Traction Power & Electrical Systems

SYSTRA’s power systems engineers and designers have diverse engineering backgrounds, essential to the successful analysis, design and construction of the many varieties of power distribution systems encountered throughout the transportation industry. We understand the importance of a well-designed power system, which consists of utility interconnections, substations, and power distribution and delivery systems, to enhancing reliability, passenger comfort and safety, and reducing operating costs. SYSTRA’s engineers have specialized project experience in areas such as:

  • Load Flow Analysis
  • Electrical Power System Analysis
  • AC and DC Substations
  • Transmission and Distribution
  • Contact Rail Systems
  • Overhead Contact Systems
  • Signal Power Systems
  • Auxiliary Power Systems

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Representative Projects: 

SEPTA Norristown Electric Traction Substation
Norristown, PA

SEPTA’s Norristown Substation was built in the 1930’s as part of the Reading Railroad system electrification. It presently provides power to the R6 Norristown Line on SEPTA’s Regional Rail system. Operating at 25 Hz, it contains two 12/24/36 kV autotransformers that establish a 12 kV catenary voltage derived from 36 kV line-to-line distribution and 24 kV line-to-ground feeders. All of the substation equipment is original except for two 12 kV trolley breakers and the SCADA RTU.

SEPTA is replacing all of the power and control equipment in the Norristown Substation under a design-build contract. SYSTRA is serving as the Power System Integrator and Traction Power Integrator as a subcontractor to Carr & Duff, Inc. Electrical Construction, responsible for engineering the in-service equipment replacement. Systra’s work includes office and field engineering for the following work items.

 Replacement of the two existing 2 MVA autotransformers with 5 MVA units equipped with firewalls and new oil-retention type foundations that share a common oil containment tank with oil/water separator.
 The addition of outdoor 12 kV trolley and 24 kV feeder bus tie breakers and associated isolation disconnect switches and potential transformers to bifurcate the existing 12 kV trolley and 24 kV feeder buses.
 Replacement of the two 24 kV feeder breakers and two 36 kV autotransformer breakers.
 Replacement of the existing outdoor 25 Hz station service transformer and 12 kV and 24 kV potential transformers.
 Replacement of all relay and control panels in the existing control room. The new panels include numerical type Areva MiCOM protective relays. The new relays and other intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) are interconnected to an IEC 61850 protocol substation fiber optic ring via bay controllers. The fiber optic ring is interfaced to the SCADA system via a gateway module.
 Short circuit and relay coordination studies for the new equipment, and arc flash and transient recovery voltage calculations for the new circuit breakers.
 Equipment selection, shop drawing review, and assistance with factory testing and startup commissioning.

Traction Power Substation Engineering
Short Circuit, Arc Flash and
Circuit Breaker TRV Studies