The Channel Tunnel is 38 km long, the longest undersea tunnel in the world; it connects the United Kingdom with France. It utilizes high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, Eurotunnel Shuttle (roll-on/roll-off) vehicle transport and international rail freight trains.
Safety and security are key requirements which have been taken into account since the Channel Tunnel was designed. However, reality challenged the safety concept in September 2008. A fire broke out on board a Eurotunnel Shuttle carrying trucks in the North Running Tunnel under the Channel. The train was travelling from England to France and was approximately 11km from the French tunnel exit.
Eurotunnel’s security systems, on board the Shuttle and in the Tunnel, immediately detected the problem and the fire service took the necessary action to get the fire under control. Nevertheless, the scale of the damage to the infrastructure and the consequences in terms of reputation and loss of business for the company was considerable. In light of this, Eurotunnel very quickly launched a review looking into the appropriate ways to minimize the impact of such incidents.
As a result Eurotunnel has designed and implemented new fire fighting stations (SAFE stations). These stations detect fires using a state of the art AP Sensing Fiber Optic Linear Heat Detection System known as the Linear Heat Series.
The “SAFE” concept of smart interaction between AP Sensing’s fire monitoring system and fire fighting systems is an important milestone, taking road & rail tunnel safety to an entirely new level.