ECML power supply upgrade complete

THE first phase of Network Rail’s programme to upgrade 25kV AC power supplies on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) is on track for completion in time for the introduction of new train fleets in 2018.

Power Supply Upgrade Phase 1 (PSU1) is a £237million scheme to modernise and uprate traction power supply between Wood Green in north London and Bawtry, south of Doncaster.

The new £40m auto-switching sub-station constructed between the East Coast Main Line and Hertford Loop lines south of Stevenage is one of seven new facilities built to upgrade the 25kV AC power supply on the southern section of the ECML. NETWORK RAIL

It will allow Virgin Trains East Coast and Thameslink Great Northern to introduce enhanced timetables and new trains in 2018/19.

The work includes the installation of seven new sub-stations at Potters Bar, Welwyn, Langley Junction and Corey’s Mill, near Stevenage, Hitchin, Little Barford and Essendine, near Stamford, where a new 400kV National Grid supply has been installed.

Eleven other sub-stations have been replaced, five more refurbished, more than 600km of new cabling and 110 foundations laid, and a disused sub-station at Tallington, north of Peterborough, has been removed, saving £3m.

Reliable and robust

Cost savings have also been made possible by using containerised air-insulated switchgear (ASG) installations, which are cheaper and quicker to install

Other work undertaken over the last three years includes an enhanced protection and control system, replacement of copper control cables with fibre cabling, telecoms immunisation, and conversion of the key Welwyn to Hitchin section to more reliable and robust auto-transformer equipment.

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