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High Speed 1 security

High Speed 1 security

01/01/2009 | Channel: Security

Preventing unauthorised access to key buildings and equipment along the 24-mile (39 km) second section of the High Speed 1 – Southfleet junction in Kent to St Pancras International in London – is a vital security and safety requirement for Network Rail (CTRL) Ltd, the operator of High Speed 1, Britain’s first high-speed railway in over 100 years.

As well as a limited number of bridges, masts and inspection towers, this largely-underground section also includes vent shafts up to 14 storeys (nearly 50 metres) deep, as well as numerous underground power, communications, control and fire muster rooms.

Following its successful completion of similar work on the Channel Tunnel to Fawkham junction in Kent section, high performance lock and access control company Abloy UK and Kent-based Astra Security were appointed to survey, specify and fit appropriate access control devices.

Abloy UK’s Barry Jenkins commented: “Because much of this section is underground, securing each site and providing tightly controlled access to facilities and equipment presented a much more technical and complicated challenge.”

To identify which access control systems and products would be most appropriate at each location, Graham Twist from Astra Security and Barry Jenkins, carried out a detailed survey of all the underground vent shafts, power and control rooms, as well as the limited number of bridges, masts and inspection towers nabove ground.

Graham and Barry then used the results from this detailed audit to design a complete access control solution to meet the specific security and operational needs of the section.

As well as supplying high-performance locks to secure telecoms rooms, fire muster rooms, blast-proof and flood-resistant doors. Abloy UK also developed a Master Key system that encompasses locks along the whole route. This system contains a hierarchy of keys – from a Master Key that opens all locks, through to the lowest tier of key that may only open one specific lock on a single door – which gave Network Rail a very efficient and cost-effective access control solution.

Over a three-month period in late summer/early autumn of 2007, Astra Security personnel fitted more than 1000 high-performance Abloy locks as they secured each site. When the final section of the 68-mile (108 km) high-speed link was opened on 14th November 2007, it reduced the journey time between London and Paris to a mere 2 hours 15 minutes.