Controlled Track Switches – Design & Installation

RJ Power Rail successfully secured and completed a contract with Network Rail, to act as the Principal Contractor for the design and installation of Controlled Track Switches (CTS), across 9 different sites and locations for the Wessex Works Delivery team.

RJ Power Rail provided a fully managed design and build solution, delivering the design scope through long-term supply chain partner Rail Power Solutions.

The CTS devices installed were a new safety feature and method of managing power to the conductor rail system, which is fed from traction substations at 750V DC, enabling activities to be implemented from a position of safety (Electrical Control Room) and not from an on or near the line position.

The renewal was condition, reliability and safety driven and was supported by Network Rail fault data and E&P Asset Policy. The works were a continuation based upon the CP5 E&P Works Delivery Renewals Programme. 

The works required careful planning in conjunction with Network Rail’s Access Planning Manager and have been commissioned to meet Network Rail’s desired project outcome within the required project timeframe


The project scope covered the procurement, design, installation, testing and commissioning of Controlled Track Switches at 9 different locations detailed below, to create a new primary depot supply for the new rolling stock:

  • Cosham
  • Eastleigh
  • Fareham
  • Guildford
  • Ludgate Jct (Clapham)
  • Queenstown Road
  • Southampton
  • Strawberry Hill
  • Woking

Pre-commencement stage

  • Undertaking site surveys of all 9 locations for the new works
  • Dilapidation surveys of the existing infrastructure assets
  • Undertaking ground condition surveys

Design stage

RJ Power Rail undertook the role of CEM on the project utilising our multi-disciplinary expertise in Civil Construction, Permanent Way and Electrification projects, ensuring that all engineering deliverables from design through to actual on-site works were carried out in compliance with relevant Network Rail standards.

Having a competent team with existing and developed relationships with the Network Rail Project Team, made obtaining the relevant design approvals a seamless process. All associated designs i.e. SCADA, Civils and E&P were managed and delivered by RJ Power Rail.

Implementation stage

  • Survey and design
  • Installation of precast concrete CTS bases
  • Installation of all associated civil works including troughing and modifications to existing infrastructure
  • Installation of LV power supplies
  • Installation of SCADA cabling from the substation to the CTS units
  • Installation of DC Track Feeder cables
  • Delivery and installation of CTS units
  • Installation of SCADA equipment within the relevant substations
  • Pre-Commissioning and testing


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 and the wheels free possession times for commissioning.

Multi-functional works

Due to the complexity of the commissioning relating to signal testing, RJ Power Rail and Network Rail’s Signalling team worked collaboratively to ensure the commissioning solution was both safe and correct.

Design interface

The design was also complex, as our design team had to consider the necessary interface between the Signalling and SCADA. This was made more challenging as the SCADA interface had to liaise 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, as some of the delivery points for the CTS units were adjacent to, or on other stakeholders land, it meant that the rail team had to develop a liaison plan for interfacing with local residents and corporate business owners. Our approach to stakeholders, was to provide an open and honest approach, providing detailed delivery plans and programmes along with rectifying any maintenance infrastructure issues the landowners may have. RJ Power Rail has been consistently praised throughout the contract for its communication with landowners and other project stakeholders.

Additional scope of works 

Given RJ Power Rail’s expertise and experience as a Principal Contractor within the Railway Electrification sector, we were approached by Network Rail to develop and build a DC Traction Power training school inside Network Rail’s Basingstoke training facility. Again, our design team produced all designs and liaised with all manufacturers to understand how to emulate the correct conditions. There were very tight timescales involved in these works, from agreeing the project costs to handover of this training facility. It was delivered in 8 weeks to meet the desired timeframe.


RJ Power Rail has an established team that combines design, engineering and delivery expertise across all rail electrification activities and can be trusted with the most complex and demanding of projects.

The company offers the full range of rail electrification and power services from one-off cable repairs to multi-million-pound HV, LV and SCADA Design & Build projects.

The company is an experienced power solutions delivery provider, who work collaboratively with their clients and own supply chain as a reliable partner, providing exceptional expertise and proven project delivery in respect of HV Electrification and DC Switchgear schemes.


East Feltham Depot

RJ Power Rail Limited successfully secured a two-year contract with Volker Fitzpatrick in 2019 to install, test and commission the High Voltage Power, DC Traction Power and E&P Assets for the new Feltham Depot.

The new Feltham Depot formed part of Network Rail’s Feltham Re-Signalling Scheme and was built for the revised Southwestern Railway passenger train timetable. The new depot provides a brand-new, start of the art stabling facility for up to ten trains, including Bombardier’s new class 701 rolling stock, which replaced some of the existing First MTR rolling stock fleet.

As part of the project, 4km of new, bi-directional (arrival/departure) track was built including ten roads and aprons, with a new carriage wash machine, and an automatic vehicle inspection system constructed.

A third rail 750V DC conductor rail system was also installed throughout the depot, along with specialist servicing and train washing equipment and accommodation buildings, all which incorporate sustainable, and future proof technology.

RJ Power Rail’s works required careful stakeholder planning and coordination in conjunction with Volker Fitzpatrick and the many interested parties involved.

RJ Power Rail Limited was therefore, delighted to have commissioned its programme of works to meet both Network Rail’s and Southwestern Railway’s desired project outcomes, within the desired timeframe.


The project scope covered the procurement, installation, testing and commissioning of the following assets to create a new primary depot supply for the new rolling stock.

Pre-commencement stage

  • Undertaking site surveys of the existing Feltham and Hounslow substations.
  • Dilapidation surveys of the existing infrastructure assets.

