škoda 2024

Norway's tunnel builders rely on Döllken Profiles' handrail security system

posted on 7th May 2024 11:59

Surface specialist SURTECO ensures greater safety in Norway's tunnels. Safety in tunnels is of paramount importance, especially in the Scandinavian countries. It is therefore understandable that one of the world's first linear multifunctional LED escape systems for tunnels was implemented in a project in Norway.

The Handrail Security System is the result of a collaborative partnership led by Proxll AS (Norway), an engineering firm specializing in railway and switch heating systems with extensive experience in the Scandinavian railway sector. Working alongside them are their contractor partner Caverion, Bane NOR, and Döllken Profiles (Bönen, Germany), a subsidiary of the SURTECO Group SE.

Jens Hartmann, Key Account Manager at Döllken Profiles, elucidated: "The partnership between Proxll and Döllken began in 2014. Leveraging Proxll's reputable standing and expansive network in the Scandinavian market, both Bane NOR, the customer, and Caverion, the contractor, were immediately impressed by the functionality of the developed system. Consequently, it entered batch production in 2023 and was deployed within the past year. This rapid implementation not only underscores the effectiveness of the prototype but also emphasizes the significant demand and urgent need for innovative safety solutions in railway tunnels."

Closing Safety Gaps in Tunnels

The latest EU regulations require handrails with lighting on escape routes. With Döllken Profiles' Handrail System, tunnel operators can meet these requirements with a single integrated system. Clear orientation in emergency situations is crucial for safety and can even be life-saving in the event of an emergency. Especially in complete darkness, the importance of light as a central factor for reliable orientation becomes apparent.

Given longstanding guidelines and the rapid advancement of LED technology, new solution paths are emerging. Norway, a leader in the Human Development Index, aims to harness these potentials. Advanced LED technology not only promises greater energy efficiency but also flexible lighting design and control. Its integration into tunnel emergency lighting systems can enhance safety, reduce costs, and allevi-ate environmental impact. Moreover, it can be used in small and narrower tunnels to ensure effective lighting and orientation.

World's First Handrail with Three Integrated LED Strips

Döllken Profiles, in collaboration with its development partners, has designed a handrail that ensures maximum orientation in emergencies and consists of two components systemically. In the lower section, there is a mounting bracket along with a robust, fully protected LED strip, illuminating the escape route. The upper part serves as the actual handrail. A second and third LED strip ensure unambiguous orientation. The so-called Uplight shines towards the tunnel wall, while the Frontlight illuminates towards the tunnel center.

All three options are used in the crossing sections, where the emergency exits are located. The Handrail Security System is thus the world's first safety system for tunnels capable of accommodating three LED strips, providing a maximum level of functionality.

Innovative LED Technology for Safe and Sustainable Tunnel Lighting

The advancing LED technology not only offers increased energy efficiency but also enhanced flexibility in terms of lighting design and control. By incorporating these innovations into tunnel emergency lighting systems, not only can safety be improved and energy costs reduced, but also a reduction in environmental impact can be achieved. Additionally, it allows customers to quickly and easily carry out installations and repairs, with fewer cables and reduced downtime, without the need to halt traffic.

In the Norwegian Drammen Tunnel, a total of 14,000 m of the Handrail Security System were installed and will soon be handed over for use. The new Drammen Tunnel is part of the new double-track line from Drammen to Kobbervikdalen. It is almost 7 km long and consists of approximately 6 km of rock tunnels, 290 m of loose rock tunnels, and 540 m of concrete tunnels.

The development of the glass fiber-reinforced plastic profile was the responsibility of the engineers at Döllken Profiles, a company specialized in extrusion profiles based in Bönen (a subsidiary of SURTECO Group SE), and their subsidiary Döllken Lighting, which was responsible for the LED technology and is one of the pioneers in the development of durable LED strips.