HV Switchgear Reconfiguration, Crewe

Left out of the West Coast Route Modernisation works, Crewe is one of the key distribution points on the national 25kV network, with a total of 3 grid intakes.

As a result of changes to the network elsewhere, one of these intakes was effectively prevented from being used, resulting in a lack of redundancy in supply and leaving the power supplies unacceptably vulnerable to interruptions.

Our works were to physically exchange the positions of parts of the 1960s oil-filled Switchgear & Cowans K11 switchgear, redesigning and enhancing interlocking systems and interconnection wiring before bringing the third feed into full availability.

The project required detailed coordination over temporary feeding and a series of planned out-of-hours changeovers was key to success. Works were significantly complicated by both the lack of accurate records and the need to keep the disruption to an absolute minimum on this key rail route. Innovative mechanical and lifting solutions were necessary to transpose parts of the switchboard which was installed in a building too small to manipulate the units.

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