The need to increase capacity by introducing longer, larger and faster trains in Network Rail’s Southern Zone meant that existing substations had to be upgraded to cope with the greater power demands. Siemens was appointed to supply upgraded AC switchgear in the area, and Hawker Siddeley to supply DC switchgear. Both needed to source robust switchgear housings that fulfilled the stringent requirements of Network Rail Standard 21030.
Siemens chose Portastor to provide all AC switchgear housings for this project, primarily because of the volume of buildings involved and the high throughput required to complete the work on schedule. Portastor has a vast site capable of accommodating large numbers of buildings for simultaneous fitting out.
Portastor fitted out and pre-commissioned 29 buildings, ranging in size from 17m2 to 30m2. Network Rail Standard 21030 demands building with a 40-year design life, which Portastor achieved through precision manufacturing and a three-coat paint system to protect against corrosion. A fourth coat of anti-graffiti paint was applied to ensure the buildings remained untarnished.
For Hawker Siddeley, Portastor designed, manufactured and fitted out a DC switchgear building to be located at Blackheath. The location of this building meant that it required a 60-year design life, which Portastor achieved by constructing the building entirely from stainless steel.
Because all buildings were fully pre-commissioned before they left the Portastor factory, they could be quickly connected upon delivery to site – minimising disruption and reducing risks on potentially hazardous trackside locations.
02 Siemens – Rail Electrification
03 Siemens Rail Electrification & Hawker Siddeley Switchgear
04 ABB – Great Western Railway
05 Bilfinger Berger – Edinburgh
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