the door element, ready to move from passage to passage by train.
And of course, emergency evacuation doors and entrances to technical facilities are required to have a certain fire protection. Fire tests are performed in Hagerbach, and the staff provide expert assistance and necessary licensees for verification of tests. In addition, the staff provide other support to the companies, including demonstration of technologies when the company is not present.
An insight in the work in The Hagerbach Test Gallery has been a valuable input in an ongoing study that aims to provide a similar collaboration between companies in Norway, within tunnel operations and safety. And hopefully a close cooperation between nations.