EDINBURGH TRAM INFO – Equipment
Last updated Q3 2015
BRIEF HISTORY – PRE CONSTRUCTION
THE POWER SUPPLY
SIGNALLING & COMMUNICATIONS
Pre – Construction
Following financial backing by the Scottish Executive, and The City of Edinburgh Council, together with contributions from developers and property owners, including e.g. Forth Ports Plc, to be served on the routes, the initial works to prepare the streets for the trams commenced in 2007.
Phase 1a was agreed for construction of a line between Edinburgh Airport and Newhaven. Phase 1b was to see the construction of the Granton to City Centre via Craigleith and Roseburn line.
The initial phase of the construction involved the relocating of the utilities away from the areas where the tram will run. This has been an opportunity for the Gas, Electric, Phone, Water, and other underground services to be updated. The work involved in relocating the services was carried out initially by Carillion. The areas from the Airport to Newhaven were cleared before the decision was made to curtail the first line at York Place. Some re-instatement of the temporary work was required in the Leith Walk area.
The second phase saw the construction of the track for the trams and the other infrastructure works which are required. This part of the work was completed by Bilfinger Berger UK Ltd (the lead contractor) and Siemens. Bilfinger Berger are the 2nd largest German construction group, and Siemens are world leaders in railway, electrical, infrastructure and integration work. They will also have the responsibility for maintenance of the track and infrastructure when the trams are running.
VAE, the Austrian sub contractors, supplied the track. The first section being delivered in November 2008, and placed in storage in Leith Docks. All equipment for the line from the Airport to Newhaven has been delivered and paid for as part of the Agreement in Mid 2011 to allow progress to be made following the disbandment of TIE.
THE POWER SUPPLY
The Trams supplied by CAF and in use on the Edinburgh Tram Network are electrically powered taking their power from the overhead wires through the roof mounted pantograph.
The overhead cable is a minimum height of 5.8m in the street running sections, and a minimum of 5.2m in the off street sections.
View of electricity feed into off street overhead cable.
The sub-stations convert the supplied power to 750v dc for the trams. The substations also supply the power to operate the motors to change the points, power the heating for the points to prevent them freezing, the CCTV monitors, and the other control and backup systems.
The six substations (and the one at the Depot) supplying the electricity power to the overhead cables for the line between the Airport and York Place are situated at -
“Ingliston substation” is at the lower Airport side of the Park & Ride facility.
“The Depot” – has its own power sub station.
“Bankhead substation” is between the South Gyle viaduct and the Saughton Tram Stop.
“Jenner’s substation” is besides the old Jenners Depository building near to Balgreen Road.
“Haymarket substation” between Haymarket & Shandwick Place below ground level.
Haymarket looking East
Haymarket looking West
The "Cathedral substation" is hidden away behind the buildings on the right side travelling towards the York Place terminus. The substation is located at the top end of Cathedral Lane.
All the Sub Stations are monitored and controlled from the Gogar Control room.
The buildings were manufactured without floors, to provide a simple ’drop-over’ solution. The completed buildings, comprising walls and roof, were simply lifted by crane over the equipment located on site, then bolted down to provide a secure housing.
SIGNALLING & COMMUNICATIONS
The drivers of the trams will mainly use line of sight. Some signalling has been installed at road junctions (The Gyle and the town street running sections), the crossovers at the termini, and the other areas where the trams can switch from one line to the other as at Haymarket Yards and Shandwick Place.
The route between Gogarburn and Ingliston is the only section where the trams can travel at the maximum line speed of 70 km/h.
This is a view in Shandwick Place showing the overhead cable support attached to the building. The top one is in use and the lower one is not. In the middle of the two modern connectors is the mark left when the old pre-1956 tram wire support, known as a Rosette, was removed.
Please click on any image to view it at a larger scale. You will then be able to navigate forwards and backwards between photos or see them as a slide show.
Portastor manufactured and supplied three multi-room, single-piece modules to house power and control equipment for the Edinburgh trams. These were specially designed to house switchgear, ring-main units and protected control areas, all in separate rooms within the building.