ORPE makes tunnel gate at Baikal railway in Siberia

December 25, 2019 - Russia

The tunnel portal sliding gate with large-sized wings produced by ORPE Technologiya is now placed in operation in the Baikal railway tunnel of the East Siberian railway (section Delbichinda – Daban). The strong and lightweight gate leaves from polymer composites will provide a stable microclimate in the engineering structure and the rolling stock safety.

In total, ORPE has produced three sets of composite gate wings to the customer, Obukhov State Plant: two sets are for installation at the entrances to the tunnel, and one set is a backup. The large-sized constructions consisting of fibreglass skins and a special core material are sandwich panels 6.8 metres high and 3.2 metres wide. The weight of each wing is 850 kg, and yet in an emergency break-down of automatic equipment or a drive mechanism, it can be destroyed by a railway engine without damaging a railway train, the company said in a press release.

The main application of the gate is the protection of the tunnel from environmental hazards, increased humidity, and low temperatures. One of the main problems solved by the specialists of ORPE while producing the large-sized composite wings was to provide the balance between the predetermined stiffness of a gate leaf and the weight and strength characteristics of the product.

“Compliance with the temperature and humidity parameters takes on particular importance to the railway infrastructure characterised by a great number of electronics. The composite gate provides the reliable protection of the tunnel and compliance with the railway safety requirements,” Andrei Silkin, director general of ORPE said.

Thanks to the new tunnel, the track carrying capacity will be significantly increased; from 15 to 25 pairs of trains per day. Nowadays, the readiness of the tunnel is 98 per cent and it is planned to put the tunnel into operation in 2020.