Design stage

RJ Power Rail were not directly responsible for the design but undertook the role of specialist advisor to support Volker Fitzpatrick to develop the electrical design on the project utilising our experience and expertise on railway electrification projects. RJ Power Rail helped to ensure that all engineering deliverables from design through to on-site installation were carried out in compliance with the relevant NR standards and the contract requirements.

Having a competent team with existing and developed relationships with the Network Rail Project Team made the relevant design approvals a much slicker process. All associated designs i.e., SCADA, HV, DC Traction and E&P were supported by RJ Power Rail’s in-house engineering team.

Implementation stage

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

  • Procurement and construction of the substation 33kV HV Module, HV/LV auxiliary transformers and changeover panel, Transformer Rectifier units, substation’s DC Module and the ETE discipline, and earthing and bonding.
  • Engagement of a Construction CRE to manage the engineering assurance process – NR/L2/INI/02009.
  • Extensive planning and staging of the substation delivery with the client, the client’s stakeholders, and all disciplines to ensure safe works delivery.
  • Installation of new conductor rails within the depot and mainline.
  • Installation of all new ETE assets, including DC Track feeder cables from new 750V DC Switchgear to the siding Track Disconnector Switches and conductor rails, Negative feeder cables from new negative busbar to negative advance plates.
  • Installation of new Negative Short Circuit Device (NSCD) to provide a short-circuit path between conductor rails and the negative return to protect against the inadvertent re-energisation of the circuit during isolation.
  • Installation of signalling power supplies, from the LVAC panel to signalling power pillar and main feeder cable to new location cases.
  • Installation of new Points Heating equipment and main DNO intake supplies.
  • 33kV Feeder F477 – Hounslow Junction, Feltham, was diverted into the new substation to provide an HV power feed to the new sidings.
  • 33kV 185mm² XLPE cables were installed, terminated, phase checked, and pressure tested between the HV switchboard and main/auxiliary transformers.
  • The new HV switchboard, auxiliary transformers and LVAC panel at the Substation were pre-tested and commissioned.
  • 60No core GLE pilot cables were installed between the pilot box at East Feltham Substation and the trackside jointing positions to Feeder F477’s pilot via a UTX’s and terminated at the substation.
  • SCADA RTU was connected to data lines and pre commissioned back to Raynes Park ECR.
  • Implementation of all ITPs, Commissioning Plans and Switching Schedules.
  • Provision of all handback information including as-builts, O&M Manuals, Design documentation, Safety Information, Post-Construction information and H&S Files.
  • 33kV Substation commissioning into operational service.


Critical planning

Given the nature of the works, a detailed programme was developed to incorporate not just the on-site activities but also the on-track deliveries.

Using our in-house engineering and construction experts, RJ Power Rail Limited created an experienced project team to meet and deliver the requirements of the project. During the lifetime of the project RJ Power supported works covering forty-five possessions of the mainline route into London, delivering critical infrastructure upgrade works on time and without delay on every occasion.

Multi-functional works

Due to the complexity of the substation element of works, our project team had to work in conjunction with many key stakeholders such as Southwestern Railway, Volker Fitzpatrick, Network Rail (Maintainer and Route Asset Management teams), Raynes Park Electrical Control Room and Network Rails’ Asset Protection Team (ASPRO). This required high levels of collaboration and understanding to ensure the commissioning solution was both safe, correct and to programme. This also involved integration of new equipment on to the operational infrastructure led and managed with support from RJ Power Rail’s extensive and approved supply chain.

Design interface

In our role as specialist contractor supporting all the various project designers, our design and engineering team had to consider the necessary interface between the Signalling and SCADA – which was achieved. It was made even 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, we meticulously managed the delivery of modules over several staged weekends. This was developed through our rail team developing a liaison plan for interface with residents and corporate business owners affected by the works.

RJ Power Rail’s detailed stakeholder management plans provided a platform for an open and honest approach to delivery and updated these regularly to keep parties abreast of the programme timeframe. This included plans for rectifying any maintenance infrastructure issues that the landowners had.

RJ Power Rail Limited has received consistent praise throughout the contract for its communication with both landowners and other project stakeholders.

Additional challenges

COVID-19 impacted the construction industry in multiple ways, including new health and safety measures, supply chain issues, and a halt to planning and inspection timetables. New Government guidelines, childcare issues, and social distancing rules made commercial construction challenging to continue as well as many other construction projects.

Our client supported through the pandemic providing additional welfare and office facilities, COVID Marshalls to support social distancing, deep clean of all facilities which provided a more secure and comfortable environment for our team to work safety and supported any supply chain issues that occurred.

Phil Wood, VFL Project Manager and his team did a fantastic job to keep this project on programme and within a safe environment for all staff.


“I wanted to give my thanks and appreciation for what you have delivered. It is not only over the last week or two but in all the planning and everything leading up to this point, the culmination being the delivery of the commissioning of the mainline Rail systems on the project without accident or incident which is obviously at the forefront of everything we do.

“It is not only the commissioning, which was a huge success this past week though, RJ Power brought into service the DC side of the sub-station. This element of the project has been an unbelievably challenging and intricate area with a huge interface with the mainline and the new Scada system which has been worked through to completion successfully by John and his team…

“Credit to everyone involved it really has been a truly collaborative effort…

“Thank you to you and all your team at RJ Power, brilliant effort by you and your men on the ground, well done.”

Phil Wood
Project Manager, Volker Fitzpatrick

New 11kV Substation Upgrade

RJ Power North has successfully completed a new 11kV substation upgrade project on behalf of Calor Gas.

