Overhead Line Equipment – or OLE – is the name railway engineers give to the assembly of masts, gantries and wires found along electrified railways.
All this steel and cable has only one purpose – to supply power to make electric trains move.
Operationally, environmentally and from the perspective of passenger service and comfort, OLE is now the preferred means of powering trains throughout the world. For example, when the HS1 line from St Pancras to Paris was built, there was only one choice for the engineers: OLE.
As part of the electrification project being undertaken by Network Rail, much of the infrastructure will require alteration to comply with regulations covering distances between structures and live equipment.
We were contracted to install new OLE support brackets to the existing road bridge (green lane bridge) as part of the ongoing Elizabeth line (Crossrail) enabling works across London.
This was carried out during line block possessions with a live load road bridge above and completed well within the scheduled period without use of any contingency shifts.
Working from rail MEWPS, busting out rivets on a “one out one in” basis using pneumatic hand-held rivet busting equipment, aligning the subsequent holes using bridge reaming tools. The brackets were “locally” modified to match the “Victorian era” hole pitching, bolted using 10.9 grade bolts, suitably torqued with load indicating washers.
All criteria were met, on time and performed safely.