ECML Power Supply Upgrade

59CosG95

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As I've started a Tracking/Queries thread for the WCML PSU, I thought I'd start one for the ECML too.

Phase 1: Wood Green (London) - Bawtry (Doncaster)

Cabled ATF (in troughs, rather than suspended from structures) in operation between Welwyn SATS & Hitchin SATS.

New Substations:
  • Potters Bar TSC (containerised) - in operation, old TSC decommissioned
  • 19m 29ch: Welwyn SATS - in operation, old TSC decommissioned
  • 25m 73ch: Langley Junction SATS - in operation, old TSC decommissioned
  • 29m 77ch: Corey’s Mill (Wymondley) ATFS - in operation
  • Hitchin SATS - in operation, old TSC decommissioned
  • 49m 72ch: Little Barford FS - under construction
    • 4 portal leg pairs for switchgear/OHNS are up but not yet boomed
    • Existing adjacent feeder still operational
  • Essendine FS (between PBO & GRA; containerised) - in operation
Converted Substations:
  • 5m 15ch: Wood Green FS - upgrade ongoing
    • Clearance of land going on north of Hertford Loop flyover
  • Digswell TSL - TBC
  • 40m 58ch: Biggleswade MPTSC - portals up but blue construction portable earths still applied on northernmost portal
  • Huntingdon MPTSC - new MPTSC in operation, old MPTSC disconnected
  • 69m 00ch: Holme MPTSC - new TSC in operation, old TSC disconnected
  • Nene FS: TBC
  • 78m 14ch to 78m 17ch: Bretton MPTSC - under conversion
    • New portal leg pairs are up for switchgear/OHNS, but no booms yet
    • Current feeder still operational
  • 92m 29ch: Bytham FS - in operation, supplemented by Essendine
  • Stoke TSC - just south of Stoke Tunnel - new TSC in operation, old TSC disconnected
  • 107m 55ch: Grantham North FS (on embankment just south of Peascliff tunnel) - TBC
  • Claypole TSC - converted
    • RSC troughing in place south of Claypole to just north of Newark
  • Newark FS - TBC
  • 123m 40ch: North Muskham TSC - converted?
  • Tuxford TSC - converted?
  • 139m 41ch: Retford FS - TBC
  • 147m 48ch: Bawtry MPTSC - converted
Removed Substations
  • 84m 56ch: Tallington FS - now Tallington TSC, old FS removed after replacement by Essendine
Phase 2: Bawtry to Edinburgh

New PSP Switchgear, and 400kV/650V
  • Portobello FS (opp. Craigentinny TMD)
  • Prestonpans
  • Drem
  • Dunbar
  • 41m 14ch approx.: Grantshouse
New ASPs
  • Monktonhall
  • 13m 32ch: Longniddry MPTSC
  • East Linton TSC
  • 69m 17ch (from NCL): Marshall Meadows SFC & FS
Unknown
  • 156m 50ch: Doncaster North FS
  • 165m 74ch (approx): Balne TSC (just south of the LC)
  • 174m 58ch: Hambleton Jct SFC & FS
  • 182m 79ch Approx: Colton Jct MPTSC (in the vee of Colton Jct)
  • MILEAGE CHANGE - zero mileage now from York
  • 2m 04ch: York FS
  • Tollerton TSC (south of Station Rd Bridge adjacent to Sidings Drain)
  • 19m 09ch: Dalton MPTSC
  • Northallerton TSC (just north of Down platform at stn)
  • 35m 05ch: Hutton Bonville FS
  • Darlington TSC (behind Bannatyne’s Health Club)
  • 49m 60ch: Aycliffe MPTSC
  • 58m 71ch approx: Tursdale Jct TSC (in the vee of the ECML and the former line to Houghton-le-Spring)
  • 64m 73ch: Durham FS
  • 72m 04ch: Chester-le-Street MPTSC
  • King Ed Bridge Jct TSC - at King Edwards Bridge Jct
  • MILEAGE CHANGE - zero mileage now from Newcastle
  • 4m 23ch: Benton FS
  • 14m 00ch: Stannington MPTSC
  • 22m 24ch: Ulgham Crossing FS (adjacent to Ulgham Grange LC)
  • Shilbottle TSC (just south of the road to High Buston off the A1068)
  • 45m 56ch: Chathill MPTSC
  • 57m 17ch: Fenham TSC
  • 69m 67ch: Boundary Change - 54m 50ch from EDB
  • 46m 22ch: Reston TSC
  • 33m 60ch: Innerwick FS
All of the above information is gathered from https://www.networkrail.co.uk/runni...oast/east-coast-upgrade/power-supply-upgrade/.
Any updates and further information pertinent to the above would be appreciated.