In advance of the works, a pre site visit and meeting was conducted by our Business Development and Operations team. All associated project documentation and site notes were collated and a Tender document was duly submitted.

Following successful award of the tender, both RJ Power North’s Senior Authorised Person and Project Manager held further site visits, meetings, undertook final checks and completed the associated paperwork for procurement of the necessary equipment and materials. Detailed planning including Risk Assessments, Method Statements and hour by hour work plans were produced and forwarded across to the client for approval in advance of the works commencement.


RJ Power North Limited completed the project over 5 working days, across two separate phases:

Phase one of the project was to install the new HV Transformer on to a newly formed raised concrete bunded plinth located externally to the 11kV substation. The new 11kV switchgear was installed and mounted on to a raised steel structure within the 11kV substation.

A cable containment system was installed to allow new HV and LV cable routes to be accomplished. All associated Protection Testing and Commissioning of the new 11kV switchgear and associated 800kVA Transformer were completed post installation of cabling. New earthing matrix and earth bonding was completed, and safety critical tripping circuits were first fixed ready for phase two of the project for final connections and commissioning testing.

New HV and LV cables were installed and tested as part of the scope of work and further civil works completed to reveal the main HV incoming cable that supplied existing HV substation that was due to be disconnected and cut away off system. This work was in preparation for phase two of the project.

Phase two of the project was booked in out of hours so the existing substation could be shut down for the day whilst the rest of the works could be completed, this was all agreed with the client at planning stages.

The mains power to the existing substation was isolated locally from the client’s main intake substation. The RJ Power SAP completed all associated safety documentation and also completed cable identification testing and spiking procedures of the incoming HV cable ready for jointing. Also, existing HV apparatus and cabling was proved dead at points of work following safe working zone procedures, so existing apparatus could be disconnected and cut away off the system. The scope of works required the existing apparatus to be disconnected and made safe off system only as the client organised for the apparatus to be collected and recycled at a later date.

The LV cables from the existing transformer onsite were disconnected and removed from the clients main LV switchboard, and new LV cables from the new HV transformer were installed and connected into the existing LV switchboard. The existing HV incoming cable from main intake substation was prepared and a HV straight joint completed to provide new HV connection in to new HV substation switchgear.

The second fix of earthing matrix and earth bonding was then completed along with final connections of safety critical tripping circuits. Post installation commissioning testing was completed to test full integrity of the new HV/LV system installed. The redundant HV switchgear and HV transformer were marked up and identified as out of service and off system and made safe for the client to remove at later date.

The HV and LV system was then restored and post installation checks and testing was completed to confirm that the site network was healthy, with no issues and was in back to normal service position.

Full on site reports of the works were completed and forwarded back to the RJ Power North office for final O&M project reports to be completed and sent across to the client.

RJ Power North’s engineering delivery team consisted of: 1 x Senior Authorised Person, 1 x Protection Engineer, 1 X Electrical Fitter team (Fitter and Fitters mate) and 1 x HV Jointer team (HV Jointer and Jointers mate).


The main challenges of this projects were:

  • Site Conditions – due to the site containing a vast amount of gas, RJ Power North Engineers had to surrender their mobiles phones which made communication between the on site team and the operation office support a challenge. To overcome this issue, RJ Power North implemented a process of ‘keeping in touch calls’ during certain times of the day, where the engineers had to leave the site and make the necessary calls to ensure consistency of communication.
  • Test access facilities – the current switchgear located at the main intake and adjacent substation that was being removed off system did not have the relevant test bushings located at the substations. Procurement of these test bushings was difficult, as there was a limited amount available to hire due to the switchgear now being obsolete. The on site engineering team managed to come up with a solution to this issue and safely managed to carry out all testing that was required.
  • Civils – civils work was also highlighted as a slight issue on site due to the foundations of the building where the cable runs were supposed to be routed and where the joint excavation was located. Due to the foundations being old and signs of crumbling when completing trial excavations, it was decided that a cable containment system would be installed by RJ Power North. This was also the case within the 11kV substation, instead of digging out and creating new cable trenches, a cable containment system was installed and steel structure was manufactured for the 11kV switchgear to be mounted on to get the satisfactory height for terminating the new HV cables in to. With this in place RJ Power North also managed to save costs for our client and keep the project timetable on schedule.

Luton Direct to Air Rail Transit

A new Mass Passenger Transport (DART) system is being constructed to provide a fast transport link between the existing Luton Parkway Railway Station and Luton Airport, which is due to be in service in 2021. 

The MPT system will comprise a cable hauled train system with a dedicated station at Stirling Place, Kimpton Road, providing a direct link to Luton Airport.

RJ Power Connections were engaged to design and install a 4MVA power supply, emanating from the UKPN primary sub-station located at Eaton Green Road and terminating to the new MPT station at Kimpton Road, adjacent to the existing Luton Parkway Railway Station.

This project was a key deliverable on the critical path and was delivered on programme. It involved complex Stakeholder interfaces, which were negotiated through the provision of a Stakeholder Management Plan in order to liaise with Luton Borough Council Highways, London Luton Airport Ltd, UK Power Networks, Affinity Water and the Principal Contractor from the main site, Volker Fitzpatrick Kier


The contestable works for the 11kV cable and ring main unit (RMU) were carried out to UKPN standards and the transformer / LV works to Energy Assets standards as the adopting IDNO.

