SNC-LAVALIN SUBSIDIARY Atkins has been appointed by Network Rail to analyse dynamic behaviours of overhead line equipment (OLE) and develop new OLE designs for future electrification schemes. Using Digital Image Correlation technology, Atkins will analyse the relationship between OLE uplift, OLE system type, train speed and pantograph type, installed at low bridges with low headroom or long width, with twin contact arrangements, and use data to develop new rules for OLE design. The contract builds on Atkins’ pioneering work on the Steventon bridge on the Great Western main line (p76, last month).
The new rules will be used by OLE designers to reduce route clearance costs, including bridge reconstruction and track lowering, for new electrification schemes. Bridge reconstructions to create sufficient space can cost up to £1 million or account for one-third of an electrification scheme’s total cost. The 10-month contract intends to result in smaller values of uplift being used, which can potentially convert a bridge reconstruction into a ‘no work required’ analysis, reducing electrification scheme capital costs.