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    The new Marseilles highway tunnel (France)

    With its automation and electrical distribution products, Schneider Electric makes its contribution to the "Major-Dunkerque" highway tunnel inaugurated last December 16th in Marseilles (France). The 1,418-meter tunnel provides a continuous link between the Toulon (A 50) and Littoral (A 55) motorways. The tunnel offers two lanes of one-way traffic and can handle 3,500 vehicles per hour. It now frees Marseilles’ Major cathedral (Cathedral de la Major) and its esplanade from the motorways that encircled it and also does away with the nuisances created by the traffic.
    A centralized technical management system (GTC), designed and implemented by the engineering firm GTIE Rhône-Alpes Transport (Groupe Vinci), handles all of the tunnel's utility control functions (electrical power, ventilation, lighting, wastewater pumping stations) and manages the surveillance and safety devices (signaling, video, AID: automatic incident detection, safety equipment). It integrates Schneider Electric automated devices built on an architecture based on Hot Stand-by Quantum PLCs communicating by a double Ethernet fiber optic loop with its monitoring system itself being fail-safe. Remote input/output Momentum modules, installed in safety recesses throughout the tunnel, send information concerning the status of the various equipment connected to the utilities, surveillance and monitoring equipment, and relay the control orders supplied by the PLCs in order to ensure total availability of the infrastructure's power.

    With more than 30 years of experience in the field of vehicular tunnels, Schneider Electric proposes high-availability architectures based on secure and fail-safe power supply and automation systems. Cast resin dry-type transformers, UPS, medium- and low-voltage distribution panels, variable speed drives for ventilation and smoke control motor control, failsafe PLCs, Transparent Ready TM communication networks adopting universal Ethernet TCP/IP standards, web servers embedded into equipment authorizing remote access to all available information on the Ethernet network for monitoring, surveillance, diagnostic and maintenance purposes… are just some of the products used in terms of tunnel-related electrical equipment.
    Among the numerous references in this field, mention can be made of the Fréjus, Dullin, Epine, and Monaco tunnels in France… the Melbourne City Link in Australia, the Boston "big dig" tunnel in the USA, the "del Fiori" motorway in Italy, and the "Canton of Genève" motorway in Switzerland…