The entire project encompassed the following:

  • The system required a 4MVA power supply for Electrical, Mechanical and Rail system operation and the project delivery included a facility for regeneration to EREC G99 Standards.
  • Design and installation of a 4MVA power supply from the UKPN substation to the new MPT station, in compliance with UKPN Specification.
  • Excavation and re-instatement of approximately 2.2 kilometres of multi service trench. 
  • Installation of 4.4. kilometres of 11kV triplex cabling.
  • Working in collaboration with Affinity Water to minimize disruption to the busy local road network by delivering infrastructure installation on their behalf.
  • HV and LV installation of two new on site UKPN switch rooms to include the supply of two Ring Main Units and all associated switchgear and ancillaries.
  • All works were audited under Lloyds NERS registration scheme.
  • Full commissioning to UKPN requirements.


The client was very pleased with the quality of works that were delivered and provided by RJ Power Connections, with positive feedback in areas including stakeholder management and communication together with the quality of service and professionalism shown by our teams. They confirmed that they would be happy to work with us again in the future and would recommend RJ Power Connections to others.


RJ Power Connections specialise in Grid/Network Connections and Contestable Works, offering the client an alternative to using the local Distribution Network Operators (DNO). RJ Power Connections are a customer focused business that delivers high quality, flexible solutions for a wide range of utility connection requirements.

As a NERS accredited Independent Connection Provider (ICP), we have no contractual links to equipment suppliers or contractors, meaning we are justly independent and able to consider all available options for a project. We strive to build long term relationships with our clients to provide the optimal engineering solution whilst maintaining commercial advantages.


Swanton Farm

RJ Power Connections were engaged by A.C.Goatham & Son to install a 1MVA 11000/400V unit substation. This project was to provide supplies for a cold storage unit and site accommodation for a new business development. The programme of work activities were completed between March and September in 2020, with a number of key milestones across several workstreams of delivery.

Given location of the works taking place on farmland, it was critical that RJ Power Connections worked closely and collaboratively with the client, to ensure that the on-going farming operations on the site were not negatively impacted.


The scope of works was the design, supply and installation of a 1MVA 11000/400V unit substation to provide supplies for a cold storage unit and site accommodation. The contestable works for the 11kV cable and ring main unit (RMU) were carried out to UKPN standards and the transformer / LV works to Energy Assets standards as the adopting IDNO.

The total project encompassed the following:

  • Installation of a 1MVA Package Substation c/w close coupled RMU and 1600A LV ACB
  • Building of a GRP enclosure
  • Installation of 800 metres of 185mm Alu 11kV triplex cable
  • ‘HOT’ Site Earthing installation
  • HV Jointing cabling terminations
  • Implementation of a 100A LV metered supply point for site accommodation
  • On-site cable route excavation works and civil works


RJ Power Connections specialise in Grid/Network Connections and Contestable Works, offering the client an alternative to using the local Distribution Network Operators (DNO). RJ Power Connections are a customer focused business that delivers high quality and flexible solutions for a wide range of utility connection requirements.

As a NERS accredited Independent Connection Provider (ICP), we have no contractual links to equipment suppliers or contractors, meaning we are justly independent and able to consider all available options for a project. We strive to build long term relationships with our clients to provide the optimal engineering solution whilst maintaining commercial advantages.

Installation of New HV and LV Equipment

Project Overview

The RJ Power Networks team has completed the safe isolation, decommissioning, removal and disposal of an existing 6.6kV multi panel switchboard at the Natural History Museum, London. The fully managed work scope included all necessary planning and hot and cold commissioning for safe installation of a new 11 panel HV switchboard. RJ Power Networks also performed all required HV/LV/control cable works.

The existing switchboard asset had surpassed its design life, having been installed in the 1970’s and had become obsolete as a result of distribution improvements and safety requirements. This necessitated a full mains intake sub-station replacement.

The Switchgear within the National History Museum is critical to the operation of the distribution systems that serve the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and The Victoria & Albert Museum.

The works were programmed and resourced in order to deliver a full turnkey solution to meet a strict and challenging 6-week timescale. All considerations were made to accommodate zero interruptions to supply during operating hours, to ensure public access and business continuity throughout. Four separate shutdowns were required in order to allow safe working environments for personnel to achieve the installation and decommissioning works.

The Challenges and Solutions

As the Natural History Museum is the electrical distributor to both the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, RJ Power Networks, when planning the project, had to consider the continuity of supply to the electrical networks of all three landmarks. The logistics of managing multiple stakeholder engagements was a challenge, as there was a need to ensure all involved were satisfied with the delivery approach for the project.

It was imperative that the electrical infrastructures of all three museums remained fully operational for the duration of the build (during normal working hours). This initially meant the key milestones of the project had to be carried out during the night or other offline periods. This also had to be carefully organised with the special events calendar for each museum and their private functions – each had many bespoke events for high profile customers regularly booked in with finish times at approximately 11pm each night.

Attention to detail and the highly professional working relationship between RJ Power Networks and all three Museums allowed for in depth hour-by-hour planning and project execution. Eight Months prior to the onsite build commencing, several planning meetings were held to ensure all potential risks had been identified and managed. This included the creation of a tailored communication channel dedicated for updates and the coordination between all stakeholders during the works.

RJ Power Networks also organised the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) – UK Power Networks – to carry out the isolations and cable terminations onto their HV incomers. Engineering advances over the years removed the opportunity for UKPN to re-terminate in situ using Paper Insulated Lead Cable (PILC). A modern XLPE cable was therefore presented to the DNO HV incomers and transition joints, which was installed on bespoke elevated joint bay positions.