Glossary of Terms:
ATF - Auto Transformer Feeder
SATS - Sectioning Auto Transformer Site
ATFS - Auto Transformer Feeder Station
TSC - Track Sectioning Cabin(et)
TSL - Track Sectioning Location
FS - Feeder Station
MPTSC - Mid-Point Track Sectioning Cabin
SFC - Static Frequency Converter
 
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swt_passenger

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Just looked at Ulgham Grange Crossing FS on streetview, cos I noticed driving past a couple of months ago it looked pretty new, so might it be done already?

I was looking for the various locations/mileages in the online sectional appendix last month for another reason, and noticed that the location of Ulgham FS is not shown in the line diagram, but maybe that is because there is no neutral section there? I guess what drivers really need to know for practical purposes is the location of neutral sections and track sectioning arrangements, so if there isn’t an OHNS the FS position itself doesn’t get listed.
 

59CosG95

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Lol. CRS codes I'm fine with. These I'm not! Not that the glossary makes things much clearer <:D
Yes, I still struggle with the different terms myself!
Glossary of Terms:
TSC - Track Sectioning Cabin(et) - parallels all OLE circuits together to reduce impedance
TSL - Track Sectioning Location - alternate name for TSC
FS - Feeder Station - supply point for 25kV. Also includes a Neutral Section (OHNS) to allow phase split from the 132kV/400kV supply to be shifted in emergencies.
MPTSC - Mid-Point Track Sectioning Cabin - identical to TSC but also includes Neutral Section (OHNS) to separate phases at adjacent feeder station sections.
SFC - Static Frequency Converter - eliminates national grid phase imbalance; used notably in Russia
ATF - Auto Transformer Feeder - replaces traditional Return Conductors, connected to an Auto Transformer (a 1:1 Ratio 25kV-0V-25kV centre-tapped transformer) at -25kV (the OLE is connected at +25kV, and the traction return rail at 0V). Also known as an auxiliary feeder (AF).
SATS - Sectioning Auto Transformer Site - a TSC for ATF systems. MPATSs are the ATF equivalent of MPTSCs.
ATFS - Auto Transformer Feeder Station - a FS where the Auto Transformer is located.

Hope that explains it further!
 

59CosG95

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Just looked at Ulgham Grange Crossing FS on streetview, cos I noticed driving past a couple of months ago it looked pretty new, so might it be done already?

I was looking for the various locations/mileages in the online sectional appendix last month for another reason, and noticed that the location of Ulgham FS is not shown in the line diagram, but maybe that is because there is no neutral section there? I guess what drivers really need to know for practical purposes is the location of neutral sections and track sectioning arrangements, so if there isn’t an OHNS the FS position itself doesn’t get listed.
I suspect that a Neutral Section may be introduced there in the second phase of the PSU. To back this up, I've attached a map of the proposed PSU points (Phases 1 & 2) from the NR weblink in the first post.ECML PSU Phase 1.PNG
Phase 1 - Wood Green to Bawtry

ECML PSU Phase 2.PNG
Phase 2 - Bawtry to Portobello (Edinburgh)
 

59CosG95

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Just a query: 400kV is obviously the NG supergrid feed but what is PSP and in the absence of any NR LVDC traction in the Edinburgh area, what is the 650VDC for?
AmcoGiffen have a site explaining what it is they've been up to as part of the works. https://www.amcogiffen.co.uk/projects/ecml-power-upgrades
PSP here stands for "Principal Supply Point" - I suspect most of the work AG have been doing relates to signalling.
 

