ABB, a power and automation technology group, has won a major contract to supply trackside circuit breakers for Network Rail’s current project to upgrade the power infrastructure serving its East Coast Main Line (ECML). The contract will see over 100 of ABB’s FSKII+ medium voltage vacuum circuit breakers, rated at 25 kilovolt (kV), installed at seven trackside substations in the London area.
The ECML power upgrade is a strategically important project to handle the projected increases in passenger and freight traffic on Network Rail’s electrified high speed route linking London and the south east with the Yorkshire and Humber and North East Regions, and eastern Scotland. It provides a direct link between the English and Scottish capital cities, and is designated as being of Trans European Network (TEN) status.
ABB has developed the new generation FSKII+ outdoor vacuum circuit breaker specifically for single (1 x 25 kV) and two-phase (2 x 25 kV) 50 Hz railway traction power supply applications. It features a well proven combination of a magnetic actuator and electronic controller that significantly reduces the number of moving parts, making it robust, reliable and essentially maintenance free.
The main advantage of the FSKII+ for rail substation projects is its compact installation footprint. This is combined with simple and easy installation that makes it ideally suited for fast-track construction schedules that need to be completed within the often very restricted possession periods available for trackside access
In addition to the ECML, the FSKII+ and its previous generation models (FSKII and FSK) have been deployed in major UK rail infrastructure projects such as the West Coast Main Line. The FSKII+ is also an integral element in the Structure Mounted Outdoor Switchgear (SMOS) light modular switchgear concept developed by ABB for the Great Western Electrification Programme (GWEP).
“We are delighted to have won this latest major order for the East Coast Main Line that continues the remarkable run of success for the FSKII+ in the UK rail sector”, said David Hughes, head of ABB Power Products Division UK and Ireland. “The key factors in this success are clearly the simplicity and ease of installation offered by the FSKII+ design, as well as the outstanding track record it has established for reliability in demanding outdoor installations.”