Railway electric traction has always been popular in public transit. Lately, it has assumed greater importance in railroad transit systems with the focus on global warming and environmental sustainability.

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

WSP has worked with almost every major transit provider in the US, including AMTRAK, HART Honolulu, and the Utah Transit Authority. We have also been involved in projects such as METROLINX Toronto in Canada to plan, design, and commission their electrification systems.

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

Denver Union Station

Alternating and Direct Current Traction

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

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.

WSP also offers the following services for rail electrification:

  • Initial planning/feasibility studies to determine electrical needs and capacities
  • Traction power simulation studies to determine/confirm/increase available power capacities or operating potentials for an entire network, or for a particular branch line
  • Complete design packages (drawings, specifications, staging plans, etc.) from conceptual and preliminary to final engineering phases
  • Testing, commissioning and start-ups of installed electrification systems to bring new or upgraded networks into revenue service
  • Traction power system designs, including system configuration, developing specifications and design drawings, load flow simulation studies to optimize the power system design, relay protection system, and safety aspects, including grounding, bonding, and lightning protection
  • Occupancy control system and third-rail current collection system design and upgrades
  • Electrification of SCADA system interfaces
  • Stray current mitigation and corrosion control
  • Addressing 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
  • Interfacing with power supply utility services for supply interconnection for the transit systems
  • Construction management and program management of electrification projects