Custom Built Refuge Chamber For Tunnelling Project In Canada

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MineARC deliver a custom built refuge chamber for tunnelling transport project in Canada.
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MineARC Systems America has recently completed 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 Canada’s longest rapid transit system.

The custom built, 12-person TunnelSAFE Refuge Chamber was designed to meet project specifications, accommodating tight spaces on the trailing gear of the 10 meters (32″) diameter Caterpillar Tunnel Boring Machine. Also maintaining proximity to the working face and providing ease of use and an advanced level of safety for underground workers during an emergency.

A custom-built refuge chamber for tunnelling in design according to the International Tunneling Association (ITA) “Guidelines For the Provision of Refuge Chambers in Tunnels Under Construction”.


The tunnelling chamber includes capacity seating for 12 occupants and comprehensive life support and emergency systems:

  • 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 an onboard battery backup supply engineered to operate all electrical functions in the event of a complete power failure.

During MineARC Systems commissioning of the refuge chamber in March 2014, 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 the construction of this transit rail project, both above and below ground.

As an essential part of any progressive organisation’s emergency response plan, MineARC Systems Refuge Chambers provides 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.

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