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Channel Tunnel track installation underway for 9 February re-opening

Contractor Eurovia Travaux Ferroviaires is laying replacement rails in the fire damaged section of the Channel Tunnel over the next two days in readiness for a proposed full re-opening on the night of 9 February, Eurotunnel announced yesterday.

This is the second of two phases for restoring the track along a 750m length in interval 6 of the northbound tunnel that suffered a fire on 11 September last year.

The first phase of the track works began in mid-January with dismantling and re-laying 4,700 concrete blocks and rail pads and fastenings.

Site workers had completed repairs to the concrete lining using Shotcrete by 9 January. As concreting finished, the team immediately followed on in each section with work to install fixing devices, which completed in mid-January.

Other work has involved re-laying electrical cables, installing replacement cooling and fire mains pipes and the catenary. A sequence of safety tests will follow on shortly, ending the three and a half month construction period. If the tests are successful, the tunnel is expected to be made fully operational during the night of the 9-10 February.

The cause of the incident, 11km from the French portal, is still to be determined by French judiciary investigators. It affected a 650m stretch of the tunnel after the fire raged for over 16 hours.

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