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A Jefferies tube (also known as a Jeffries tube) was a technical reference to any of a number of small access tunnel routes to various starship and starbase systems. From these accessible locations, any number of systems could be reached for maintenance. They were invented by the engineer Frederick William Jefferies. (TOS novel: Home is the Hunter)
Jefferies tubes provide access to numerous systems and are most frequently used by engineers to carry out maintenance and repairs. Tubes can also be used as alternate routes should the normal corridors and turbolifts be cut off, and the knowledge of Jefferies tube networks by a ship's crew can often be used to provide a tactical advantage in a boarding situation. (TLE novel: Serpents Among the Ruins)