We were asked by Network Rail if we could support a fault-finding mission on a main line power system with a complex 5 feeder layout that had been proving difficult to pin down. We quickly mobilised the team and reviewed the layout with maintenance engineers to work out where to install the portable CableGuardian system for the best effect and set about the task of obtaining measurements whilst the signalling power was still live.
With only a very short time slot available to gain access, set up and diagnose the fault, we had to work together quickly and, within the few hours of access available, we had narrowed down the fault to a section of cable on a single feeder. This saved days of fault finding for technicians, hours of possession and access planning and avoided the risk of a major signalling failure on the main line.
To do this work without the CableGuardian IR survey, teams would have had to work over a number of days, with multiple possessions, exposing themselves to the trackside environment. They would also have needed to power down many sections of the signalling power system along almost 60km of cabling, with all the associated exposure to risk, use of critical resource, cost and disruption that this would inevitably cause on a main line out of London. Instead, in one simple access over a few hours, the faulting was brought down to just a few sections of cabling, making the task far simpler, quicker and ultimately safer.