During planned intrusive investigation works it was discovered that the existing Bus section could be separated, allowing for continuity of power supply and the replacement equipment being located within the original Switchgear footprint. This was agreed by all to be one of the major risks to the Project, which was amplified by missing O&M details. This activity was an unknown for Phase 1 of the works and could have had a large impact on the planned timeframe. The strict shutdown period added pressure to the delicate dismantling and reconfiguring activity. It was communicated and known to all stakeholders that this critical element of the project had to be delivered in accordance with the hour by hour plan agreed or there would have been repercussions to the power supply of all three museums when opening for business the next morning.

The decision was made onsite to contact one of our specialist switchgear renovators who work closely with old switchgear and apparatus. They fortunately were able to locate a set of instruction manuals from when the original panel was in fabrication and shared them with us to aid our separation works. This source of information was essential to deliver the separation aspect of the works within the tight timeframe that was allocated by the museums.

The project was collaboratively planned and executed to an extremely high standard, that our customers have come to enjoy and expect from RJ Power Networks. All Engineers and Project Managers that were involved are extremely proud of this project as is it one of the largest and most complicated that the Networks team has completed.

Antony Wenden, Operations Manager for RJ Power Networks recently reflected on the successful delivery of the project:

“As a Project Manager, I feel it is extremely important to recognise this project as an example of how things should be done.

“With safety being of paramount importance, each project’s success is measured against what is known as the Project’s Trilemma (Time, Cost & Quality). This project was successfully delivered with no accidents or incidents, executed in alignment with the timescales permitted, delivered to the highest quality standard and achieved the as sold margin position.

“I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to all involved, a diversely skilled group, with enthusiasm and willingness to support each other. Teamwork, as always, played an extremely important role in this successful completion of this project. Every member of this team has demonstrated their ability to work extremely hard, under pressure and professionally from start to finish – they are credit to the business and a fantastic asset.”

Old Oak Common

RJ Power Rail has completed its electrical and mechanical decommissioning contract works on behalf of Principal Contractor Colas Rail, for the Stage 2 and 3 decommissioning of Old Oak Common Depot. The scope also included civil engineering activities such as Under Road Crossings (URX’s), Ducting and Troughing Route works and Protective Barrier installation works.

As part of Phase 1 of the HS2 rail network, a new interchange station is being constructed at Old Oak Common to provide a rapid and convenient access for passengers between High Speed 2 (HS2), Crossrail and the Great Western Main Line (GWML) services.

The site, which is occupied by both Great Western (GWR) and Heathrow Express (HEx), required decommissioning and was a critical piece of work for the overall HS2 programme in order to facilitate the commencement of the HS2 enabling works associated with the GWML.

The works included four Sub-Stations:

  • Sub-Station B1
  • Sub-Station B5
  • Sub-Station T
  • Sub-Station S

and a number of 6.6kV HV Feeders:

  • Cable 43A
  • Cable 43C
  • Cable 44
  • Cable 45

In order to achieve the space requirements for the OOC interchange station, the relocation of GWR and HEx services from the existing Old Oak Common Depot was necessary.

A number of challenges were faced, however, RJ Power Rail’s capabilities in the multi-disciplined and HV market, combined with its ability to offer additional works and engineering input made it the ideal contractor for this project. With vast experience as a Tier-2 contractor for major schemes, RJ Power Rail offered a consistent, reliable and flexible service, through exceptional expertise and proven project delivery.

RJ Power Rail commenced its works in December 2018, decommissioning the Depot in a number of stages, in order to ensure that operations were maintained. RJ Power Rail’s works covered Stages 2 and 3 (which in the end were combined) and successfully completed all of its works in May 2019.

The successful delivery of the project enabled the undertaking of the next stage of HS2 works – a project with the promise of developing a faster and more efficient rail network for the UK.

Project Deliverables

RJ Power Rail’s work scope included providing all necessary stakeholder management and permits to work for the project and consisted of the following deliverables. All works were fully tested and commissioned and involved the provision of all necessary hand back and handover documentation including certificates and redline drawings for as-built purposes:

Mechanical Works

  • Decommissioning and isolation of gas supplies within depot, including purging pipes and cutting sections of pipes
  • Decommissioning and isolating of the lubricating oil, diesel oil, and coolant pipe supplies within the depot, including draining down reservoir tanks and pipes and also cutting pipes
  • Isolation of water supplies to the water tower at water meters and supply to the HST shed
  • Isolation of depot fire hydrant pipework system back to the first fire hydrant located at depot entrance ensuring this hydrant remains operational
  • Decommissioning of compressed air supply and associated equipment in HST shed
  • Diversion of the water supply to the Heathrow Express train wash shed – this also included:

Civil Engineering and groundworks for the relocation of the water meter covering:

  • Under Road Crossing (URX) complete, including excavation and reinstatement
  • Installation of access chambers and buried routes using 150mm ducting
  • Installation of buried routes using C/1/9 trough
  • Installation of C/1/9 surface laid trough routes
  • Installation of protective barriers

Electrical Works

  • Isolation and decommission of LV supplies to multiple equipment located in all parts of the depot.
  • Decommissioning of LV supply transformers
  • Diversion and installation of existing and new LV cables to points heating control cubicles and the Heathrow Express train wash shed
  • Installation of new lighting columns, associated cabling, column bases and route works, including concrete troughing and buried ducting
  • Relocation of points heating control panel, track side boxes, 110v transformers. Installation of concrete bases associated cabling and route works
  • Decommissioning and recovery of points heating equipment for track plain lining
  • Isolation and diversion of the high voltage 6.6kv ring main circuit
  • Installation of new HV cable, jointing of HV cable, testing and commissioning
  • Spiking and recovery of redundant HV cable
  • Isolation and slew/diversion of the HV 25kv OHL feeder cable into new route

This also included the following:

Civil Engineering Works

  • Installation of raised Armco GRP trough and concrete trough route for containment of 6.6kv ring main and 25kv

Challenges and Solutions

Site Logistics

During the works, careful logistical traffic management was implemented by RJ Power Rail, with all deliveries being pre-planned and sequenced in accordance with a Traffic Management Plan. All vehicles accessing the site had to be in line with the directives given by the site Traffic Marshals.

