Palfinger has built 16 special rail mounted work platforms for maintenance work on the channel tunnel.
The Palfinger PA1500 platform was designed and built by Palfinger Rail for its UK partner GOS Tool Engineering. Each unit employs a single scissor mechanism to raise or lower the six metre long platform, which has an overall width of 2.9 metres that can be extended to 4.5 metres by its 1.6 metre lateral slide out extension. The platform capacity is 1,500kg.
The platforms have been designed on a modular basis for mounting on a range of different chassis but will typically operate as a double unit on a low riding rail wagon. In this configuration the two platforms can be operated independently or simultaneously as a single unit, by selecting the synchronous operation mode on the remote controller.
The tunnel is currently having a new high voltage DC power line installed to transfer power between the UK and France. A risk assessment carried out by Eurotunnel found that the power line was most likely to be damaged by a crane or an access platform during routine maintenance work and thus commissioned a custom made solution that would carry out the work with fewer risks.
In addition to the PA1500 platforms, the order also include two PKR 800 railway cranes, six PR 220 cranes with BB 29 and BB 49 work platform attachment, two PA 200 platforms and other equipment.