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Voith to Overhaul Eurotunnel Trains During Regular Service

Since its inauguration in 1994, more than 330 million people have crossed the Eurotunnel – in a train bearing the symbolic name "Le Shuttle" for obvious reasons. It covers the route from Coquelles near Calais to Folkstone in just 35 minutes and, with a length of 800 meters, is one of the longest trains in Europe. Each of the altogether nine trains of the Eurotunnel fleet consists of 24 carriages connected by automatic Scharfenberg couplers from Voith. The operator Groupe Eurotunnel S.A. is currently in the process of having all couplers overhauled and/or refurbished by Voith – during regular service.
“Le Shuttle“: The carriages are connected by automatic Scharfenberg couplers.
The mammoth project, which started in early 2015, is to be completed by the end of 2017. The major challenge of the scheme lies both in its tight deadlines and the inherent technical modifications. Each of the trains has to be overhauled within two and a half weeks. Voith always understands its service and overhaul contract as a consulting assignment in terms of technological innovations.

“Voith knew how to use its resources to meet all commitments and Eurotunnel could meet the challenges of the major maintenance campaign with the help of Voith. The cooperation among our teams was full of lessons for both parties and was the key to the success of this first overhaul”, says Nicolas Beaugrand, Concession Procurement Director.

Semi-permanent couplers situated between the carriages will replace the existing T110 couplers in all sections of the trains that do not need to be automatically decoupled. However, in an emergency, manual decoupling is still possible. For such an event, a specific new solution has been devised, which allows separating the E-couplers while they are still connected. In addition, the old coupler drawbars including dampers will be replaced by new parts across the entire train. Coupler drawbars ensure energy absorption throughout the train and allow quieter running.

Over a period of more than three weeks, Voith Turbo Scharfenberg has prepared Eurotunnel and the local operator for the overhaul – with training sessions on site as well as in Salzgitter, the location of Voith Turbo Scharfenberg. Moreover, Voith will supply most of the spare parts and carry out the refurbishment of technically demanding components such as bearing brackets, muff couplings or bolts.

Voith Turbo, a Group Division of Voith GmbH, is a specialist for intelligent drive solutions and systems. Customers from highly diverse industries such as oil and gas, energy, mining and metal processing, mechanical engineering, ship technology, rail and commercial vehicles rely on advanced technologies from Voith Turbo.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transportation & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs almost 39 000 people, generates € 5.3 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.