Breaking Travel News

ABB wins substations order for new light rail network in Australia

ABB wins substations order for new light rail network in Australia

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order from Bombardier Transportation to build six new medium-voltage substations for the new Gold Coast Light Rail project. The traction substations will provide power for the first light rail public transportation system being built in Queensland.

The GoldLinQ consortium is delivering Stage One of the Gold Coast Light Rail. Stage One will carry passengers along the 13 kilometer light rail corridor, connecting them from the Gold Coast University Hospital and Griffith University (Health and Knowledge precinct) to the fast growing commercial, retail and recreational centres of Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. The corridor will include 16 stations and will be serviced by 14 new 45m light rail vehicles. It is also designed to meet the transport needs within the population growth corridor of south-east Queensland.

Passenger services are scheduled to commence in 2014 and are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 114’000 tons over the first ten years of operation.

ABB will construct six traction substations rated at 11 kV (kilovolt) AC (alternating current) / 750V DC (direct current) for the first stage of the light rail project. These will be pre-assembled and –tested in the factory and comprise of a transportable outdoor building equipped with advanced technologies. Key products to be integrated include rectifiers, DC switchgear, SafePlus medium-voltage switchgear, dry-type rectifier and auxiliary transformers, leakage current monitoring systems and auxiliary equipment.

The transformers will step down the voltage from the public grid and the rectifiers will convert AC into DC to power the light rail vehicles. The compact, low-maintenance solutions also offer enhanced operational safety through features such as completely enclosed busbars (the parts through which all the power flows are fully covered) to prevent accidental contact.


ABB will provide Bombardier Transportation with the design, engineering, supply, erection and commissioning of the traction substations for this turnkey project, expected to be completed by 2014.

“The technologies deployed will facilitate efficient distribution of electricity to ensure reliable operation and high performance of the new rapid transit system,” said Axel Kuhr, country manager for ABB in Australia. “ABB has a good track record of providing innovative solutions for the rail industry that deliver long-term benefits to communities.”

ABB is a leading supplier of products, systems and services for rail infrastructure and rolling stock serving modern, conventional and high-speed rail applications. This includes AC and DC traction substations and railway electrification solutions for the rail industry that provide reliable power for mainline trains, metros and mass transit networks.

Substations are key installations in the power grid that facilitate the efficient transmission and distribution of electricity. They include equipment that protects and controls the flow of electrical power. ABB is the world’s leading supplier of air- and gas-insulated substations covering a range of voltage levels up to 1,100 kV.