CLIENT: Transport for Greater Manchester

LOCATION: Manchester Metrolink


TfGM had identified that two new 750V DC traction substations were required on the Altrincham-Bury line in order to enable the operation of back to back double tram services to achieve an increase of 33% in passenger carrying capacity at peak times.

PSP were appointed as Principal Contractor and Designer to design, supply, install and commission the two new substations at the chosen sites at Brooklands and Whitefield.

The Scope of work included:

  • Detailed Design of the new Traction Substations, Site Layouts, Foundations, Cable Routes, OLE modifications and interconnectivity with existing substations either side.
  • Manufacture and testing of both new AC/DC substations at PSP’s workshop in Crewe.
  • Management of all Civils and OLE works including substation bases, cable routes, UTX, OLE foundations, OLE structures, OLE resectioning, OLE bypass & track feeder switches and traction cable connections.
  • Delivery of the new substations, commissioning on-site and integration into the existing SCADA and intertripping systems.
  • Management of the installation of new incoming HV supplies from DNO.
  • Comprehensive ‘live’ commissioning tests including: First energisation tests, SCADA end to end tests, OLE section proving, intertripping, short circuit testing, load monitoring, stray current monitoring and EMC testing.
  • Both sites were successfully commissioned in November 2017 allowing TfGM to increase tram capacity as planned.

Key Challenges and Interfaces:

  • Careful layout design to minimise the number of customer car parking spaces lost as a result of the new substations.
  • Planning significant amounts of the work to take place within overnight periods to avoid disruption to tram services.
  • Delicate planning of works to seamlessly integrate the new substations into the existing operational Metrolink network.