UK Multitel distributor Access Industries has delivered a 10 metre Multitel MS100 truck mounted platform to the Blackwall Tunnel in London, England.
The MS100 features a 3.5 by 1.8 metre platform with 400kg capacity. It also has 500mm of side traversing capability, and when operating on wheels can be driven while elevated at a working height of up to six metres, with 250kg platform capacity. It will be used for maintenance and cleaning of the tunnel located beneath the River Thames.
The Blackwall Tunnel is really a pair of tunnels, the first of which opened in 1897 as a single bore tunnel to improve trade in the East End of London. Initially used for pedestrian, cycle and horse drawn traffic, it was upgraded in the 1930's to handle other vehicles. Horse drawn traffic was not banned from using the tunnel until 1947. A second tunnel was built in the 1960’s and carries the North South traffic.
The tunnels pose some unusual challenges, in particular the northbound tunnel, which is based on the original tunnel. Today it is two lanes wide but the outer lane has a 2.8 metre height restriction. Bells are attached to the tunnel roof in order to deter higher vehicles from using it. However several times a week the bells are clipped by passing traffic and need to be re-positioned. The new platform will be used for this task along with lighting maintenance and cleaning etc… The northbound tunnel also has several sharp bends and is generally ‘tight’ in places, which also adds to the challenges.