Case study: delivering a bespoke cable management solution in speedy fashion
In November 2020 PACE Infrastructure Solutions were contracted to provide a cable management system for the Thameslink project at London Bridge station. The task was to design and install a solution that would replace a heavily congested area of rail infrastructure on the extremely busy approach to the station.
The area in question had power and signalling cables sitting dangerously close to the conductor rails in a 200m section of track. The solution had to deal with extremely tight gauging clearances, maintain safe refuge in the area for track staff, plus contend with a bridge structure that was due to be renewed due to its poor condition and positioned on a via duct with restricted access to site.
PACE explained the details of the project to Complete Composite Systems (CCS), exclusive UK distributor of the elevated cable management product ARCOsystem, who worked hand-in-hand with the client to offer technical support and develop an innovative solution. Working in tandem with ARCO UK stockist Scott Parnell and the system’s Swiss manufacturer, Castioni Kabelführungssysteme GmbH, the suggested approach was to utilise the standard ARCO type 2 trunking supported by bespoke brackets. This would allow the system to be installed trackside by mounting the route on top of the viaduct wall while providing the safe refuge to staff, and provided an asset that was easily accessible to maintain.
ARCOsystem is a Network Rail-approved product that reduces the requirement of fixing points, allowing for spans of up to 6m between supports, ensuring a fast and cost-effective installation — and in this case ensuring that as much track access as possible could be maintained, decongesting the area as per the remit.
The challenges faced throughout the project were tight timescales; there were only 6 weeks from the contract award through to commission, putting plenty of pressure on design, procurement, build and supply. Key engineering meetings were held remotely in the midst of the global pandemic between all parties to keep the project on track. Castioni worked tirelessly to manufacture the bespoke steel fabrication of the brackets on schedule in Germany, while there were also importing issues to resolve at the UK border as works coincided with newly introduced Brexit protocols. This resulted in a three-day blockage and seven back-to-back shifts over the 2020/21 New Year period in order to successfully commission and deliver the new cable management system ready for the planned cable changeover.
Ron Brown, Technical Director of CCS, said: “It was a pleasure working with Damien and his team on this project. They had a clear vision of what they needed to achieve. The brief for Castioni, Scott Parnell and ourselves was to transform their vision into reality within the timeframe available. Our team quickly developed a relationship with PACE, ensuring a timely and successful completion.”
Damien Kilcoyne, Operations Director at PACE Infrastructure Solutions Limited, said: “After many years in the rail industry, I find that Scott Parnell are one of the most competitive and reliable suppliers and the first point of call whenever we pick up a new project. Within their team are experience technical experts that can support with any project procurement requirement and the first point of call for my delivery teams. A well recommended supplier for all your construction needs.”