GCF Electrification: overhead wiring doubled, costs halved.
Electric Traction renewal work: a new efficiency and cost saving standard from GCF
Full renewal of the overhead power line in half the time. For GCF, 2017 begins with a major accomplishment in the railway electrification sector. An all-time first in Italy that will not remain just an isolated record but will create an operational model for all future GCF projects, both in Italy and abroad.
The work enabled a new standard to be set in December on the Gorizia - Redipuglia line: 15 kilometres of double track railway line on which our client RFI wanted to completely renew and upgrade the overhead power line.
As the Site Manager, Tiziano Bernardi, explained: "We worked at night, as we usually do, with the power disconnected and no trains running. Usually, in the 5 or so hours at disposal, we manage to replace approximately 1.2 km of overhead power line. However, here we wanted to use a new organisational and operational method and try it out for the first time on site."
Basically, "double overhead wiring" - a clever combination of organisation, experience and optimisation - doubled our usual standard: 2.5 km of renewed overhead power line for every disruption. In this way, instead of the usual 36 disruptions, only 18 were needed to complete the 36 overhead wires required to completely replace 30 kilometres of the old power line with the new one which is capable, among other things, of increasing the speed of the trains from 140 to 180 km/h.
"For our client", the Technical Manager, Angelo Zullo, in charge of GCF Electrification stressed, "this means halving disruptions to normal railway traffic, reducing the number of extra personnel that RFI normally uses to supervise the work and consequently reducing the costs that RFI is obliged by contract to sustain. It is therefore a vast improvement in terms of costs/benefits. For the Gorizia RFI project, once work had been completed, a surplus of 18 disruptions remains: a highly significant package equal to the whole project."
We have raised the bar: overhead wiring "doubled" and costs "halved".
The "double overhead wiring" system, tested with success and satisfaction by our clients, has already become GCF's operational standard, the method that Generale Costruzione Ferroviarie will now use to complete the Redipuglia - Bivio S.Polo section and the one that opened the first Railway Electrification sites in 2017.
"It will be our hallmark of efficiency in all our future Electric Traction renewal work," Angelo Zullo concluded.