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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 149302 times)
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #900 on: December 15, 2019, 08:55:01 am »

I expect this will be lost amongst all the negative news today:

Quote
Sunday 15/12/2019 - IET Unit No.800302 had the honours of being the first mainline electric service in Wales working 1L32 0813 Newport (South Wales) to London Paddington
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 09:01:48 am by SandTEngineer » Logged
onthecushions
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« Reply #901 on: January 03, 2020, 03:27:10 pm »


From ORR Twitter:

"
Passengers can look forward to quicker journeys as we have authorised the Bristol to Cardiff section of the Great Western Electrification Project. This completes the entire route starting at Paddington. For more details go here ➡️ http://bit.ly/2FhzWM4

"

Presumably the tunnel problems are seen as minor and resolvable.

HNY!

OTC

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grahame
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« Reply #902 on: January 03, 2020, 03:37:56 pm »

Presumably the tunnel problems are seen as minor and resolvable.

Judging from comments I saw today about trains being "electric all the way", either they have been solved or someone's telling porkies.  Which is it?
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stuving
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« Reply #903 on: January 03, 2020, 05:02:44 pm »

Presumably the tunnel problems are seen as minor and resolvable.

Judging from comments I saw today about trains being "electric all the way", either they have been solved or someone's telling porkies.  Which is it?

We had an explanation not far upthread. Replacing the contact wire with aluminium alloy, and some other measures, have made it feasible to start operation. There will be a higher level of monitoring,  maintenance, and replacement of parts, and I expect also continued work to improve this initual solution to reduce this maintenance penalty where possible.
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« Reply #904 on: January 03, 2020, 05:09:16 pm »

I suspect that it would have been dropped from the electrification programme had it not been largely completed before the project started to hit major difficulties.
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Adrian
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« Reply #905 on: January 03, 2020, 10:01:33 pm »

My train was definitely on diesel when it went through the tunnel on diesel yesterday.  There was a noticeable surge of power as the IET switched to electric on the way up the bank after Pilning.  Currently they are also still running on diesel between Newport and Cardiff.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #906 on: January 03, 2020, 10:18:51 pm »

Reported elsewhere that the 'official' switch-on is Sunday 05 January 2020.
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stuving
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« Reply #907 on: January 03, 2020, 10:53:44 pm »

Reported elsewhere that the 'official' switch-on is Sunday 05 January 2020.

The old enhancement delivery plans used to list "infrastructure authorised for passenger use" and "first timetabled public use of the infrastructure" as two separate steps, so I'm not sure whether there might be a delay before passengers are electric all the way. It might show up on the timings (as on RTT), but then again it might not - there's no need to indicate something that speeds a train up.

I'm sure we missed it at the time, but Furrer + Frey put out a statement in October 2018 about unnamed wet tunnels, responding to an NR decision (not published, I think). It implies that NR knew they were specifying materiel developed for dry tunnels and clean rain, so anything untoward in the Severn Tunnel was their issue. However, they (F+F) would help with looking for solutions. They list potential measures - not including Al alloy contact wire. Here is the main part of that:
Quote
There are some issues in small number of wet locations in tunnels. There are no known issues in modern or dry tunnels.
Network Rail has chosen to temporarily suspend product acceptance for future installations of ROCS until remedial actions completed in these specific wet locations. Furrer+Frey are working closely with Network Rail to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

ROCS is based on a proven concept. This involves a standard copper contact wire supported in an extruded aluminium bar profile. The bi-metallic interface is coated with a metallic grease. This grease performs two important functions:
1. It allows traction current to freely flow between the bar and the wire
2. It provides a passive layer between the two galvanically reactive metals to prevent each reacting with the other.
Aluminium is a cost-effective material with ideal conductivity and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. However, aluminium will corrode if exposed to certain environmental conditions; in particular, salt water or alkaline. It is essential that the ROCS is appropriately protected in those conditions.
ROCS is designed and proven to operate outside, exposed to the weather and high humidity using the grease and a protecting rain cover. Normal design service life can be expected outside. ROCS is validated in accordance with ISO9227 Environmental Corrosion Tests and rated as “very good” for corrosion resistance.

ROCS is not designed or intended to operate in a continuously wet (or immersed) environment or to be exposed to chemical elements, either natural or artificial.
The cases of corrosion are all linked to direct sources of water ingress. In some cases, these contain high proportions of salts/chemicals, in others, the water content has still to be determined.
When regular or constant liquid ingress is present, Furrer+Frey recommend (in no particular order):
1. Repair/re-lining of the tunnel lining where practical.
2. Installation of local water shields or diverter panels to the tunnel lining to deflect water to below contact wire height.
3. Installation of drip pans and of gutters to the tunnel lining to carry water away from critical areas.
4. Regular inspection of the tunnel lining to enable response to new leaks or changing conditions.
5. Regular passage of pantographs (even if the system is not entered into service) which sweep clean the contact surface and prevent build-up of contaminants.
6.Where tunnel mounted shields are impractical, installation of shields or deflectors onto drop tubes to prevent water entering supports or protecting covers.
7. Installation of protecting covers to the bar itself to prevent water entering bar joints and getting inside the bar.
8. Regular inspection and if necessary, cleaning of drain holes.
9. Inspect and maintain/repair existing water management measures e.g. fix leaking drip pans or gutters
10. Furrer+Frey always recommend water sampling and testing in advance of commencement of works.

