Booster Transformers - Scotland OLE Work

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59CosG95

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Seeing as the old thread was closed last September, I couldn't think of where to put this.
The RSAS (Rail Systems Alliance Scotland; NR + Babcock + Arcadis) have started a relatively low-profile project nr Carstairs Jn (I say low-profile as I can't find any detailed info); piling specialists Van Elle have installed the first 4 of 210 piles in the area. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/van-elle_engineering-rail-activity-6782257371306713089-oh_b

Additionally, looking at NR's Air Ops, I've noticed all Booster Transformer locations on the Scottish network on the Carstairs-Haymarket route (ECA1-ECA3), the North Clyde Corridor west of Bathgate (NEM1-NEM7 + YKR), the Milngavie branch (MGE) and the Balloch branch (BCH) have been captured on the site.

I wonder - could the removal of these transformers be a project to keep the delivery teams busy until 'new wiring' projects arrive?
 
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najaB

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I wonder - could the removal of these transformers be a project to keep the delivery teams busy until 'new wiring' projects arrive?
I suspect a bit of that, and a bit of "Let's do this work while we've got the skilled people around to complete it."
 

59CosG95

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I suspect a bit of that, and a bit of "Let's do this work while we've got the skilled people around to complete it."
Indeed. I'm fairly sure that booster removal was required anyway for the new feeder at Currie(hill) to improve power on the Shotts line; I can't recall where the existing feeder is on the WCML side, but it was being fed from Portobello on the ECML side.
 

MadMac

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Indeed. I'm fairly sure that booster removal was required anyway for the new feeder at Currie(hill) to improve power on the Shotts line; I can't recall where the existing feeder is on the WCML side, but it was being fed from Portobello on the ECML side.
Trawling the memory banks here, but isn’t there a feeder at Gowkthrapple (Wishaw South)?
 

mcmad

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The works at Carstairs are in conjunction with the renewals works coming in a year or so.
 

59CosG95

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The works at Carstairs are in conjunction with the renewals works coming in a year or so.
Makes sense, thanks for clarifying. I had an inkling the two works would be coincidental, but I thought it would be worth looking into all the same!
 

Scotrail88

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is there any finalised plans for Carstairs - must be if works are contracted.
Seen multiple iterations of proposals but nothing definitive
 

Watershed

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is there any finalised plans for Carstairs - must be if works are contracted.
Seen multiple iterations of proposals but nothing definitive
Last I heard it's just going to be a like-for-like renewal...
 

najaB

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Last I heard it's just going to be a like-for-like renewal...
I thought that it was going to be more than like-for-like but less than what was proposed in the past (so no 100mph turnouts from the WCML to Edinburgh, etc.)?
 

InOban

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Indeed. I'm fairly sure that booster removal was required anyway for the new feeder at Currie(hill) to improve power on the Shotts line; I can't recall where the existing feeder is on the WCML side, but it was being fed from Portobello on the ECML side.
Is Currie still happening? I thought it was associated with the wiring of the Sub and the operation of electric freights to Mossend via the ECML but that's gone very quiet.
 

59CosG95

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The Ayrshire Coast Lines & Inverclyde line boosters have also been captured on Air Ops. Must just be an asset management exercise.
 

snowball

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A question not specific to Scotland: is there a good explanation somewhere of why booster transformers are out of fashion (on non-AT lines)?

I get the impression that newly electrified lines are generally boosterless and that boosters are being actively removed on some existing lines.
 

59CosG95

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A question not specific to Scotland: is there a good explanation somewhere of why booster transformers are out of fashion (on non-AT lines)?

I get the impression that newly electrified lines are generally boosterless and that boosters are being actively removed on some existing lines.
Booster transformer systems have fallen out of favour as the transformers increase the impedance of the system, thereby limiting the power capacity.
Simply converting the ECML to a boosterless classic system (using the old RC as an earth wire) and disconnecting the boosters gave enough of an increase in supply to allow an uplift in electric operation (i.e. Azumas replacing HSTs). I think A2B & Paisley Canal might well have been the last schemes to have booster transformers from new.
 

mcmad

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Given that then what is/was the benefit to the boosters? Longer sections between feeds back when traffic volumes were low?
 

59CosG95

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Given that then what is/was the benefit to the boosters? Longer sections between feeds back when traffic volumes were low?
Maximised return current and minimised electrical interference. Section 9.4 of Garry Keenor's excellent "Overhead Line Electrification for Railways", on AC Feeding & Immunisation Methods, gives an excellent detailed explanation.
 
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