All plant/pedestrian interfaces had to be managed around the nominated site storage and parking areas too. To combat this, segregated walking zones were created and a Banksman was present during the transportation and lifting into position of all materials for the works.

Stakeholder Interface

RJ Power Rail faced challenges with the timescale of this project due to the number of different project interfaces during the course of these works. With the works being of a multi-disciplinary nature and with multiple contractors needing to negotiate access arrangements, RJ Power Rail’s team needed to be extremely flexible and work collaboratively with others, when approaching and delivering key milestones in their programme.

This liaison was particularly important, as the electrical and water supply services were still required to be available within the depot. RJ Power Rail carefully interfaced with the Colas Rail team, Heathrow Express and GWR in order to programme and plan a phased decommissioning and diversion of the services, so as to ensure as little disruption as possible.

Unknown Buried Services

The project was further challenged, when it was found that the civils design through the depot access road was not achievable, due to the presence of a large amount of unknown buried services and the radius bend of the existing waterpipe.

RJ Power Rail proposed to move the excavation to one side of the access road, away from the middle of the road, allowing the road to remain partially open, which also gave enough distance from the existing buried surfaces and allowed the excavation to run straight rather than stagger around other buried services. This in turn made the installation of the water pipe easier, due to the fact that it could only change direction by an angle of either 45° or 90°.

Roadway Construction

The road plates were required to sit flush to the road to eliminate tripping hazards. To achieve this the design showed a 45mm recess to be broken out either side of the excavation, with a 20mm cementitious grout laid for the steel road plates to sit on. Due to the composite construction of the road this proved to be unachievable due to the amount of re-bar present.

RJ Power Rail provided a solution that involved excavating the full width of the road plates, applying shuttering to either side of the trench width and then building back up to the recess level, in order to achieve a flush road plate.

The design also showed the excavation connecting onto an existing oil/diesel pipe trench, however, during the works, the trench was found to be full of diesel and oil.

RJ Power Rail resolved this by core drilling through the walls of the existing trench to allow the waterpipe and 6.6kv HV cables to divert over the diesel and oil. This enabled the excavation to continue and run parallel with the oil trench, until such a time when it could be diverted and then connected back to the originally designed route.

6.6kv Ring Main and 25kv HV System

The diversion of the 6.6kv ring main and 25kv OHL high voltage system was an extremely challenging undertaking.

Old Oak Common Depots’ electrical distribution is fed from a vast network of 6.6kV substations (B5, B1, T, S, D and E) in the form of a ring main derived from an 11kV Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) supply. The ring main is operated with a normally open point as two radial 6.6kV circuits of which the HV switching equipment was locally controlled/operated with no indication or operation control from the railway electrical control room.

The two traction 25kv OHL feeder cables originated from Kensal Green Feeder Station and terminated at structure J/05/125 in the Hex depot and were affected by the Stage 3 works, with both cables running in parallel for the entire length.

One of the two 25kV cables is a feeder cable carrying traction current from Kensal Green Feeder Station section KAGA/805/HV/L and terminated to the sealing end of structure J/05/125.

The other 25kV cable is a traction return cable from Kensal Green Return Current Bus Bar (RCBB) section KAGA/HV/805/N and terminated on spider plate SP/05/101.

This complex HV power arrangement, necessitated the need for alternative HV feeds for both the 6.6kv ring main and 25kv OHL HV circuits to enable continuous supply to the railway infrastructure while the diversions/slewing of the HV cables were also undertaken.

RJ Power Rail’s highly qualified substation level `A`, liaised closely with the substation maintainer, electrical control room and Scottish and Southern Energy, to produce a clear and defined sequence of HV switching operations, for both the 6.6kv ring main and the 25kv traction cables, which enabled a continuous high voltage supply to the operational railway whilst works were undertaken.

The Benefits

RJ Power Group’s collaborative working approach allowed seamless integration into Colas Rail’s S&C Alliance practices.

As a vastly experienced, multi discipline and High Voltage service provider, RJ Power Rail was able to call on its expert knowledge to provide consultation on design and delivery elements of the project.

This extended to best practice advice, following an unexpected cable outage at the project. RJ Power Rail’s project team organised and presented an HV awareness presentation to Colas Rail, advising on all necessary standards and applicable guidelines.


“RJ Power Rail’s project and engineering teams pulled out all stops to ensure this electrification support project was delivered on time and to specification. In addition to this, the team worked collaboratively with us to support changes in design and perform additional works that will benefit the wider scheme.

“I would like to thank all involved for their efforts in this completing this project.”

Joseph Smales
Project Manager – Infrastructure
Colas Rail

Great Western Modernisation Earthing and Bonding

RJ Power Rail were engaged by long-term partner Amey Rail and their Thames Valley Area (TVA) Project team, to install earthing and bonding systems for various trackside assets. The bonding systems were required to enhance the system protection by providing a sufficiently low impedance earth for Locations within the OLE ‘dewirement’ zone. This ensured that in the event of the OLE coming into contact with the location, that the traction return path can conduct the voltage for a sufficient time until the OLE system protective devices operate.

