HV Switchgear Renewals at Shawford and Ashurst Substations

RJ Power Rail successfully secured a contract with Octavius Infrastructure in 2020 to deliver the HV Switchgear Renewals at Shawford and Ashurst Substations

Network Rail’s Wessex E&P RAM identified locations for HV Switchgear renewals, based upon the following drivers:

  • Asset condition and obsolescence
  • Obsolescence of spares and manufacturer support
  • Maintenance condition scores
  • Asset failure rates

As part of Octavius CP6 Frameworks, they competitively tendered the HV Electrical scope to deliver both Shawford and Ashurst substations where RJ Power Rail were successful in securing the package of works from our valued client.

The works required careful planning in conjunction with our client, Octavius, and all the stakeholders involved, and have been commissioned to meet Network Rail Wessex Route desired project outcome within the required project timeframe.

Project Deliverables

The project scope was to install, test and commission fully fitted 6-panel AC Modular mild steel building and a separated LVAC module at Ashurst and a fully integrated module at Shawford, along with its associated electrical equipment. The project will also include the installation of new auxiliary transformers, new signalling transformers, high voltage, low voltage, control and indication cables, hot splice transition joints, pilot boxes, end box modifications and decommissioning of the redundant HV switchgear.

Pre-commencement stage

  • Undertaking site surveys of the existing Shawford and Ashurst substations and remote end sites
  • Dilapidation survey of the existing infrastructure assets

Design stage

RJ Power Rail were not responsible for the design, but assisted the electrical design on the project utilising our experience and expertise on electrification projects to ensure that all engineering deliverables – from design through to on-site works – were carried out in compliance with relevant NR standards and the client’s requirements.

Implementation stage

The scope of work had several key deliverables which relied on the experience of safe design, operations and works delivery team:

  • Install temporary LV supply to new HV Module to allow for heating, lighting and pre-commissioning of equipment
  • Installation of new earth farms to meet the required NR Standards
  • Install HV cabling in newly installed trough routes between HV module to AT’s, rectifiers and hot splice locations, as per approved design
  • Install cable management system in existing substation modules for interface cabling between new and existing equipment
  • Install LV, control, SCADA, pilot and signalling cabling in newly installed trough routes, as per approved design, to the new ATs, signal transformers, existing substation and existing signalling equipment and new hot splicer locations
  • Install protection panels and cable containment and associated wiring at remote end substations
  • Install manual changeover switch and wiring into REB
  • Install temporary generator for use of back-up to LV and signal supplies during commissioning
  • New lengths of 185mm² Al XLPE will be run from the hot splice joints to the new HV module; joints to be completed in a staged process in line with agreed ITP
  • New oil leads will be run in and installed along with any necessary new oil tanks
  • SCADA to be installed to the RTU and / or marshalling frame; at this stage, it is proposed that the new HV Module will be controlled from Eastleigh ECR via the current Electro-Mechanical System. Eventually, control will be migrated to new TPCMS system. Once this has been commissioned, any modifications required to TPCMS or the new TPCMS RTU will be carried out by others
  • Implementation of all ITPs, Commissioning Plans and Switching Schedules
  • Once all wiring is complete, RJ Power Rail will pre-commission the new HV Switchgear, new ATs, signalling transformers changeover panels, remote end panel and install final protection settings, ready to be commissioned into service with all LV testing results complete to BS7671 standard certificates completed and registered with the NIC
  • Where possible, all new SCADA control and indication of new alarms will be uploaded on to the new scheme in advance of commissioning to test back to Eastleigh ECR prior to entering into service
  • However, our basic principle would be to test and pre-commission the equipment within the substation, proving the changes as a working independent solution. This would be against a pre-agreed test schedule, proving functionality has not been impacted
  • Commissioning of the new HV Module and associated equipment will have to take place in staged operations to minimise risk to the operational railway and transfer of signal supplies from old to new equipment in white periods, where it will be necessary to drop the signals for a short period of time and test with a signal works testing team
  • Provide all hand-back information to include, but not limited to: as-builts, O&M manuals, design documentation, safety information, post-construction information and H&S files
  • Full new 33kv Substation successfully commissioned into operational service

Challenges & Solutions

Critical planning

Given the nature of the works, a detailed programme was developed to incorporate not just the on-site activities, but the on-track deliveries. Working in a collaborative manner with our client, our in-house engineering and construction team formed a project team to meet and deliver the requirements of the project. The project involved working within possessions of the mainline route into London, delivering critical infrastructure upgrade works on time and without delays.

General access into Ashurst also had some challenges, working closely with the New Forest National Park commission, adhering to all environmental challenges, and working collaboratively with our client and the general public.

Multifunctional works

Due to the complexity of the substation element of works, our project team – in conjunction with key stakeholders, our client Octavius and Network Rails’ maintainer and Route Asset Management teams and Raynes Park Electrical Control Room – required the teams to work collaboratively to ensure the commissioning solution was safe, correct and to programme. This also involved integration of new equipment on to the operational infrastructure, led and managed with support from our extensive supply chain.

Design interface

In our role as specialist contractor supporting all the various project designers, our engineering team had to consider the necessary interface between the Signalling and SCADA. This was made more challenging as the SCADA interface had to consult with the National SCADA programme to ensure projects were not duplicating and creating unnecessary works.

Logistics management

Delivery of plant and equipment is always challenging on or about the rail infrastructure, however our client managed the delivery of modules over several staged weekends, which involved the rail team developing a liaison plan for interfacing with residents. Our client’s approach to stakeholder management was to provide an open and honest approach, providing detailed delivery plans and programmes.

“Following successful commissioning of the new HV Switchgear at Shawford and Ashurst, I am glad to be able to state that we have now completed the handover of the new assets into operational service. Thank you all very much for your hard work, collaboration and dedication through this extremely challenging project. It was a pleasure working with you all on this element of the works and I hope to work with you again in the future.” – Liam Green, Octavius Senior Project Manager

Liam Green, Octavius

About Us

RJ Power Rail Limited is a Full Trackside Principal Contractor to Network Rail and provides power engineering services for the rail industry. Its expert team has decades of experience covering all aspects of electrical engineering within high voltage electrification systems, traction power and industrial low voltage distribution systems across various regions within the UK.

RJ Power Rail Limited shares our clients’ objectives in how we conduct ourselves and our business, which has allowed us to develop long-term relationships with both Network Rail, TfL and several Tier One contractors.

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