Working with Portastor on this project meant we were able to fit out and commission large numbers of Network Rail compliant buildings simultaneously, ready for delivery to site, thanks to the large factory and storage facilities at Portastor.
The need to increase capacity by introducing ‘next generation’ 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 on the network. As part of its framework agreement with Network Rail, Siemens was appointed
to supply upgraded switchgear in the area, and needed to find a supplier of robust switchgear housings that fulfilled the stringent requirements of Network Rail Standard 21030.
Portastor was required to fully fit out and pre-commission a total of 27 buildings, ranging in size from 17m2 to 30m2.
For this project, Portastor designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned a range of building sizes to comply with the Network Rail standard. This standard demanded a 40-year design life and a rail gauge width that allows them to be transported by rail. To achieve a 40-year design life, Portastor maintains close control over the design and manufacturing of its buildings, which are fabricated in its state-of-the-art production facility.
The robust, secure, all-steel buildings are finished with a long-life, threecoat paint system specially developed by Portastor to protect its buildings from corrosion. A fourth coat of anti-graffiti paint was applied to the Siemens buildings to ensure they remained smart and untarnished for the long term. The restricted width of the buildings meant that Portastor had to devise a layout that optimised the interior floor space and enabled all the required switchgear and associated equipment to be installed safely and accessibly.
All free-issue third-party equipment was received by Portastor in York and fitted into the units under controlled conditions, to ensure the highest quality standards were maintained. Each unit was fitted out with 110V transformers, SCADA RTUs, batteries and chargers,lighting, heating and forced-fan cooling systems, as well as all cabling and cable-management structures. Extensive testing was carried out before the buildings were despatched. Portastor tested all cabling, electrical and ventilation equipment, while Siemens tested all of its switchgear and other main plant items forming the overall substation. Tests were
witnessed by Network Rail to ensure the installation met the required standards.
Because the 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 these potentially hazardous trackside locations.
Portastor is one of only three Network Rail approved suppliers of switchgear housings. We chose them to provide all the AC switchgear housings for this project primarily because of the volume of buildings involved. We knew Portastor had a considerable site capable of accommodating such large numbers of buildings, and could fit them out simultaneously ready for delivery to site
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