Hawker Siddeley Switchgear on track with Thameslink

Passengers on one of London’s busiest rail routes are now benefiting from more trains and even greater levels of reliability thanks in part to innovative technology developed and installed by Hawker Siddeley Switchgear.

The company recently completed a series of contracts to supply DC switchgear panels to help increase capacity on the Thameslink route, which connects Bedfordand Brighton via central London.

The work was part of a £5.5 billion investment programme by Network Rail in preparation for the 2012 Olympics that has involved the construction of two new substations, at BlackfriarsBridge and Ludgate Cellars, named after a nearby pub.

According to Steve Dymond, Sales and Marketing Director at HSS, the Ludgate Cellars 20-megawatt substation is now the largest of its type in Europe.

“The new substation was constructed to ensure that the 25kV overhead lines from the north of the station remain isolated from the 750V DC third rail lines from the south,” he explained.

“As part of the project, HSS was asked to supply a range of NDC Lightning panels, which feature our award-winning, patented magnetic actuator technology and have a proven track record when it comes to reliability.”
Steve went on to explain that the project needed to be completed before work could commence on the redevelopment of Blackfriars Station and as a result the installation was completed within just nine months – a significant achievement for such a complex project.

Once completed, HSS embarked on the installation of similar equipment to support upgrades to the Thameslink line as it crosses Blackfriars Bridge.

The contracts, carried out in partnership with utility company EDF, took around two months to complete and were finished ahead of schedule.

Continued Steve: “Both contracts tested our expertise when it comes to DC switchgear technology and our ability to deliver complex solutions for demanding traction applications.

“We are delighted to have been able to play a key role on such a prestigious infrastructure project that will have obvious economic benefits for the capital as well as improving services for railway passengers and visitors to the Olympics,” he added.


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