London’s Liverpool Street station is the third busiest in the capital, after Waterloo and Victoria. Opened in 1874 as the terminus for the Great Eastern Railway, it absorbed all of the services that ran into the adjacent Broad Street station when that closed in 1986.

Today, it is the terminus for the West Anglia main line to Cambridge, the Great Eastern to Norwich and the Stansted Express service, as well as local and commuter trains to the East of England. The station’s 18 platforms are used by more than 1.2 million people every day (over 63 million per annum), traveling on services operated by Abellio Greater Anglia and London Overground, as well as Transport for London which took over operation of the route to Shenfield last year as a precursor to Crossrail. There are also a handful of c2c services.

The station’s underground interchange serves the Central, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and Circle lines.

Life expired

All of this, with lighting, heating, retail, offices and services, uses a lot of electrical power. There are over 50 high street food and retail outlets alone, and they all rely on electrical switchgear (Durham switchgear and distribution boards), which feeds the power supply. This equipment, which is 25 years old, is coming to the end of its operational life. In addition, because of its age, the apparatus does not meet the current safety standards for maintenance access provision and requires renewal.

As a result, SSE Enterprise Rail has been commissioned to design and deliver a solution to replace all life-expired mechanical and electrical assets between years two to four of Network Rail’s Control Period 5 (CP5) delivery plan. The SSE Enterprise Rail team will also improve electrical safety to help prevent major equipment failure, provide a dedicated back-up electricity supply for the station and train shed lighting to further improve reliability, and expand current electrical distribution capacity at the station by 25 per cent. All of this will be delivered whilst maintaining functionality of all station facilities and operations, keeping disruption to an absolute minimum and travellers on the move.

SSE Enterprise Rail is developing a ‘one team’ approach and will carry out detailed consultation with all interested parties, which include the client, Network Rail, operators Abellio Greater Anglia and Transport for London, as well as station staff, tenants in the station outlets and the general public. This collaborative way of working assures project values and objectives will be agreed from the outset, with less likelihood of anything unexpected occurring during the design and delivery phases with a far greater chance of success for all parties. Safety, SSE Enterprise’s number one core value, will be the primary consideration at every stage.

The completion of GRIP 3-4 (construction and engineering services contract) is scheduled for the end of November 2016, while the completion of GRIP 5-8 (design and construction contract) is expected at the end of November 2017.

Contract win

SSE Enterprise Rail won a competitive tender to design and deliver this ‘Liverpool Street Switch Panels and Distribution Board Project’ on behalf of Network Rail. The tender scoring system awarded the company maximum marks in the ‘commercial’ category, illustrating the organisation’s drive to deliver the optimum balance of quality, safety and value.

Raj Sinha, managing director of SSE Enterprise Rail, said: “This project will be very challenging but we have the right people with the right skills at every level to deliver this type of specialist work. We look forward to supporting Network Rail and other stakeholders at Liverpool Street Station, building on the great reputation that our team of 15 years has already developed there.”

This successful tender award follows other recent contract wins for SSE Enterprise Rail, including the Tier 1 electrical works call-off contract for LNW route electrical framework (for both South and North areas) and the property minor works frameworks contract to March 2017.