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Longest rail tunnel in Belgium

A perfect product mix for a complex challenge

Antwerp’s Liefkenshoek railway connection provides an essential transport link through the heart of Europe’s busiest port. Passing under the Scheldt estuary, the rail tunnel is a critical goods link between the port and the European-wide rail distribution network. Effective tunnel drainage is of absolutely fundamental importance – and Wavin products make an essential contribution.

The drainage solution for the six kilometer-long tunnel posed a number of very particular design challenges. Passing beneath the estuary meant that the system could only have one point of access and one exit. The tunnel would also need to slope down to the central point of the crossing, meaning that gravity would naturally gather rainwater in the tunnel.

Although the designers were originally considering concrete pipes, Wavin were soon able to demonstrate the value of opting for the PP Wavin X-Stream foul water system. Hendrik Nijland, project leader for THV Locobouw was impressed by two factors in particular: ease of handling and lifespan.

“The Wavin system was so easy to handle compared to any concrete alternative – and that was particularly important for teams working under time-pressure in a relatively inaccessible environment. In addition, Wavin were able to demonstrate categorically that the lifespan of the products would meet the long-term demands of the job.”

Wavin were able to demonstrate categorically that the lifespan of the products would meet the long-term demands of the job.
- Hendrik Nijland, Project Leader THV Locobouw

Wavin combined standard Wavin X-Stream components with a large number of custom built manholes and HDPE inspection chambers. These were individually specified and configured off-site to ensure speedy and trouble-free installation by the project team.

For Hendrik Nijland, Wavin were a lot more than product suppliers, “Not only did the team at Wavin handle all logistics faultlessly from start to finish – they gave us the exceptional levels of technical and product support needed to ensure the complete success of this demanding project.”

Wavin chamber inside the tunnel The tunnel
Wavin chamber inside the tunnel
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