Invensys Rail to support West Coast power supply upgrade project

18 March 2013 (Last Updated March 18th, 2013 18:30)

Invensys Rail has won a contract from ABB to support Network Rail's £115m power supply upgrade project on the West Coast Main Line (WCML).

WCML line

Invensys Rail has won a contract from ABB to support Network Rail’s £115m power supply upgrade project on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) in the UK.

Under the deal, which covers phase 3B of the overall project, Invensys will be responsible for the design, supply and factory testing of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) remote terminal units (RTUs) for 11 of the improvement project’s new containerised traction substations.

According to Invensys, the RTUs represent a new generation of automation techniques and use the new IEC61850 technology, which provides interoperability between equipment from different suppliers.

The RTUs are expected to reduce the time and cost of substation delivery by using communications-based, network-coupled technology rather than the previously-used hard-wired I/O technology.

"The RTUs represent a new generation of automation techniques and use the new IEC61850 technology, which provides interoperability between equipment from different suppliers."

According to Invensys, work on the SCADA element of the entire power supply upgrade project is currently underway and is expected to be completed in December 2014.

WCML, a 641-mile route from Euston station in London to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh stations, is the UK’s busiest mixed-traffic railway.

In December 2012, Virgin Rail Group received approval from the UK Government to continue operating the WCML franchise for a further 23 months, until 9 November 2014.

Virgin’s extended WCML contract comes after the cancellation of FirstGroup’s original contract to take over the franchise from Virgin, which has operated the line since 1997.

The company’s 23-month contract can reportedly be shortened by up to six months if the Department for Transport (DfT) is able to prepare a long-term franchise more quickly than expected.


Image: The 641-mile West Coast Main Line operates both passenger and freight trains.