die belebende Bedenkung

Aesthetically challenged overhead

with 2 comments

High Speed 2 Ltd has procured a £3 million licence from SNCF to use its existing high speed overhead catenary system (OCS) for the HS2 phase 1 route, New Civil Engineer reported (paywall).

[HS2 to use French overhead line technology, Katherine Smale, New Civil Engineer, 29 Sep 2017]

[…] The project promoter said while it welcomed any solution which met its standards, as a number of companies had already produced systems which were close to complying with its standards, it anticipated the work would be to upgrade and develop existing systems and not design it from scratch.

HS2 said unlike alternative systems, SNCF’s system did not prescribe suppliers, opening the way for UK-based manufacturers to bid for contracts to supply OCS components.

This suggests that HS2 phase 1 could end up looking much like HS1 – which is a French ‘high speed’ line, in all but name.

SNCF type overhead lines, as seen on 51m website

SNCF type overhead lines, as seen on 51m website

So, what happened to the aspiration for HS2 to be a design ‘exemplar’, with ‘aesthetic overhead line structures’? Perhaps Sadie Morgan knows?

RIBA competitions, 'aesthetic overhead line structures'

RIBA competitions, ‘aesthetic overhead line structures’

Did someone say ‘Tesco value’?

Allied Insulators, 'HS2 aesthetic electrification'

Allied Insulators, ‘HS2 aesthetic electrification’


Written by beleben

September 29, 2017 at 11:28 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

2 Responses

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  1. Who is responsible? For What? It may all be in hand, so will HS2 explain in plain English?

    a) Is the proposed HV supply system designed to support trains running at 400km/hour and (say) 12 trains per hour in both opposing directions, with load factor of 75%.

    b) Has power supply (KV and amps) been calculated by hour along the track/s, and throughout the day?
    And acceptable/agreed with the major Power Stations

    c) What loads will be established at the public power stations? Also for local distribution along the tracks in order to locate HV substations, and power transformers/inverters?

    d) Which cart is before which horse? Which engineers are in charge?

    Neil Mathers FIMechE

    September 29, 2017 at 12:07 pm

  2. ISTR a comment from a well informed source about the mess that is/was GWML knitting in transferring the desktop designs to the real world, and how Mr Brunel’s railway was not matched well to the French(?) design package.

    Ah well just worth taking a trip on the old many short jerks and away route where the 1930’s 1500V OHL structures were first converted to 25KV and then in places back to 750V – so nice to see assets so well amortised……


    September 29, 2017 at 1:22 pm

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