59CosG95

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An update from Phase 1:
  • Holme MPTSC - old TSC now removed
  • Bretton MPTSC - 2 of 4 portal booms now up over the 3 ECML tracks (northernmost & southernmost portal leg pairs); new switching wires have been clamped to the OLE on the Down Stamford/Down Slow line. On those structures, insulators are going up for the new busbar/switching equipment.
  • Little Barford FS - 2 of 4 portal booms now up over the 4 ECML tracks (the 2 southern portals)
  • Tuxford TSC - new TSC in operation, old TSC disconnected
 

aleggatta

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650 vAC, surely? Unless something has changed recently.....
on AC electrification DC track circuits are used, and on DC lines AC track circuits are used, I couldn't give you the exact reasonings behind it, but its all about reliability in the signalling system.
 

edwin_m

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on AC electrification DC track circuits are used, and on DC lines AC track circuits are used, I couldn't give you the exact reasonings behind it, but its all about reliability in the signalling system.
That was the traditional practice, because otherwise the return current in the rails being much more than the track circuit current would prevent the track circuit working. However these days they tend to use more sophisticated track circuits that are more immune from AC components that can appear in the traction return whether AC or DC. I doubt the type of track circuit influences the type of power supply used for the signaling.
 

AM9

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That was the traditional practice, because otherwise the return current in the rails being much more than the track circuit current would prevent the track circuit working. However these days they tend to use more sophisticated track circuits that are more immune from AC components that can appear in the traction return whether AC or DC. I doubt the type of track circuit influences the type of power supply used for the signaling.
Indeed, 650VDC track circuits would be interesting. :)
p.s. I do know that you meant the type of power supply didn't necessarily impact on the type of track circuit. Maybe it is a legacy of the 650VDC being available on Southern Railway lines that signalling power supplies were developed that way.
 

Bald Rick

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650 vAC, surely? Unless something has changed recently.....
Good point! Yes it’s AC.

(And for other posters re track circuits being AC or D.C, these are at much lower voltage than 650v, otherwise it would get rather ‘interesting’ working on them!)
 
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edwin_m

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I assume the traditional 50Hz track circuits would need an AC supply, otherwise they'd have to have a safety-vital oscillator to generate the 50Hz. I believe the Southern powerboxes of the 70s took their emergency supply from the traction power if the mains failed, but that was possibly from the AC side of the substation rectifiers not from the DC third rail itself.
 

MadMac

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Good point! Yes it’s AC.

(And for other posters re track circuits being AC or D.C, these are at much lower voltage than 650v, otherwise it would get rather ‘interesting’ working on them!)
I know someone who set some test equipment on fire with a high voltage track circuit (used on lightly-used crossovers) many years ago.....
 

Elecman

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Almost certa
I assume the traditional 50Hz track circuits would need an AC supply, otherwise they'd have to have a safety-vital oscillator to generate the 50Hz. I believe the Southern powerboxes of the 70s took their emergency supply from the traction power if the mains failed, but that was possibly from the AC side of the substation rectifiers not from the DC third rail itself.
Almost a certainty from the Auxilliary supply transformer off the AC Traction feeder
 

59CosG95

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Also worth pointing out, on a topic of PSU work, that Doncaster, Newcastle & Berwick have now had their boosters removed; it's boosterless classic in those areas now.
(I think Bawtry to Doncaster still has boosters, however).
 

swt_passenger

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Will this result in temporary use of loco haulage from areas where the power has been disconnected so that works can commence?
It would be unusual, this sort of electrification improvement or modification work is usually installed alongside the existing stuff and arranged to be quickly changed over during a short possession.
 

