10 November 2022

Eurailtest and Its Partner Laboratories Are Again Involved in the Eurotunnel Concession

In 2021, Eurailtest and its partner laboratories, the AEF, DGII AME and TL, were commissioned to perform measurements to validate the integration of an electrical interconnector with the existing railway infrastructure, as part of the future electrical interconnection project beneath the Channel.

Several measurements were conducted, including measuring electromagnetic compatibility on infrastructures and human exposure.

This time, Eurailtest’s partner laboratories performed measurements involving the integration of a new STATCOM connected directly to the Channel Tunnel’s IFTE (electric traction fixed installations).

Tests measuring the stability of the new Statcom

General Electric called on Eurailtest and its partners, the AEF and DGII AME laboratories, to qualify the installation of the new STATCOM at the Folkstone site in Kent. This new system will help make the Channel Tunnel’s electric power supply more stable. The installation is essential for ensuring that the voltage is stable across the Eurotunnel concession as trains pass. The catenary must deliver the same amount of power across the entire line, regardless of how many trains are running.

Not only will the new STATCOM help to reduce voltage fluctuations, but it can also almost double the volume of Channel Tunnel traffic and ensure a constant flow.

Different measurements:

To provide this service, AEF and DGII laboratory experts took various measurements at different points along the tunnel. Measurements were taken trackside and onboard trains, with expert analyses conducted in the laboratory. The aim of these tests was to quantify the STATCOM’s proper integration with the existing infrastructure to ensure the signalling was not affected.

All of these measurements were conducted on different trains, including the Velaro E374s (owned by Eurostar) and the Shuttle locomotives, and on two tunnel tracks in both directions of travel.

More specifically:

DGII-TE experts conducted a technical study to identify the measuring points trackside and to determine the power and test configurations.

AEF experts measured the current delivered by the STATCOM and released by the rolling stock. These measurements were performed to check that the traction return current did not affect the signalling when powered by the STATCOM.

Meanwhile, the DGII AME conducted all trackside measurements after first identifying the measuring points and studying the data for the different trains. DGII-SF experts then analysed the results of these measurements.


The services provided by Eurailtest and its laboratories cover the following standards:

  • EN 50 238 – May 2003 + AC 05/2010 & 11/2015
  • EN 50238-2 – May 2015
  • SAM S003 version 2 – 22/02/2016
  • UM71 Track Circuits – Gauges
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