Great Western electrification contract awarded

UK Power Networks (UKPN) and ABB are to undertake an £87 million project to electrify the Great Western main line.

The consortium will supply more than 30 new traction substations as part of the Great Western Electrification Programme (GWEP) being delivered between now and 2017.

The line is being electrified ahead of the introduction of the new Hitachi-built IEP trains.

Stewart Dawson, director of UKPN Services, said: “This is a great opportunity for both our companies to build on an existing long, successful relationship and demonstrate our complimentary areas of expertise and to support Network Rail’s investment in infrastructure projects.”

Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s power systems division, added: “These substations will provide additional supply of quality power and facilitate the expansion and upgrade of this important rail network that will benefit passengers and the community at large.”

The first substation is scheduled for commissioning in 2015 and the project is expected to be completed in 2017.