To complete the works, RJ Power Rail supplied 10 installation teams during the various stages of the project over approximately 100 linear miles covering a wide geographical area from Maidenhead to Bristol.

The Great Western Route Modernisation (GWRM) programme is tasked with the delivery of a 25KV OLE railway with more frequent/faster train services providing more seats and improved stations. In short, this represents the biggest investment for this part of the national rail infrastructure since it was first created in the 1830s.

This GWRM programme covers approximately 10 years of continuous railway infrastructure enhancement works inclusively of a number of major works such as Track Remodelling, Resignalling and overall Electrification.

Project Deliverables

RJ Power Rail deliverables were to carry out surveys to identify lineside assets and the review of designs for providing bonding Systems to be able to electrify the GWML Project. Our scope was to install all types of bonding systems, whether we were connecting to the existing Return Screen Conductor (RSC) using Pfisterer ground tap connections, 120mm bonding cables to extraneous metalwork, or Cross bonding from Spider Plates to Angle Cleats, RSC or to Track. Once the bonds were installed all torque settings were recorded, bonds fitted with heat-shrink markers and fitted with Traffolyte labels.

Pre-commencement stage

  • Undertake site surveys to identify assets that require bonding

Implementation stage

  • Installation and commissioning of lineside assets
  • Installation and commissioning of cross bonding change to the RAM

Challenges and Solutions

Multi-functional solution
Ensuring that a facility is properly grounded and bonded at the design and construction phase can reduce expensive downtime and equipment failure in the future. Most importantly, it can eliminate any potential safety issues.

RJ Power Rail provided optimal protection of personnel and facilities with earthing concepts that suited the client’s needs, including calculation rail potential and touch voltages.

Our earthing and bonding solutions ensured minimal electrical resistance, good corrosion resistance and the ability of dissipating high fault current effectively.

Why RJ Power Rail

RJ Power Rail provides design, installation and commissioning expertise for of all types of earthing and bonding systems including sub-station earthing. This is prevalent when it comes to “Hot Sites” which are locations where the voltage between the sub-station and or switching station earth bar and the local earth (UTE), exceed a defined voltage limit (UTE MAX), during a phase-to-earth fault. RJ Power Rail can provide valuable support in both consulting and designing efficient earthing rectification covering:

Sub-Station Earthing – from early engagement and consulting with Network Rail Engineers, RJ Power Rail can design, install and commission all types of earthing arrangements from “Hot Site” rectification, to new installations using the standard methodology of driving earth rods into the ground utilising pneumatic drivers, to core drilling and installing earthing systems using Marconite Conductive Concrete.

Bonding – from new installations to maintenance of existing systems in predominantly 25kV areas, RJ Power Rail can design and install all types of bonding systems whether it be connecting from the existing Return Screen Conductor (RSC) using Pfisterer ground tap connections or connecting 120mm bonding cables to extraneous metalwork.

DC Cable Doubling Wessex

This DC cable renewal project involved the installation, testing and commissioning of new DC Cables which was derived from the DC Cable Refurbishment Woking – Basingstoke Route Requirements Document issued by Network Rail (NR).

RJ Power Rail were invited to competitively tender and subsequently secured the full scope of works for the renewal and modification of DC LV Cables and the doubling of identified +ve cables at the Open Route sections/locations between St Johns and Barton Mills Sub-Stations.

The line of route between St Johns (near Woking station) and Barton Mill (near Basingstoke Station) on the Bournemouth Main Line was identified as being at particularly high risk of failure, hence the urgent requirement for this project. The third rail electrification system in NR’s Wessex area has large number of DC distribution cables used as part of its traction power system. The age and condition of certain cables and problems with the reliability of lugs has resulted in failures impacting directly on train performance.

RJ Power Rail’s contract covered replacement and modification work on positive DC cables to enhance traction power performance in this area, increasing the life expectancy of the cables and reducing the amount of future faulting work for NR’s maintenance teams.

During the first part of the works, cables and cable lugs were provided free-issue. During the second part of the works, RJ Power Rail supplied all materials for the works. All materials were delivered to the RJ Power Rail secure facility, which allowed the rail team to deliver a fully logistically managed solution.

Works, which were fully managed and self-delivered by RJ Power Rail’s in-house team, required completion during TIII possessions, requiring full access planning and arrangements in conjunction with NR’s Works Delivery Team.

The project was successfully completed to meet Network Rail’s requirements.

Project Deliverables

The scope of works was to survey, produce detailed reports and install new 750v DC Traction cables at various locations between St Johns Substation to Barton Mills Substation stretching over 20 linear miles:

Pre-commencement stage

  • Undertake site surveys of 4 operational lines along 20 linear miles (26m 00ch to 46m 00ch)
  • Update Network Rail’s existing conductor rail drawings
  • Compile a detailed asset report of the existing infrastructure to allow NR Works Delivery to manage scope
    change to the RAM

Design stage

It was agreed with Network Rail that this particular project would not require the usual Form A & B design process as the works entailed replacing existing infrastructure. The scope would be, therefore, defined by the workbank reports and the updated conductor rail drawings. This process was agreed by the Network Rail RAM and project team.

