Switzerland, Zurich: ABB and its consortium partner UK Power Networks (UKPN) Services have been awarded a contract worth around $145 million by Network Rail to upgrade one of Britain’s oldest and busiest railways.
The consortium will be responsible for the turnkey delivery of more than 30 new traction substations. The contract represents the first sizable new electrification project by Network Rail in over 30 years and forms a key part of the Great Western Electrification Programme (GWEP).
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 %. The expansion and upgrade will result in more reliable services for passengers and reduce noise emissions affecting communities located close to railway lines.
“These substations will provide additional supply of quality power and facilitate the expansion and upgrade of this important rail network that will benefit passengers and the community at large” said Claudio Facchin, Head of ABB’s Power Systems division. "ABB has leading technologies and a strong track record of providing innovative solutions for the rail sector across the world.”
The project also incorporates ABB’s advanced protection and control concept, developed to suit Network Rail’s RATS. This highly sophisticated method of deploying the global IEC 61850 open communications standard helps achieve a cost-efficient substation solution.
The first substation is scheduled for commissioning in 2015 and the project is expected to be completed in 2017.