Feyter Industrial Services and Feyter Forklift Services are jointly manufacturing the electric maintenance vehicles to be newly developed for the Westerschelde Tunnel. The new vehicles are needed because the current ones are reaching the end of their service life. They have been operational since the opening of the Tunnel in 2003. The new vehicles will be fully developed, manufactured and assembled by the Feyter Group. It will manufacture a total of four vehicles that will be delivered halfway through October 2018.
The compact, electric vehicles will be deployed for maintenance work on the electric systems of the Westerschelde Tunnel. These systems can be found under the road surface of the 6.6 kilometre long tunnel. The current maintenance vehicles were delivered for the opening of the Tunnel in 2003. As a specialist in the maintenance of electric equipment, Feyter Forklift Services has been involved in the maintenance of these vehicles for many years. Just like the Tunnel itself, the electric vehicles have now turned 15. As this means that they are reaching the end of their service life, the decision was made in 2017 to replace the vehicles in 2018.
With its extensive experience with the very specific circumstances of the Westerschelde Tunnel, Feyter Group is the perfect partner for the development and production of the new vehicles. The new vehicles will be tailor made to ensure they can be used in the extremely tight space under the road surface and to comply with modern technology and safety requirements.
The development and production of the new electric vehicles is a great project in which the different areas of expertise within the Feyter Group complement each other. The experience of Feyter Forklift Services regarding the maintenance of electric vehicles is combined with the specialisation regarding engineering and machine building of Feyter Industrial Services.
TUNNEL MAINTENANCE WORK
As is the case with every modern tunnel, the Westerschelde Tunnel is full of electronic systems. These include lighting, signalling and ventilation systems and, of course, safety systems such as the security system that ensures that, when a vehicle drives too slowly through the tunnel, detection loops in the road surface detect this immediately. In the latter case, the tunnel operator receives an alert so he or she can adjust the speeds in the tunnel, close a lane using a red cross on the matrix signals and speak to the driver through one of the 300 loudspeakers in the tunnel. All these electric systems in the Westerschelde Tunnel, which is 60 metres deep at its lowest point, have been installed and are managed by the Westerschelde Tunnel Maintenance Organisation.