Channel Tunnel Rail Link Project

CTRL – Section 2 | Track & OCS Testing & Commissioning / EDFe Power Supply
Overhead Catenary System (OCS)
Overhead Catenary System (OCS)

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) was the fist High Speed Line in the UK connecting the island of Great Britain with the rest of the European continent’s high speed rail network via the Channel Tunnel. It was delivered in two sections: Section 1 between the Channel Tunnel and the Singlewell (Kent) interface. Section 2 between Singlewell and St Pancras International Station in London.

We were involved at the heart of the Section 2 project between 2002 and 2007. Some of us were in charge of the Testing and Commissioning of the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) and the Track system, both ballated and slab for the C576 Alstom-Carillion-TSO Joint Venture whilst others were in charge of commissioning and maintaining the Power Supply to the CTRL rail systems on behalf of EDF Energy.

The main video below will give you a great overview of the construction and commissioning works that were carried out between 2003 and 2007 by the ATC-Joint Venture. For those of us and our colleagues that were involved on this project this is a great legacy document that will help you understand the complexity and scale of this fantastic project.



In addition to the preparation and delivery of the testing and commissioning of the track and OCS systems between Singlewell (Kent) in the East and St Pancras portal in the West, including arranging for 25 kV traction power energisations with the support of our EDFe and RLE (Rail Link Engineering) colleagues, we also managed the preparation and implementation of Dynamic Test runs from beginning to end with the support of our Rail Movement Controllers, Test Track Managers, Test Train Manager and Dynamic Test Manager’s colleagues.

The following three short videos will give you a better idea of the high speed dynamic tests we organised seen from the vantage point of the Eurostar test trains themselves. The last video being the legacy video showing the first time (and the last time !) a Eurostar reached the Maximum Test Speed of 255 km/h in the London Tunnels in the middle of the Dynamic Testing phase of the works back in 2007. The maximum authorised operational nominal speed at this location for passenger service is 230 km/h only !

Maximum Test Speed – E* Test Train 255km/h !

1st Eurostar Test Train entering St Pancras Station – March 2007
Stratford Box – 2007
Stratford Turnout
T&C Manager – Dynamic Testing
OCS Switch before mods.
CTRL track construction
Operational Safety
CTRL2 – London Tunnel portal
Mauzin Runs – Stratford box
Mauzin Runs – Stratford box
Michael Palin visit
Ripple Lane exchange sidings

In most people’s memories of their time working on this project CTRL2 remains a truly enjoyable souvenir, the great feeling of a job that was well designed, efficiently constructed and properly commissioned with sufficient time allowed for each trade to do a crafty job they could be proud of for generations to come.

An era where, even at the darkest of times, pragmatism and professionalism always prevailed, in stark contrast to more recent projects.