Responding to emergency power, heating and cooling outages and delivering cost effective maintenance programmes across the railway network 24/7 is no easy task. But both should be an essential element of your rental rail power, heating and cooling strategy. With careful planning all can be provided economically and efficiently, to keep disruption to a minimum.
Here are some common challenges that demand priority focus:
1. Maintaining rail power in remote locations
As the UK rail network covers many remote and inaccessible locations, it's essential to have a plan in place to power and service these sites.
A mobile rental power supply can often be needed quickly to avoid downtime and subsequent service delays or safety risks. When speed is important it’s easy to overlook the simplest considerations. For example, have you considered access routes, equipment security and re-fuelling? Read our Guide to Rental Rail Power to get the answers.
2. Ensuring critical power
A zero risk approach is required for critical facilities, such as operations centres and data suites, which control and store vital information for effective railway operation. It's therefore essential to produce a back-up plan that offers an extra layer of protection to existing back-up power, HVAC and refrigeration equipment. A detailed contingency plan is often the answer – read our Guide to Contingency Planning for more.
3. Points heating
If the points heating on railway track fails during a cold snap due to a grid outage, or is out of action due to maintenance, generators are a quick and simple solution. They supply power to the trackside control cabins that feed through to the points heating elements. To make the solution more cost-effective, the generators can be connected to a thermostat, so they auto-start when the temperature drops below zero. The generator will stop again when the temperature rises; this provides fuel efficiency and keeps running costs to a minimum.
4. Specialist voltage ranges
The rail network works across a range of voltages, so it's essential to plan ahead for specialist generator requirements. For example, train care depots run on high voltage power, while signal boxes and signalling systems demand 650V. As high voltage applications require additional planning due to the complexity of the set-up; make sure this time is factored into your plan to avoid delays. Our Free Guide to Rental Rail Power explains in more detail.
5. Keep going - off-grid
Large-scale rail infrastructure construction projects often call for new or upgraded utility supplies to meet increased energy demand. Achieving a new grid connection is complex, takes time and can be subject to unexpected delays. As such, it's vital to be prepared and have an off-grid power strategy ready – using diesel or gas generators.
In devising an off-grid energy strategy, consider whether it's business critical to have a totally secure and stable power supply. Have you got round-the-clock service support and real-time monitoring to ensure uninterruptible power and provide diagnosis of any issues in real time? Our Guide to Rental Rail Power goes into more detail.
6. Keeping critical assets cool
In summer warmer weather can overburden HVAC and refrigeration plant. This can make it difficult to maintain required temperatures and kW cooling capacity.
Rental cooling equipment can support with supplementary cooling during periods of higher ambient temperatures. It can also act as the main cooling provider when a site’s plant needs maintenance or repair.
Planning for these scenarios in advance allows time to consider the most suitable hire equipment and ensure ease of installation – our Guide to Rail Contingency Planning explains more.
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