National Grid has delivered a new 97 tonne transformer which will connect a new trackside substation at Holly Cross to the electricity network, as part of the Bramley Network Rail connection.
The Supergrid transformer at Bramley substation will help Network Rail to future-proof and decarbonise its electrical network.
The delivery faced a number of challenges caused by low water levels in The Rhine in Germany following the drought in Europe this summer. But the team overcame the problem by adapting the original delivery plan. The transformer was transported by barge along The Rhine and across the English Channel to docks in Tilbury, before travelling to Bramley by road.
A large specialist vehicle (37 metres in length) transported the transformer to Bramley on Sunday 18 September. On arrival the slow-moving vehicle travelled at 10mph along Sherfield Road, The Street, and into St James Park estate, then reversed down the National Grid access road before proceeding to the substation.
Such low speeds were necessary to ensure the safety of all road users when transporting heavy loads. The route had been carefully planned in collaboration with Hampshire County Council’s highways department to minimise disruption, and local residents and businesses were informed. Many residents turned out on the day to watch the abnormal load navigate the roads through the village.
National Grid Project Manager, Stephen Harris, said:
“The transformer delivery has been many months in the planning, and we have worked hard to overcome the challenges and minimise the disruption to the local community.
“We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of local residents and businesses in helping us achieve this significant milestone in the project.”
National Grid is now focused on completing the installation of underground cables between Bramley substation and the feeder station. Completion is expected in late-2023.
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