Aggreko, the world leader in temporary power and temperature control solutions, provided a rapid emergency solution to Birmingham’s New Street Station when it lost 75 per cent of its power on the morning of Saturday April 24, 2010. Confirming its credentials as a genuine 24/7, 365 days a year operation, Aggreko took just over 12 hours to get the power back on at one of the UK’s busiest rail terminals, despite the challenges of location and accessibility.
Aggreko’s National Rental Centre first took a call from Network Rail on the morning of the incident. The power failure was caused by a flood shorting out switchgear equipment within the transformer room at Birmingham’s New Street Station, which serves over 31 million passengers every year. Once all the options had been assessed by Network Rail engineers, it transpired that three 800 kVA generators would be needed to power the station, which had been operating on emergency power supplies - while trains were still running, operations such as lighting, heating, shops, destination boards and automatic barriers were out of action.
As well as the three diesel-powered generators, the project also required the installation of a temporary fuel tank and 1.5 km of cabling. Once equipment began to arrive on site early on Saturday evening, the Aggreko team immediately began installing the generators and established a safe working location for the fuel tank, which also required filling in the small hours.
Jason Cheetham, sales engineer at Aggreko, said: “This project shows how quickly we can react to solve major power challenges, even at weekends. Our National Rental Centre sourced all equipment from our local service centres and the sales and service engineer teams worked through the evening into the early hours of the morning to get the customer back up and running. Aggreko worked closely with the Network Rail team, station management and the local police force and this great teamwork across the organisations demonstrates how complex problems can be overcome.”
Aggreko was able to provide such a rapid response due to its ongoing contingency planning agreement with Network Rail, which ensures all the relevant paperwork and planning is in place, should a crisis occur.