Sixteen PA1500 scissor lift platforms have been supplied by Austrian crane manufacturer Palfinger, working with British rail plant specialist GOS Tool Engineering Services, to travel through the railway tunnels, .
The elevating work platforms have been designed to minimise the risk of damage to the new high-voltage direct current power cable that is being installed in the Channel Tunnel to transfer electricity between Britain 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. GOS and Palfinger Railway were given the task of combating this risk.
The PA1500 scissor lifts, developed as a custom-made small series, have horizontal and vertical movement limiting devices that meet PLd (Performance Level d) in line with the EN 13849 safety-related standard.
The platform has a safe working load of 1.5 tonnes and can work at an inclination of 10° when fully laden. The basket is six metres long, and the width is adjustable from 2.9 to 4.5 metres, giving a maximum working space of nearly 30 square metres.
The platform’s modular construction means that it can be used on a variety of vehicles. By engaging synchronous operation mode, every movement of two scissor lift platforms mounted one behind the other can be controlled simultaneously using a remote control. Carl Jones, director of rail engineering at GOS, described the scissor lifts as “impressive”.
Apart from the PA1500 platforms, Palfinger’s Eurotunnel order also includes two PKR 800 railway cranes, six PR 220 cranes with BB 29 and BB 49 baskets, two PA 200 platforms and other equipment.