20 April 2021

Future Electrical Interconnection Beneath the Channel

Eurotunnel has asked Eurailtest and its partners, the DGII ME and DGII TL laboratories (SNCF Réseau) to qualify the integration of a high-voltage link beneath the Channel. Siemens is the manufacturer and will conduct the integration tests. The role of Eurailtest is to check the interface between this project and the railway infrastructure commissioned in 1994.

Electrical Connection Between the United Kingdom and France: a First for the Channel Tunnel!

This project entails the development of a new electricity interconnection between France and England, with the construction of two electricity converter stations (one in Folkestone, England and one in Calais, France) and the laying of an HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) cable. This strategic European project aims to optimise the energy distribution and improve the security of both countries’ electrical supply.

Measurements to Check the Integration of the Electricity Interconnection in the Railway Structure.

As part of this major project, Eurailtest will take measurements that are mainly intended to check the interface between the electricity interconnection project and the railway infrastructure. These measurements will be used to verify that the railway line continues to function correctly and to ensure that impacts induced by the electrical link are controlled.


Measurements are performed in several different stages:

-Various electromagnetic compatibility measurements in compliance with Railway Standard EN 50121 on all substations with antennas.

-Laying of control cables to measure the induced voltage and induced current, and potential impacts on the railway signalling.

-Analysis of the measurements performed after laying the control cable.

-Measurement of human exposure in compliance with Standard EN 50500/A1 in the substations and trains.


In autumn 2021, new tests will be conducted directly in the tunnel to validate integration of the link between France and England.

Since the commissioning of the rail link beneath the Channel, Eurailtest has been called upon several times to conduct tests and measurements on this infrastructure, the only one of its kind in the world.


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