59CosG95

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It would be unusual, this sort of electrification improvement or modification work is usually installed alongside the existing stuff and arranged to be quickly changed over during a short possession.
Indeed; most works are done during overnight periods of electrical isolation, and in very short sections. "Booster Removal" basically involves laying Return Screening Conductors in signalling trenches (connected to traction bonding at regular intervals; usually at cross-bond locations), disconnecting the Boosters from the main OLE, and converting the Return Conductor to Aerial Earth Wire (by moving the existing cable from the existing insulated supports to supports directly clamped to steelwork).

Most of the cable laying can be done while adjacent lines are open, while other works have to be done under a possession when the OLE is isolated and earthed.
 

Photohunter71

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It would be unusual, this sort of electrification improvement or modification work is usually installed alongside the existing stuff and arranged to be quickly changed over during a short possession.
Thanks for clearing that up! I was thinking that during the switchover, there may have been a small requirement, but as you have pointed out, it's not necessary!

Just out of pure curiosity, I take it the Feeder stations are now made by Siemens whereas in the past they were GEC/Welsh Switchgear?
 

59CosG95

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Thanks for clearing that up! I was thinking that during the switchover, there may have been a small requirement, but as you have pointed out, it's not necessary!

Just out of pure curiosity, I take it the Feeder stations are now made by Siemens whereas in the past they were GEC/Welsh Switchgear?
Yes, NR awarded the contract to Siemens for the new ECML switchgear, autotransformers & feeder stations. ABB won the contract for the WCML PSU and for the equipment on the GWML, as I understand it. Siemens have provided the new sectioning cabinets on one of the new feeders on the MML, but ABB provided the switchgear.
 
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59CosG95

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Updates for the ECML south of Peterborough.

Phase 1: Wood Green (London) - Bawtry (Doncaster); Classic Boosterless feeding with Earth Wire.

Cabled ATF in troughs in position (but uncommissioned) between Welwyn & Hitchin.

New Substations:
  • Potters Bar TSC (containerised) - in operation, old TSC decommissioned (I think)
  • 19m 29ch: Welwyn SATS - in operation, old TSC decommissioned
  • 25m 73ch: Langley Junction SATS - in operation, old TSC decommissioned
  • 29m 77ch: Corey’s Mill/Wymondley ATFS (2 portals sandwiching OHNS) - in boosterless classic operation (I believe)
  • Hitchin SATS (containerised) - in operation, old TSC decommissioned & removed
  • 49m 72ch: Little Barford FS - under construction
    • 4 portal leg pairs for switchgear/OHNS are up; the northern pair isn't yet boomed
    • Existing adjacent feeder still operational.
Converted Substations:
  • 5m 15ch: Wood Green FS - upgrade underway
    • Situated north of Hertford Loop flyover - new Siemens ASG container now delivered
    • August '19 BH weekend saw a lot of prep works done with new HV cables run to the existing structures.
    • Jan '20: new structures earthed, old FS still in operation
  • Digswell TSL - still in operation
  • 40m 58ch: Biggleswade MPTSC - portals up but blue construction portable earths still applied on northernmost portal.
    • To be completed in Christmas 202x when NR decide whether to retain the Neutral Section or not.
  • Huntingdon MPTSC - new MPTSC in operation, old MPTSC disconnected & removed
  • Holme MPTSC - new TSC in operation, old TSC disconnected & removed
  • Nene FS: old FS still in operation, but new feeder cables have emerged in ground next to it
 
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59CosG95

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An interesting point raised in the January/February issue of The Rail Engineer, taken from the article "Azuma's HIGHEST Challenge": https://www.railengineer.co.uk/2020/02/04/azumas-highest-challenge/
The Rail Engineer said:
Powering the Azumas
The rapid withdrawal of LNER’s HST fleet was made possible by the commissioning of Potteric Carr OLE feeder station, which feeds both Hitachi’s new Azuma depot at Doncaster and provides additional clean power for the East Coast main line. Prior to then, HSTs had to run through Doncaster as there was insufficient power for a full electric service.

