Rail Electrification

Innovations in power and control technologies are making rail electrification more energy efficient and economical. Today, electrified transit systems are safer and designed to meet the various needs of urban and suburban commuters as well as long-distance travellers.

Services for Alternating and Direct Current Traction

WSP offers comprehensive services for all aspects of alternating and direct current traction electrification systems, including street cars, people movers, Light rail, urban mass transit, commuter systems, and inter-city transit.

Our expertise includes all features of railway electrification comprised of traction power supply and distribution systems, including overhead contact system and third-rail contact system for all system voltages.


Additional services include:

  • Traction power simulation study to determine/confirm available power capacities or operating potential for an entire network or branch line
  • Complete design package (drawings, specifications, staging plans, etc.) from conceptual and preliminary to final engineering phases
  • Testing, commissioning and start-up of installed electrification systems to bring new or upgraded networks into revenue service
  • Traction power system design, including system configuration, developing specifications and design drawings, load flow simulation studies to optimise the power system design, relay protection system, and safety aspects, including grounding and bonding and lightning protection
  • Occupancy control system and third-rail current collection system design and upgrades
  • Electrification SCADA system interfaces
  • Stray current mitigation and corrosion control
  • Power quality issues, including EMI /EMC and harmonic source mitigation
  • Analysis of faults, defects and shortcomings in the existing electrification systems and recommendations for improvements in a most cost-effective manner
  • Interface with power supply utility services for supply interconnection for the transit systems
  • Construction management and program management of electrification projects


Overall, we can provide safe, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to any electrification system.


WSP in Action

WSP has worked with almost every major transit provider in Australia and New Zealand. Projects include:


  • Glenfield Junction Sydney, NSW
  • Newcastle Light Rail, NSW
  • Parramatta Light Rail, NSW
  • Sydney Metro, NSW
  • Craigieburn Train Stabling and Maintenance, Victoria
  • Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, Victoria and Queensland
  • Regional Rail Link Footscray to Deer Park, Victoria
  • Rail Stabling Study, Queensland Rail


New Zealand

  • Auckland City Rail Link


Together with our clients, we provide safe, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions to any electrification system.