The electrification programme between Manchester and Liverpool was the trail blazer regarding recent UK conversion to electric trains. Being an early adopter of new technology and the Series 2 design range brought specific challenges, with minimal prior knowledge from other projects. PACE worked in close collaboration with Network Rail, Balfour Beatty and our partners to meet project needs and ensure component supply was effective and well communicated.
2015 saw the start of the Midland Mainline programme of works, with the first section running from Bedford to Corby. Before the project commenced, PACE Networks strived to understand the requirements for supply schedules, product development and other bespoke features of the line. PACE acted as the communication link between the project and the manufacturers to ensure supply to the project and help the manufacturers evolve their product bag.
Between June 2013 and May 2014 overhead line equipment was installed from Springburn to Cumbernauld, enabling the use of electric traction units. As the first section of the much-discussed EGIP programme of works, this was a test bed for new equipment and new approaches in Scotland. In addition to supporting Bonomi Group in providing an extended range of OLE equipment, PACE collaborated with Network Rail, Carillion and Morris Line in the development of a new simple earthing switch.
The Rutherglen And Coatbridge Electrification project was a line that linked into the main Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement programme. Electrification of the line was announced in May of 2013 with an original target completion date of 2019. However, due to the upcoming commonwealth games, there was a decision taken to accelerate that to a September 2014 completion. This put a lot of pressure on the project and suppliers to expedite all activities and products. PACE managed the communications regarding delivering Cantilevers, Fittings, Insulators and Earth Switches to the project in less than half the standard lead time, enabling the project to stay within its target dates.
Major improvement work was needed on the Chase line services due to the increasing number of passengers. To provide this growth, investment of over £100m has been made to electrify and upgrade the line between Walsall and Rugeley, to enable a faster and more frequent service in the future. PACE managed the project to include fitting of Cantilevers, Fittings, Droppers, and Switches.
As part of the £1bn+ Great North Rail Project investment, the railway between Manchester and Preston via Bolton will be upgraded to allow for faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys from December 2017.Once again, PACE managed the project, under different contractors, to facilitate the fitting of Cantilevers, Fittings, Droppers, and Switches.
PACE Networks is privileged to be awarded multi-year framework contracts with National Grid for Rebosio polymeric insulators at 132kV, 275kV and 400kV as our national utility recognises the benefits of polymeric insulators over either porcelain or glass. We also have the framework for a range of Conductor Fittings with our partner RIBE and hope to get the first orders before the end of 2017.
All four rail routes between Edinburgh and Glasgow on the Shotts line will be electrified by 2019. The project is part of a wider £160m programme to improve links between Scotland’s two biggest cities. PACE has been heavily involved with the Shotts line electrification project, successfully managing communications between the project and manufacturers to provide OMNIA cantilevers, Rebosio insulators, Bonomi fittings and Morris Line Engineering isolators.