Actual load for signalling power supplies

26 April 2023
Image of two men looking at a departure board.
Significant savings can be made on signalling projects when the power supply is tailored to the actual power requirement

Amey Consulting takes a smart approach to infrastructure design, challenging conventional thinking wherever we see an opportunity to achieve savings in time, costs, materials and carbon emissions. A good example of this is our power engineers’ insightful approach to rail signalling projects.

The role of power engineers in a signalling scheme is to ensure all the equipment, from signals to points and level crossings, is adequately supplied with power. When calculating the power requirement, engineers tend to play safe, working out the maximum possible load of every piece of equipment on the assumption they are operating at all times. This usually results in overkill, burdening the project (and the client) with a power supply infrastructure far in excess of the scheme’s actual needs.

For years Amey Consulting’s power engineers have taken a more pragmatic approach, asking the crucial question: how much power does the signalling equipment realistically require to function reliably? In practice, signals and points are not constantly in use, meaning that the actual load is considerably less than the hypothetical maximum. Informed analysis enables the engineers to optimise the power supply design, resulting in a reduced infrastructure that fits the scheme’s real needs.

This is possible because our power engineers are trained in signalling operations. Amey’s collaborative culture makes it easy for them to draw on the knowledge and experience of signalling colleagues. The insights gained help to produce designs that have yielded real benefits on numerous projects. Reduced infrastructure means reduced costs, savings in time, labour and materials, and a smaller environmental footprint, with less waste and fewer carbon emissions.