Leading power and automation technology group, ABB will be supplying turnkey substations to Network Rail as part of a contract to upgrade one of Britain’s oldest and busiest railways.
ABB and its consortium partner UK Power Networks (UKPN) Services have been awarded the contract worth around $145 million, evenly split between the consortium partners.
The consortium will be responsible for the turnkey delivery of more than 30 new traction substations. Representing the first sizable new electrification project to be undertaken by Network Rail in over 30 years, the contract forms a key part of the Great Western Electrification Programme (GWEP), with the expansion and upgrade to result in more reliable services for passengers and reduce noise emissions affecting communities located close to railway lines.
Claudio Facchin, Head of ABB’s Power Systems division explains that the substations will provide additional quality power and facilitate the expansion and upgrade of this important rail network to benefit passengers and the community at large. He adds that ABB has leading technologies and a strong track record of providing innovative solutions for the rail sector across the world.
The GWEP substations will be based on ABB’s unique modular Structure Mounted Outdoor Switchgear (SMOS) Light concept, which is designed to help railway infrastructure owners reduce the time required for construction, testing and commissioning by as much as 30 per cent. The substation will deploy ABB’s state-of-the-art eco-efficient power distribution switchgear, supporting Network Rail’s policy of reducing its environmental impact.
The turnkey substation solution also incorporates ABB’s advanced protection and control concept, which was developed to suit Network Rail’s own Rationalised Autotransformer Scheme (RATS). This highly sophisticated method of deploying the global IEC 61850 open communications standard helps achieve a cost-efficient substation solution. The protection and control cubicles and accessories will be installed in a portable, containerised Auxiliary Equipment Enclosure (AEE) that is fully factory-assembled and tested, constituting a near plug-and play solution.
The first substation is scheduled for commissioning in 2015 and the project is expected to be completed in 2017.
ABB offers a wide range of power and automation products including alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) traction substations and railway electrification solutions for mainline trains, metros and mass-transit networks.