KiwiRail Substations

As part of the improvements to the Wellington railway system to provide more reliable passenger services, Impact has project managed the construction of 11 new substations worth $5.5 million on nine different sites in a very short 10-month construction period.

Greater Wellington Regional Council ordered a fleet of new electric multiple units –the Matangi trains – which were introduced in late 2010.

In order to accommodate the new trains with the upgrading of existing infrastructure, an upgrade to the power supply (via new substations), signals and station infrastructure was required.

The challenges involved in the construction of the new substations included:

Several sites had buried critical services (e.g. signals, fibre-optics and high-voltage cables) in unknown positions. These were located exactly and safely using a large vacuum cleaner truck that removed the material around each service without damaging it.

On one site a fibre-optic cable clashed with the building footprint and was going to cost $15,000 and a six-week wait to move. Impact solved this problem by negotiating with KiwiRail to move the building 100 millimetres away from the cable. Another site contained multiple live cables that were under the building footprint and could not be moved. Impact, with the assistance of the contractor and designer, devised a protection system to keep these cables intact as the building was constructed on top of them.

During the intensive construction period for these substations there was no damage to services or delays to trains.

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“I have worked with Impact since 2005. As Advisor to Wellington International Airport Limited, I worked closely with Impact in their role as Project Director for the International Terminal Development. Since Impact’s appointment to manage the additional Substations for KiwiRail’s Wellington Region Rail Project, they have rapidly become an indispensable member of my team. They have proven to be proactive, hands-on Project Managers whom I can trust to resolve the intricate issues associated with construction within an operational rail environment. I highly recommend Impa

- David Gordon, Programme Director, KiwiRail, Wellington Region Rail Programme