Network Rail kicks off sub station overhaul

03 January 2006

Network Rail has embarked on a £9 million project to upgrade power sub stations with the first installation from Siemens Transportation Systems.

The rail infrastructure provider has earmarked the planned installation of 23 25kV sub stations as a ‘golden’ project, one of high importance, which needs to be prioritised.

The operation kicked off on November 23 when the containerised substation, with 16-panel switchboard, was lifted into place in Barking, London, at four in the morning. The installation required the co-operation of the local council as roads had to be shut, cars moved and street furniture taken down for the 100 tonne crane and the 16x4x4 metre container to be transported. But the installation was successful.

The project is due for completion in Spring 2008. The main supply contractor is Siemens Transportation Systems. The main on-site contractor is McNicholas.

In a bid to minimise disruption the substation is fully assembled and cold tested off site. Jean-Philippe Macary, senior project manager at Siemens Transportation Systems, said: “I’m proud to confirm that the programme is on time and on budget.” Siemens has described the installation procedure as a major step forward in streamlined and fault-free installation.

Commenting on the installation, Mike Barnby, project manager, said: “These are essentially ‘plug and play’ substations.”

He added: “Most of the components are made in Germany, shipped to the UK for assembly and then installed using a huge cane and where necessary, with assistance from the local council”.

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