The locations where corrosion has occurred coincide entirely with water ingress points which either:
1. Were known about before installation and not repaired or diverted.
2. Appeared since original water surveys but have not been assessed, diverted or repaired.

To help reduce the impact of corrosion at these sites, Furrer+Frey have designed and supplied revised protecting covers with more substantial drip details to shed greater quantities of water in still air conditions. It is incumbent on the infrastructure owner to divert water way from the conductor rail.
This protecting cover sheds water from the bar itself and prevents ingress into joints. Cantilevers and cover ends must be protected separately.
In any permanently wet and polluted locations it is not advisable in the long term to use ROCS unprotected or use any 25kV insulators without correctly diverting water flows.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 10:01:41 am by stuving » Logged
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #908 on: January 04, 2020, 12:05:14 am »

My train was definitely on diesel when it went through the tunnel on diesel yesterday.  There was a noticeable surge of power as the IET switched to electric on the way up the bank after Pilning.  Currently they are also still running on diesel between Newport and Cardiff.

Reported elsewhere that the 'official' switch-on is Sunday 05 January 2020.

Yes, passenger trains will be running to/from Cardiff on Sunday 5th. Currently it is only as far as Newport.  However, the Severn Tunnel will remain diesel only for the time being (in passenger service).
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #909 on: January 04, 2020, 10:31:05 am »


Reported elsewhere that the 'official' switch-on is Sunday 05 January 2020.

Yes, passenger trains will be running to/from Cardiff on Sunday 5th. Currently it is only as far as Newport.  However, the Severn Tunnel will remain diesel only for the time being (in passenger service).

Thats interesting II as the report elsewhere from somebody 'inside' GWR was that it will be electric all the way.
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stuving
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« Reply #910 on: January 04, 2020, 10:46:12 am »


Reported elsewhere that the 'official' switch-on is Sunday 05 January 2020.

Yes, passenger trains will be running to/from Cardiff on Sunday 5th. Currently it is only as far as Newport.  However, the Severn Tunnel will remain diesel only for the time being (in passenger service).

Thats interesting II as the report elsewhere from somebody 'inside' GWR was that it will be electric all the way.

It's hard to tell in some cases, since exactly the same words can be used for both possibilities if the tunnel is not mentioned explicitly.
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« Reply #911 on: January 04, 2020, 11:36:31 am »

Thats interesting II as the report elsewhere from somebody 'inside' GWR was that it will be electric all the way.

I've just double-checked the driver notices and it is quite clear that drivers must perform a manual changeover to diesel/electric at either side of the Severn Tunnel at Pilning or Severn Tunnel Junction so that they are in diesel through the tunnel.  The new arrangements from tomorrow between Newport and Cardiff make no mention of those arrangements being altered.

I'll keep a look out for when that notice is updated.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #912 on: January 04, 2020, 11:56:50 am »

Thats interesting II as the report elsewhere from somebody 'inside' GWR was that it will be electric all the way.

I've just double-checked the driver notices and it is quite clear that drivers must perform a manual changeover to diesel/electric at either side of the Severn Tunnel at Pilning or Severn Tunnel Junction so that they are in diesel through the tunnel.  The new arrangements from tomorrow between Newport and Cardiff make no mention of those arrangements being altered.

I'll keep a look out for when that notice is updated.

II, thanks for doing that check.  I'll post that back elsewhere.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 12:02:03 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged
onthecushions
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« Reply #913 on: January 05, 2020, 10:41:20 pm »


Twitter quote from G Keenor (OLE author)

"To head off the inevitable mentions:
- yes, the tunnel is live
- no, these trains aren't yet using OLE through the tunnel. They switch either side of the tunnel
- no, that isn't a permanent arrangement. The tunnel has been hugely challenging but the issues are resolved."

Seems that 1L34, 0850 departure from Cardiff was the first passenger carrying working.

Worth a sip of the cooking sherry.

OTC
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bradshaw
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« Reply #914 on: January 06, 2020, 08:12:36 am »

He has posted a series of Twitter threads explaining the technical elements of electrification
Search for @25kv
One example below
https://twitter.com/25kv/status/1187822175010590721?s=21
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