Pod-Trak was contracted to supply and install all the OLE required to electrify the Hitachi-operated depot at Swansea. Works included the supply and installation of transfer plates, structures, SPS, headspans, switching and bonding.
The installation of the contact wire was omitted from the scope to reduce the risk of theft, as the depot will not go live until the Great Western Electrification reaches Swansea. Works also included the installation of structures along the NWR main line. With careful planning and communication between Pod-Trak, the client and Hitachi, the depot remained operational throughout the installation programme.
In 2018 Pod-Trak returned to site to remove the SPS as it is now unlikely that electrification will reach Swansea.
ATF works on the West Coast Mainline power supply upgrade (PSU) project utilising weekend possession/isolations in the North and midweek possession/isolations in the South.
Supply of OLEC staff and RRV MEWPs to support the works, including all transport required to move between the northern and southern sections of the project. Works included the installation of SPS, feeder wire, switching, assisting with the testing & commissioning and the removal of redundant equipment.
Pod-Trak was approached by Balfour Beatty Rail in July 2014 to assist with the installation of new OLE on the Liverpool to Manchester and Liverpool to Wigan routes.
The series 2 equipment was supplied free issue by BBR and installed by Pod-Trak teams working on our RRV MEWPs. Core works included SPS installation, wiring and final registration.
Critical tie-ins to existing electrification at Edge Hill and the West Coast Mainline were all carried out by Pod-trak. All plant moves between sites were managed and carried out in-house.
Pod-Trak was contracted by Brecknell Willis & Co to install all of the overhead line equipment (OLE) including Traction Power on the Phase 3 extensions to the Manchester Metrolink.
This links the City Centre to Manchester Airport, Didsbury, Ashton, Media City, Oldham, Rochdale and the new tram depot at Trafford.
Works included tying the new overhead line equipment into the existing phase 1 and 2 lines over a series of disruptive possessions, and the construction of new overhead line equipment over the new track bed.
The Tramway OLE was varied in its construction, ranging from autotensioned traditional catenary systems over segregated areas, to fixed termination trolley wire systems within the public areas. The
extensions included many complex overhead line equipments layouts over road junctions and pedestrianised areas. The overhead line works were the largest ever undertaken in a UK light rail environment, so our extensive experience in this line of work was very important in providing innovative solutions to some of the more complex issues.
This project was part of a long-standing relationship with Manchester Metrolink, where we have completed many varying projects successfully in the past.
As part of Network Rail’s £170 million Lee Valley Rail programme, disused land was used to reinstate a third track between Lea Bridge and the new Meridian Water station.
Naturally, a lot of our work has a large impact in helping communities to access better transport. In this project, our work ensured that there was increased capacity on the line which reduces congestion for passengers and freight. In turn, this allows regeneration projects in the Upper Lea Valley area to run smoothly and, in turn, attract more people to live there.
As part of this upgrade, the team was required to upgrade 6km of new track which will allow an extra two trains per hour (peak) to run between Stratford and the new Meridian Water station. Managed by Greater Anglia, which boasts a fleet of bi-modal trains running on both diesel and electric, Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) was an important part of this project.
Electrifying the route
The OLE scope of works included:
- The installation of 150 Circular Hollow Section (CHS) piles and 5 gravity foundations
- The erection of140 Main Steel structuresm which consisted of Single Track Cantilevers (STCs), Twin Track Cantilevers (TTCs) and Portals.
The Small Part Steelwork (SPS) and support components are a mix with OLEMI from Lea Bridge to Coppermill and Series 2 thereafter to Meridian Water.
The conductors are 19/2.1 Bronze 2 and 107 Copper for the main line and 19/3.25 Aluminium for all Return Conductors and Aerial Earths. The scope also included the installation of four Neutral Sections, two Booster Transformers, five Switches, bonding and the installation of 9 new HV cables and commissioning.
Much of the piling was completed off track using a Haul Road with all other tasks being completed using the new Lea Valley Reverse (LVR) and two existing lines.
As well as the LVR, there were various adjustments to make on the existing lines to enable structure removals for the LVR Permanent Way gauge and regeneration at the existing stations of Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park, as well as a new station at Meridian Water.
Works were completed and successfully handed over in late February 2019.
To support their Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi Rail Europe constructed new depots at Doncaster and Stoke Gifford in Bristol along with significant upgrade and rebuilding at the North Pole Depot in West London.
Our work helps Hitachi Rail Europe to continue with their rolling stock programme – which has grown to the point where their depots have been at full capacity in the UK.
Pod-Trak carries out a low-level inspection of the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) on a quarterly basis with a high-level maintenance inspection carried out annually.
A low-level inspection includes a visual inspection from the ground of the entire OLE system across each depot. This consists of checking for any possible damage, switch and section insulator setup, switching feeds, bonding and Designated Earth Points (DEPs).
The annual high-level inspection includes:
- Maintenance of switches
- Cleaning section insulators
- Bond continuity testing
- Wire wear checks
- Full height and stagger survey
A 10% intrusive inspection is carried out to check and validate the security of fixings by applying a mechanical torque check in line with design specifications.
