We’re part of the largest rail project in Europe
Worldwide, the total length of all railway networks is over 870,000 km, with 23,000 km used exclusively for high-speed trains (minimum speed 250 km/h) – that’s 1,750 trains according to the International Union of Railways. One of the busiest high-speed routes, “Ligne à grande vitesse Atlantique” (LGV Atlantique) in France, links Paris with the popular holiday destinations Aquitaine, Bretagne and the Pays de la Loire region.
In July 2012, one of the largest and most important European rail projects commenced: the construction of the 182 km long “LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire”, which will extend the railway line to the city of Le Mans, in the Pays de la Loire region, west of Rennes, and will shorten the Paris to Rennes journey by at least 30 minutes. This new high-speed line will be operational by spring 2017.
Responsible for the build is rail infrastructure company, SNCF Réseau, which formed early 2015 after a merger of the existing rail network operator Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) with the SNCF areas “SNCF Infra” and “Direction de la circulation ferroviaire”.
A €3 billion investment
To secure completion of the project within five years, SNCF Réseau partnered with the construction company Eiffage Rail Express (ERE). After the design and production of all necessary components for the high-speed line, the €3 billion budget will finance the essential maintenance of the infrastructure including the track substructure, the railroad, signalling and railroad equipment, buildings and green spaces, plus the construction of a 32 km track connecting the existing rail network to two temporary terminal stations for material logistics.
The objective: a fail-safe operation
Early 2014, BENNING France – together with another company – was commissioned to provide the operating system cabinets, batteries and chargers needed for fail-safe operation, ensuring an uninterruptible power supply for railway signalling, control centres and stations.
After intensive discussions between BENNING and ERE, technical planning began in June 2014 to determine product specifications and delivery dates; and coordinating the timing for commissions followed about two months later.
Amongst the scope of supply are:
- 15 single rectifiers and three dual rectifiers from the THYSAT 110V TDG3 series
- 33 110V HDI rectifiers
- a 24V HDI rectifier
- a UPS system of the ENERTRONIC modular type (4 x 20 kVA)
- 1,000 lead-acid batteries (types A412/120 FT, A412/170 FT and A412/50 G6) weighing 40 t
- 100 cabinets with a surface area of 150 m2.
These components will be part of 52 different systems and locations along the rail network.
“Pay as you grow” and “Hot Swap”
Even a small disruption can have disastrous consequences in the energy supply of process-critical applications, and this is especially true for rail transport. For this reason, BENNING has developed modular and highly flexible three-phase UPS systems such as the ENERTRONIC modular SE. 99.9999% available, the UPS system is a class leader. The modular system design doesn’t include a “single point of failure”; it offers n+x redundancy, and combines simplicity and performance scalability (pay as you grow) with low operating costs. The latter are partly due to “Hot Swap” modularity that allows uninterrupted module replacement in a very short time and is over 96% energy efficient.
Largest joint project
All the above-mentioned features, together with all the other components supplied, optimally match the technical requirements required for this project, providing ERE customers with the highest level of quality, reliability and service continuity.
BENNING and ERE have enjoyed a solid partnership for many years, with a complete cooperation in the construction of the “LGV Bretagne-Pays de la Loire” line representing our biggest joint venture. This will contribute positively to BENNING being considered as a competent partner in future projects with ERE and the SNCF (national railway company of France).
Close cooperation and coordination
During the project, BENNING and ERE were in close contact with weekly conference calls, and regular meetings at the BENNING plant in Louviers and locally in the immediate vicinity of the new railway line. Also, referred to as “Quality Audits”, the rest of the procedure was planned and tested by customers, with product solutions developed in theory and then all associated requirements implemented by BENNING.
While the power systems and battery cabinets were delivered July 2014 to March 2015, the installation of the batteries extended from November 2014 to August 2016 - in time for the first on-site tests. Commissioning is scheduled for May 2017.