There is no "one size fits all" solution to protection against surges, or transient overvoltages, in the construction industry and the rail sector is no exception. As a result of specific locations requiring a defined application each individual package on a rail project is likely to have different needs. As rail systems are high dependency pieces of infrastructure and that operational downtime is tremendously costly it is vital that appropriate protection is applied so that service is not compromised, but under-resourcing the surge protection provision is likely to only lead to spiralling costs for remedial works at a later date.
Rail projects are at particular risk due to the hazards of lightning. This may seem unlikely based upon the presumption of ‘lightning strikes the tallest thing in an area’, which may commonly seem to be the case. This legacy mindset, which is all too frequently encountered in the construction industry, can simply result in millions of pounds worth of damage, lost revenue, operational downtime costs, and remedial work costs. The ways that lightning can impact on railway systems may include the following:
On rail projects anything which enters a signal centre that carries a power supply should be considered for the application of surge protection devices. Knowing how and when to apply surge protection devices can be complex, but support is available. If you have any concerns about the deployment of surge protection of your rail project, or indeed any other sort of project in the construction sector, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team.