Doncaster and Stoke Gifford consist of a Mark 3B Trolley Wire System while North Pole is a Mark 3B Catenary System.
All data from routine inspections and any follow up activities is captured and analysed for trends which is used to inform future maintenance inspections. All the data is captured in a report which is issued to Hitachi Rail Europe following each inspection. It is through this that we maintain regular communications with the client to ensure they are aware of the data.
Emergency cover – we’re available at all times
Along with the planned maintenance, Pod-Trak provides 24/7 emergency cover to react to incidents involving the OLE at each depot. This service involves making the area safe as a priority and working with Hitachi depot staff to ensure the depot can return to normal operational capacity as soon as possible.
Our knowledge in this area ensures that we can help the depots to return to normal quickly and efficiently.
The Manchester Metrolink consists of Phases 1 & 2 which were built in the 1990’s and the more recent Phase 3 constructed between 2010 and 2017.
Pod-Trak carry out all the high-level maintenance inspections of the OLE across the entire network between April and October each year.
The OLE system is made up of both catenary and trolley wire systems, which is routed in both street running and segregated railway. Routine maintenance activities are detailed within route specific maintenance manuals at intervals of 6, 12, 24 and 60 months. Typical mechanical checks include height & stagger measurements, contact wire wear, droppers, section insulators, switching, fastener security and torque checks. Electrical checks include insulator resistance and bond continuity.
All data from routine inspections and follow up activities is captured and analysed for trends which informs future maintenance inspections. The data is captured in a report which is issued following each inspection on each line.
Along with the planned maintenance Pod-Trak provide 24/7 emergency cover to react to incidents involving the OLE across the entire network. This service involves making the area safe as a priority and working with the operator to ensure service can be resumed as quickly as possible.
Pod-Trak worked as a key sub-contractor on the Bromsgrove Electrification Scheme, installing approximately 4.5 miles of new twin track electrification from the existing overhead line system at Barnt Green to the new relocated station at Bromsgrove.
Pod-Trak was heavily involved in the overall scope delivering the 25kV booster less classic system electrification scheme, constructed predominately from NR Series 2 equipment range & UK1 where it was necessary to tie into the existing OLE system at Barnt Green. The OLE tie-in was completed under a high profile yet successful methodology which saw Pod-Trak working effectively with limited time available.
The project included the installation of 27 ½ half tension lengths and 4 full tension length, 6km of traction return cabling, 150 OLE structures & 245 registration points over approximately 15 single track kilometres between the newly installed substation & switching configuration at Barnt Green Station and Bromsgrove Station on the Up & Down Gloucester Lines (ELR – BAG2).
This task included electrification of the Lickey Incline, the largest incline in Britain with an average 1:37 gradient for approximately 2 miles. Through careful planning and a strict enforcement of safety policies, zero accidents or incidents occurred throughout the 14-month project.
Network Rail identified a number of Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) structures throughout the Anglia region with varying degrees of lean, and as such all needed to be renewed to reduce the risk of OLE failure.
Pod-Trak’s extensive experience in OLE works meant that it was the contractor of choice to ensure that these structures remained reliable through improvements in longevity and a reduction in wear and tear.
The lean is caused by several factors including poor ground conditions, inadequate foundations, steelwork damage and life expired equipment. The scope of works on this phase of the project was the replacement of 24 existing structures with new single cantilever arrangements.
The works involved the installation of:
- New OLE pile foundations
- New structures
- New cantilevers
- New droppers
- New midpoint anchors
- New registration
It also included the installation and alteration to Return Conductor wires and removal of the redundant structures.
All works were carried out over a series of weekend possessions carried out as follows:
- Install 610mm piles
- Install main steel & bonding (both temporary and permanent bonding)
- Install Small Part Steel (SPS)
- Transfer of OLE and new registration
- Install / move return conductor wire to new Design
- Removal of redundant steel
Post works all associated hand back material was submitted supporting the installation including:
- Quality Check Sheets
- Redline drawings
- Height and stagger surveys
The Crossrail Western Outer OLE Project provided Electrification of the outer Crossrail route between Stockley Junction to West of Maidenhead station. The Project included electrification of the Main lines, Relief lines, Crossovers, Loops, Sidings and Turn-backs.
Pod-Trak provided Construction Management, Engineering, OLEC teams, OTP and POS to assist Balfour Beatty with the works. The overall scheme consisted of the detailed design, construction, test and commission of a Series 1 Furrer & Frey system.
To assist with the daily planning and delivery of the project, Pod-Trak provided Construction Management and Engineering to manage OLE teams, work site integration, material management and assurance/handback documentation.
The site teams working alongside Balfour Beatty teams and other suppliers, installed main steel, SPS, wiring and final registration.
With adjacent lines open to traffic all plant had to be ALO compliant. This was managed nightly by Pod-Trak POS Representatives working closely with the Balfour Beatty ALO coordinators.