Whole Life Solutions from LCS

LCS are committed to satisfying ‘Whole Life Cost Effective Solutions’ for the Railways. The Product range is designed to provide low maintenance, cost effective, long life solutions for the Railway Isolation & Bonding requirements. These products aim to speed up the isolation and bonding to enable maintenance and renewal work to be carried out during over night possessions. Quick and secure bonding enables work to start promptly after the last train movements of the day and allows the possession to run closer to the resumption of train operations the next day. L.C. Switchgear have a reputation for high quality reliable products which enable railways to operate more efficiently and safely. These products can provide cost savings where for example the duration of a track possession for routine maintenance can be increased by ensuring quicker safe access to the track and reduced time required to re-instate the power at the end of the works. The low maintenance requirements provide life cost savings, throughout the long service life of the products.

See other tabs for examples of previous projects.

Customer: Network Rail

The PLC system has been developed to comply with the Network Rail operations diagram that detailed four suites. The specific requirements are given in N244 Procurement Specification 22. Ludgate Cellars Contactor Control system Functional Requirements version 2.0 The key requirements are

  • That each suite has a PLC.
  • That if as a result of a PLC failure it shall be possible to changeover to off line and standby suite shall continue normal operation.
  • The control of each track Northbound and Southbound shall be fully independent.
  • The system be 100% redundancy referred to as bomb proof or as near as possible.
  • Each suite shall have a local display and shall be capable of indicating the status of the contactor suite in the other half of the substation.

This uses a total of 4 PLCs. Two for each direction of traffic. (A and B section of the substation) Each PLC has its own HMI (screen), inputs and outputs. Each pair of PLCs is connected using the various data cables shown. These are fibre optic in some cases which reduce the risk of interference or noise from unclean earth connections. The main interconnecting optic cables are routed differently within the substation to minimise the risk of damage to both. Each pair of PLCs is synchronized so that they act as one master and standby and give full redundancy in the event of a single failure. This gives the ability for them to change from master to standby very quickly. The PLC takes track circuit signals to determine which circuit is made and communicate with the SCADA system which controls the main power devices in the system.


  • Steel enclosure painted RAL 7035 grey
  • Environmental rating IP54
  • Cable entry arranged through the top


  • Master / hot stand-by PLC
  • 19″ colour touch screen
  • Digital input and output modules
  • SCADA interface
  • SCADA controlled latching relay
  • 48V to 24V DC – DC power supply

Customer: Network Rail

The Direct Current (DC) power supply was upgraded in 2005 for the introduction of the modern rolling stock and again in 2011 for the introduction of 12-car services. The DC traction power supply still operates below an N-1 capability in many places and the strategy in CP5 will be to bring the power supply network to an N-1 position that will give room for service growth and maintenance switch-outs without disrupting the timetabled services. It will be important that the whole system is upgraded where necessary to include the high voltage supply and equipment, the DC supply and associated equipment and the negative return bonding. The CP5 investment will be focused on DC switchgear renewal and electric traction equipment (ETE).

L.C. Switchgear are supplying Controlled Track Switches (CTS) and Negative Short Circuiting Devices (NSCD) for CP5. The CTS’s are used for quick on load DC isolation of the supplies while the NSCD’s are used to bond the conductor rails to enable quick SAFE access for maintenance and improvement in overnight possessions. This Smart Isolation is designed to give a longer working envelope in a possession and reducing the cost and duration of maintenance and moving toward a more efficient railway network.

The Controlled Track Switch (CTS) products are the same products used on CP4 and previously on the 2005 Power Supply Upgrade and the Channel Tunnel Reinforcement projects. These Controlled Track Switches (CTS), have been in service for many years. These units are Network Rail Accepted products; refer to Railway Products details. Electrification

The NSCD’s are a new product which combines two existing NR approved devices the LCS2 and the Bonding device associated with Depot CTS’s into one compact system.

The new Williams Way Substation has be built to supply the new Three Bridges depot. 4kA Bonding devices supplied by LCS are on the outgoing feeds to the depot which can be used to bond the outgoing supplies for maintenance.

LCS2 Disconnectors and alternative feed interlocked LCS2 Disconnectors are used to configure and isolate the various depot supplies to minimise disruption during routine maintenance. LCS Marshalling Panels collate the microswitch indication from the LCS2 to interlock with the appropriate Supply Circuit breakers.

The Three Bridges depot, which is split into east and west-side facilities either side of the London to Brighton mainline this comprises:

5 road, 12-car, maintenance building with the road supplies provided by LCS contactor panels specifically configured for this site. LCS Emergency stop panels marshal all of the emergency buttons from these roads.

11 train stabling and servicing roads, LCS Emergency stop panels marshal all of the emergency buttons from these roads. These signals are then grouped with equivalent signal from other sections of the depot in a master Emergency Stop Panel

There are 2 two carriage washing machines have DC electrical supplies fed through Wash Road Panels ensuring that the Washing machines are operated with the DC supply isolated and the tracks bonded.