Leeds station capacity upgrade - collaborative working in action

Amey employees on the side of a train platform
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Collaborative working was key to Amey’s development of an electrical power design for Network Rail’s Leeds Station Capacity Improvement project

Network Rail’s Transpennine Route Upgrade project included an intermediate interventions programme to carry out the infrastructure improvements required to support the planned changes and enhancements to the rail service. At Leeds station, a new platform and modification of the lines on the western approach were needed to accommodate longer trains and other service improvements.

Amey Consulting’s E&P (electrical power) team was contracted to provide asset condition surveys, redesign the points heating in the Leeds station area, and draw up a scheme for buffer stop lighting on the new platform. Amey was also involved alongside our colleagues from CERSA in reviewing and developing the overall earthing and bonding strategy for the project.

The E&P team worked in collaboration with Network Rail’s Infrastructure Project (IP) signalling and civil engineering contractors as well as drawing on the expertise of Amey’s own track, civils and overhead line equipment (OLE) disciplines. A hub and spokes model was used to manage project delivery, with the various contractors (spokes) reporting to the Network Rail project management and engineering assurance teams at the centre as well as communicating with each other. The Amey engineers, based in Swindon, attended regular interdisciplinary meetings in Leeds to engage with the other spokes (before Covid-19 sent the process online).

Amey’s preparatory work included detailed surveys of the existing points heating, the  capacity of the electrical supply from the distribution network operator (DNO), and the various cable routes around the station. As drawings were developed, they were checked against the live federated building information model managed by the E&P team, allowing the effect of design changes to be reviewed and potential risks and clashes identified. The ProjectWise engineering collaboration platform was used to manage, share and distribute design content.

One of Amey’s priorities is to seek opportunities to add value and save costs. For example, a potential safety risk was identified in the earthing and bonding arrangement of the traction cable feeding current to the trains. The team proposed a new connection to the main earthing terminal that resolved the problem.

Amey also prioritises sustainability and environmental protection, and actively contributed to the project’s BREEAM assessment. All equipment specified in the design was reviewed for its impact on the overall carbon footprint, for instance. The designers also made use of recovered materials where possible – in one case, an existing cable was used to supply a new relocatable equipment building (REB), saving the cost of 350 metres of expensive copper cable.

At the end of the project, Amey successfully delivered a complete E&P design covering points heating, cable routes, buffer stop lighting, earthing and bonding and power distribution, plus a detailed electrical analysis, in full compliance with Network Rail processes and standards.   

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