Switchgear solutions


Modular equipment housing specialist Portastor is working with some of the rail industry’s market leading technology providers on next generation solutions for power substations. The York-based company has secured orders worth over £2.5m to design and build modular equipment housings for power, protection and control equipment for rail projects including the Great Western Electrification Project (GWEP) and the East Coast Mainline overhead electrification programme.

Portastor’s team, based at its purpose-built manufacturing site in York, has secured over £2m worth of orders from power and automation technologies provider ABB. The company will engineer 33 control and protection modular buildings to support ABB’s structure mounted outdoor switchgear (SMOS) for the Great Western Electrification Project (GWEP) contract secured last year by ABB in a consortium with UK Power Network Services. The innovative concept, developed in conjunction with Portastor’s experienced engineering team, cuts the time needed for construction, testing and commissioning of traction power distribution switchgear by about 30 per cent.

Also for ABB, Portastor will supply five portable, fully-containerised auxiliary electrification enclosures (AEE) for power and control equipment as part of a Crossrail contract.

In addition, Portastor has secured a contract from Siemens to design and build the first of a new style modular equipment housing for phase one of the East Coast Mainline overhead electrification project. The 37m x 4m switchgear housing, weighing 75 tonnes, also features a control room annexe.

Finally, Portastor has been commissioned by The Spencer Group to supply a single modular equipment housing for a Network Rail project to upgrade power supplies in the Southern Region.

Portastor CEO David Jennings said: “Our experienced team of engineers continues to develop ideas for innovative equipment housing solutions. We are delighted that industry leaders recognise the contribution we can make to their goal of delivering power system solutions which will make rail journeys more reliable, greener and smoother for passengers, as well as quieter for people living near the railway.”

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