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Railhub Archive
1996-05-16 DoT-001
Department of Transport


[[Channel Tunnel Safety Authority publishes latest report]]

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Department of Transport

[[Channel Tunnel Safety Authority publishes latest report]]

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16 May 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release


Safety remained a top priority in Channel Tunnel operations in the
year in which it moved towards full commerical operation, the UKs
safety watchdog for the Tunnel said today.

Speaking at the publication of the Channel Tunnel Safety Authoritys
Annual Report for 1994 to 1995, Edward Ryder, Head of the UK
Delegation, said:

The Safety Authority stringently monitored the steady progress of the
Tunnel in 1994-95 towards full commercial operation. Safety was, and
always will be, of paramount importance.

The highlight of the year 1994-95 for Eurotunnel was the official
opening of the Tunnel by the Queen and President Mitterand of France
on 6 May 1994.

Commercial services began soon afterwards with the first Eurotunnel
shuttles for heavy goods vehicles on 19 May and the first national
railways freight trains on 1 June.

Completion of tests for passenger services and commissioning of other
systems continued during the summer and autumn culminating in the
start of the national railways Eurostar services on 14 November 1994
and of Eurotunnels tourist shuttles on 22 December. The frequency
of trains on all services was progressively increased during the year
subject to an overall limitation on traffic density which was
accepted by the Intergovernmental Commission on the advice of the
Safety Authority. This limit was raised from a maximum of eight
trains per hour each way to 12 trains per hour each way on 28 March
1995 as more rolling stock became available and as the operating
staff gained experience.

The Safety Authority continued to monitor Eurotunnels completion of
its commissioning tests and initial operations throughout the year.

Important safety matters considered during the year included
development of the combined emergency plans of Eurotunnel and the
emergency response organizations in both France and the UK. Two
major exercises were carried out, one led by each country, in June
and September 1994. Many lessons were learned which have resulted in
improvements to the emergency plans and procedures.

In the UK, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee began an
investigation into the relative safety of cross-Channel transport by
the ferries and the Tunnel. The Committees final report (Cross
Channel Safety - Session 1994-95 HC 352-I) generally approved the way
in which the Safety Authority had regulated Eurotunnels efforts to
achieve safe operations.

At the end of the year covered by the report, some progress had been
made towards the objective of establishing a single operational
safety regime integrating the inspections carried out by the national
authorities on each side of the Channel.

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-05-16 DoT-001


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