Implementation stage

  • Surveys
  • Produce survey data reports
  • Production of DC Traction cables
  • Installation of DC Traction cables
  • Test and produce relevant ITP’s
  • Hand back

Challenges and Solutions

Critical planning

All the works associated with this project required TIII possessions. As there were not enough 27hr or 52hr possessions, most of the works had to be delivered in mid-week night possessions providing a maximum of 3hrs clear working time. The works involved were super critical, due to the number of previous failures within the infrastructure. The RJ Power Rail Access Team and the Network Rail Possessions Access Manager worked collaboratively to ensure an achievable programme was developed.

Logistics management

RJ Power Rail took delivery of approx. 40 cable drums that were free issued from Network Rail. These cable drums were delivered into RJ Power Rail’s own secure depot facility. All the drum numbers and their locations were attributed to a ‘workbank datasheet’ to provide full supply and installation traceability. The second part of the project required RJ Power Rail to supply the materials and log them in the same method.

Using the workbank datasheet, all the cables were then cut to the required length and one end of the cable was lugged in readiness. These cables were then palletised and numbered relating to the mileages and the route numbering scheme.

The site team then loaded the pallets onto our lorry and delivered them to the site on a ‘just in time’ basis prior to the possession.

Delivery knowhow

Given the tight time constraints of the access regime, the experienced in-house team led by Adam Lovegrove were able to deliver and install on average 15 cables per week. This quantity, in restricted locations and during small possession durations, could only have been achieved with the years of knowledge and experience that the RJ Power Rail Team has.

Why RJ Power Rail

RJ Power Rail has an established Team that combines design, engineering and delivery expertise across all rail electrification activities and can be trusted with the most complex and demanding of projects.

The company offers the full range of rail electrification and power services from one-off cable repairs to multimillion-pound HV, LV and Scada D&B projects.

They are an experienced power solutions delivery provider who work collaboratively with their clients and own supply chain as a reliable partner, providing exceptional expertise and proven project delivery in respect of HV Electrification and DC Switchgear schemes.

Installation of New Cast Resin Transformer and Housing, Ring Main Unit and associated HV cabling at Plantation place

The Networks Team recently completed an extremely challenging project for CBRE as a preferred supplier within Plantation Place at 30 Fenchurch Street, installing a new Cast Resin Transformer and Housing, Ring Main Unit and associated HV cabling.

Project Deliverables

RJ Power Networks scope of works included the following:

  • Prelims works
  • Supply and installation of a Ringmaster RMU RN2c T2
  • Bus bar Modifications (Subject to Transformer Construction Drawings)
  • HV Cable Terminations of all equipment and the supply of adequate Materials to complete the job
  • Transformer Internal HV Connections
  • Supply of adequate Earthing
  • Containment/bespoke Monoblock fabrication
  • Labour to install, test and commission
  • Supply and management of lift and shift Sub Contractor labour
  • Project Management
  • Mobile access equipment supplied to enable the construction of TX housing and Bespoke Busbar fabrication
  • Supply and management of UK Power Networks attendance

Challenges and Solutions

The Networks team faced many challenges during the process of this project, with one of the most demanding aspects being the logistics of the sequenced changeover, the removal process and positioning of the replacement equipment within a third basement level, as it was only achievable via a lift shaft and a narrow corridor system.

Due to the difficult nature of the plant movement process, the job required a collaboration of specialist contractors to achieve a successful outcome, with all demonstrating their skills to achieve the highest level of engineering competence.

The plant movement was completed by Radius, with the process of removing the old transformer and installing the new transformer commencing at the top of a lift shaft. The old transformer needed to be lifted two floors where it was temporarily stored in the clients carpark. The new replacement transformer was manoeuvred down to the basement using the same lift path. These works had to be completed in a 24-hour window, which was extremely challenging to all involved, and required a lot of pre-planning between the Networks team, Radius and the client for the plant movement to be a complete success.

A bespoke LV Busbar Chamber and 4000A LV Busbar had to be manufactured off site, this was an extremely challenging process as the Networks team were unable to determine the exact measurements of the transformers LV connections. RJ Power Networks panel fabrication and Copper specialist, Darren Young, executed this task faultlessly and the equipment installed was inch perfect.

The team were faced with a miss delivery of parts by the manufacturer. The HV Bushings and HV Termination Box, which bolted onto the transformer housing, was not included on the original delivery from the manufacturing warehouse in France. It was only discovered that these essential parts were missing midway through the project, as a result the team were put under extreme pressure to locate the missing parts to ensure the job was kept to the extremely strict and tight schedule of works. After intense conversations with the supplying manufacturer the parts were located in the warehouse and delivered from France via a specialist courier service, which worked through the night to ensure the parts arrived to us on a next day delivery before the energisation phase of the job took place. The manufacturer really performed and understood our clients needs to ensure the project did not slip behind schedule.

The new equipment needed to be installed during the week without any interruptions to the client’s day to day running of its multi tenanted building. The method of installation had to be revised numerous times until RJ Power Networks identified a solution to all of the issues that had been originally encountered.

The overall job went extremely well, the extraction of the old transformer and installation of the new was a success and a great achievement for all staff and contractors involved. Most importantly the client was extremely happy with the end result.

Thank you to the RJ Power Networks team as well as all of our specialist contractors used to complete this job. The project ran smoothly despite the demanding logistics.

Why RJ Power Networks

RJ Power Networks undertakes a range of installation, of HV to LV equipment in private distribution networks, as well as maintaining existing HV and LV equipment, making us the ideal company for this project.

We continually strive to offer a consistent, reliable and efficient service to all of our clients and future clients. The Networks divisions is a business led by passionate individuals that care about the quality of the work produced, and retaining collaborative and sustainable partnerships, with the ultimate goal of securing customer loyalty and forging strong long-term business relationships.