ABB wins US$ 13 million contract to enhance railway power supply in United Kingdom

Substation upgrade to ensure reliable power supply for high-speed trains

Zurich, Switzerland, November 3, 2003 - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won a US$ 13 million contract to upgrade an existing substation that feeds power to a major railway line in the U.K. The contract has been awarded by National Grid, the national electric utility.

The creation of the new substation is one of several planned for the West Coast Main Line , one of Europe's busiest railways, carrying over 2000 passenger and freight trains every day. It will enable Network Rail, the railway operator, to upgrade its local trackside power supplies to the 50 kV system required for high-speed rail services.

"ABB has already successfully delivered many railway connections of this kind to date," says Josef A. Duerr, head of ABB Power Systems business area. "This has enabled us to develop a proven, repeatable system that provides the customer with a fast transmission connection."

ABB will be responsible for providing Network Rail with two 400/25 kV connections. This involves the installation of two new ABB supergrid transformers at the 400 kV National Grid substation, one connected into an existing spare bay, the other into a new bay. Also included is the construction of a joint National Grid/Network Rail 25 kV compound and associated switchgear, and the provision of 25 kV XLPE cables and associated fibre optic pilots between the two sites.

In this system for high-speed services, supplies are distributed down the trackside as a centre-tapped to earth 50 kV system with trackside auto transformers feeding conventional 25 kV supply to the locomotives via catenary and pantograph. Compared with the conventional 25 kV system involving booster transformers, this arrangement provides economies in the number of feeder stations required to supply traction loads and reduced interference on communications circuits.

This latest contract is a continuation of ABB's track record with railway power supply. To date, ABB has won all the power upgrade orders for the north-bound section of West Coast Main Line. In April 2003 ABB received a US$ 26 million contract to build the power supply system for a new high-speed railway between London and the English Channel Tunnel.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people

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    The high speed trains on the West Coast Main Line in the U.K. will benefit from the improved trackside power supplies

    Contact us

    Page information:
    • Klaus Treichel
      ABB Power Technologies, Zurich
      Tel: +41 43 317 4536
      Fax: +41 43 317 4538
    • Karen Strong
      ABB Power Technologies, UK
      Tel: +44 1785 825144
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