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Case Study

Great Western Modernisation Earthing and Bonding

Scheme Great Western Modernisation Earthing and Bonding
Location Thames Valley Area
Client Amey Rail
Completed March 2019

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

Implementation stage

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.


RJ Power Rail Limited
Power House,
London Road,
Kent, TN14 7AA
0345 034 1480
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