Installation of 33kV Underground Feeder for Rail Upgrade in West Sydney

UEA Trenchless successfully tendered for the civil component of the NSW Rail Alliance Project’s 33kV Feeder Rail Upgrade and was awarded the project in June 2013.

The objective of the project was to anticipate and meet the growing demand on Western Sydney railways’ power network and enhance ongoing reliability in line with population growth.

A study of the power system requirements for the Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Lawson and Wallerawang Rail Network had concluded with a proposal to upgrade the train fleet. With little spare capacity available in the existing feeder infrastructure, the study’s recommendation was to design and construct a new 33kV feeder before the addition of the new air-conditioned Waratah passenger train fleet to the network.

UEA initiated a redesign of the cable hauling pits on the project but successfully eliminated the requirement for many of these structures to be changed, resulting in a substantial cost-saving for NSW Rail Alliance.

Further savings were achieved for the client by UEA providing precast concrete cable jointing pits, a method responsible for delivering a significant time-saving on installation, compared to the conventional cast in situ alternative.

UEA commenced construction of the 33kV feeder project in August 2013 and completed the cable hauling works in January 2014. Four kilometres of underground cables of 33kV were installed between two existing substations.

The project’s key components were:

  • Creek Crossings: 2 x crossings of Greystanes Creekwere completed using Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) without environmental interference.
  • Excavation: 3.5km of six-way HD electrical and communication conduits were installed following excavation, backfilled with stabilised sand through residential streets with minimal impact on the local community and traffic.
  • Joint Bay Installation: six 25T x 5m long, pre-cast concrete joint bays were installed using a 100T mobile crane with multiple installations completed per day.
  • Cable hauling and termination: 12km of 33kV XLPE HV electrical cable was provided, including end-to-end testing and sealing.
  • Fibre Optical Cable installation: 4.5km of fibre optical cable provided, including terminations at both substations.

For this contract, UEA was required to co-ordinate works across two local government areas – Blacktown and Holroyd. Efficient project management by the UEA team and its subcontractors across authority liaison, equipment selection, design, planning and community relations were central in successfully reaching the scheduled milestones, to budget.

Information about the trenchless installation as well as the design, engineering and construction services provided by the UEA Group can be found here. For details about the underground rail power feeder project, contact us.

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