MineARC Systems America has recently completed delivery of a refuge chamber to Caterpillar Tunneling for the Evergreen Line tunnel project, an extension of Vancouver’s SkyTrain system being built for the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink). When completed in 2016, the Evergreen Line will connect downtown Vancouver to nearby Coquitlam, via a 2km (1.25 mile) tunnel beneath Burnaby Mountain, becoming part of the longest rapid transit system in Canada.
The custom built, 12-person chamber was designed to meet project specifications, accommodating for tight spaces on the trailing gear of the 10 meter (32’) diameter Caterpillar tunnel boring machine, while also maintaining close proximity to the working face and providing ease of use and an advanced level of safety for underground workers during an emergency.
Built in accordance with the International Tunneling Association (ITA) “Guidelines For the Provision of Refuge Chambers in Tunnels Under Construction”, the MineARC chamber includes capacity seating for 12 occupants, comprehensive life support and emergency systems, such as filtered and regulated compressed air connection, emergency lighting, digital gas detection of O2, CO2 and CO, metered oxygen supply, active CO2 and CO removal system, air conditioning, and communications. In addition, the refuge includes onboard battery backup supply, engineered to operate all refuge electrical functions in the event of a complete power failure.
During MineARC Systems commissioning of the refuge chamber in March of this year they provided maintenance and operational training to members of SNC-LAVALIN Constructors / SELI Canada Joint Venture (SSJV). SSJV is part of the Evergreen Line Rapid Transit (EGRT) Consortium that oversees construction of this transit rail project, both above and below ground.
As an essential part of any progressive organization’s emergency response plan, MineARC Systems refuge chambers provide a peerless level of safety to underground workers through constant innovation and improvement in modern refuge chamber technologies making the company a benchmark for industrial safety and quality engineering worldwide.