This 25kV traction feeder station is fed from the local 33kV distribution network operator (DNO) network. It is the first in the UK for Network Rail to use a power electronics based ‘PCS 6000 Rail’ 50MW Static Frequency Converter (SFC), supplied by ABB Power Grids under a £14 million contract.

The Potteric Carr SFC feeder station was successfully commissioned into commercial operation by ABB on the ECML end of October 2019, following the completion of Network Rail product and system acceptance tests and the issuance of trial certification.

One key advantage of this technology is that it enables connection to the utility grid at lower voltages (compared to normal 132kV and above for the range of power required). It also potentially eliminates neutral sections on the railways and enables the power utility to see a ‘balanced’ supply into the railway power infrastructure. Based on an earlier engineering and option selection scheme by Network Rail, it is estimated that the chosen SFC solution, which eliminates the need for a costly high-voltage grid connection, reduces the cost of a new feeder station by 60 per cent. High-voltage grid connections were previously needed, as a single-phase 25kV OLE supply would otherwise result in an unacceptable phase imbalance in the grid supply.

This is not a problem with an SFC, which takes a three-phase supply, converts it to DC and then into a clean single phase 25kV supply for traction OLE and depot use. As a result, it is possible to take a three-phase balanced load from a local distribution network 33kV supply to power the single-phase 25kV OLE system.

ABB Power Grids has already installed SFC feeder stations in Brisbane and Queensland, Australia, as well as several other European countries.

SFCs were developed to interconnect power networks operating at incompatible frequencies. A typical example of this is a cruise ship, with a 60Hz on-board network that may have to be connected to a 50Hz shore supply. Other examples in the UK for 60Hz to 50Hz connection include interconnectors within the Western Power Distribution network area and the Maygen Renewable Generation project in Scotland.

Further power supply enhancements are required to maximise electric running on the ECML, and these are being delivered by phase two of Network Rail’s ECML power supply upgrade. This includes the commissioning of a new feeder station and 132kV connection at Hambleton Junction, near Selby, to provide resilience of supply, as well as two static frequency converter compounds at 132kV supply points and the upgrade of the feeder station at Marshall Meadows, immediately south of the Scottish border.

It is the Marshall Meadows feeder station that won’t be upgraded until at least 2021. Until then, some LNER services and all the new TransPennine Express services (30 trains a day) will have to operate on diesel power for the 64 miles between Longniddry and Chathill.
 

GRALISTAIR

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I don't want to take this OT (if it is I am sure mods will split into a new thread) but this:

QUOTE [[One key advantage of this technology is that it enables connection to the utility grid at lower voltages (compared to normal 132kV and above for the range of power required). It also potentially eliminates neutral sections on the railways and enables the power utility to see a ‘balanced’ supply into the railway power infrastructure. Based on an earlier engineering and option selection scheme by Network Rail, it is estimated that the chosen SFC solution, which eliminates the need for a costly high-voltage grid connection, reduces the cost of a new feeder station by 60 per cent. High-voltage grid connections were previously needed, as a single-phase 25kV OLE supply would otherwise result in an unacceptable phase imbalance in the grid supply.

This is not a problem with an SFC, which takes a three-phase supply, converts it to DC and then into a clean single phase 25kV supply for traction OLE and depot use. As a result, it is possible to take a three-phase balanced load from a local distribution network 33kV supply to power the single-phase 25kV OLE system.]]END QUOTE

Is this promising to reduce costs for ALL electrification schemes going forward and not just the ECML Power supply upgrade?
 

59CosG95

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Is this promising to reduce costs for ALL electrification schemes going forward and not just the ECML Power supply upgrade?
Very possibly; ECML PSU 2 is being used as the 'guinea pig' scheme as far as I'm aware. Potteric Carr Independent Feeder, mentioned above, is the first SFC feeder, so I'm sure its cost will be used as a baseline. It could definitely result in smaller feeder stations, rather than the huge 400kV ones seen at Sundon, Essendine, Didcot etc.)
 

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