Case study

Gospel Oak to Barking

The programme to electrify the Gospel Oak to Barking line allowed London Overground to introduce new trains and increase capacity. It also provided an alternative freight path from the Thames Estuary docks and enabled freight operators to use electric traction on flows emanating from the North Thameside area.

Between 2015 and 2018, Network Rail installed Series 2 OLE between Gospel Oak and Barking stations, connecting to the ECML electrification at Harringay.

This work was undertaken at a time when Network Rail’s safe isolations procedures were undergoing changes following scrutiny by rail regulator the Office for Rail and Road (ORR). To compound the complications, the project scope spanned different ECR (electrical control room) control areas and maintenance delivery areas, so Network Rail created bespoke safe isolation procedures for each area to allow for consistency within each control area while demonstrating compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations.

The project scope also involved track lowering, overbridge modifications, electrical clearance protection works and the lowering of both platforms at Walthamstow Queens Road station.

NCB was appointed NoBo (Notified Body), DeBo (Designated Body) and AsBo (Assessment Body) for ENE (energy TSI) and INF (infrastructure TSI) subsystems. NCB was also employed, under a separate contract, to update the Series 2 design ISV (Intermediate Statement of Verification) to accommodate components used by the project.

The programme changed many times, delaying the eventual energisation by over a year. This resulted in a constantly changing assessment programme which NCB was able to accommodate, working collaboratively with the team and advising them of impending compliance and safety concerns. NCB supported the project throughout, liaising with rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and Network Rail, holding daily progress briefings as the project neared completion.

The project briefly energised for testing in January 2018, then fully commissioned the system into operation in March 2018. Authorisation conditions were subsequently closed out during the rest of 2018.

Despite several programme slips NCB was able to accommodate these delays and completed the project including witnessing dynamic testing and co-locating in the client’s offices. The Safety Assessment Report was issued in March 2018 with the technical file and authorisation was granted shortly afterwards.

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