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Completed Projects

Since its inception, Vanalt has performed over a hundred power and signal projects on active transit systems.  These systems have included subways and high-speed lines with 3rd rail; trolleys, street cars, and light rail lines with DC trolley wire or catenary systems; regional rail lines with 12kV heavy rail catenary, and work on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.  Vanalt has installed trolley wires, simple catenary, complex catenary, catenary structures, signal systems, automatic train control systems, communications systems, power feeders, and other work in these different electrified rail transit environments.

Below are just a few examples of our past projects:

SEPTA Fairmount Substation

From 2007 to 2009, Vanalt constructed a new 25Hz traction power substation as part of SEPTA’s Regional Rail Substation Improvements Program to replace or reconstruct traction power substations which had aged well beyond their useful and reliable life.   The Fairmount substation was the first of these facilities built under this program, and it replaced the 70-year-old Callow Hill substation.  In addition to being the prime electrical contractor, Vanalt was also the coordinating contractor, responsible for the coordination, scheduling, safety, and quality assurance of all contractors on the work site.

Major items included in this project were provision of a 60 Hz substation for house power, 125V DC back-up system including battery bank and chargers, two 25HZ, 36KV/12KV, 5MVA liquid filled autotransformers, two 25HZ, 46KV, 2000A outdoor breakers, new 25HZ, 24KV and 12KV Switchgear complete with state-of-the-art microprocessor-based relays, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system with local and remote human-machine interfaces.

SEPTA 30th Street Switching Station

This project was to provide a new switching station to replace the existing former Amtrak SUB 1A.  In addition to being the prime electrical contractor, Vanalt was also the coordinating contractor, responsible for the coordination, scheduling, safety, and quality assurance of all contractors on the work site.

Major items included in this project were the provision of a 60 Hz substation for house power, 125V DC back-up system including battery bank and chargers, 25HZ 12KV Switchgear with sixteen 1200 amp and eight 2000-amp breakers. Controlling the breakers is a state-of-the-art microprocessor-based relay and automation system, SCADA controls and indication, and local and remote human-machine interfaces.

As part of the traction power feeders and distribution, Vanalt installed numerous high voltage switches on the roof of the switching station and on structures throughout the site. Vanalt relocated existing aerial circuits, installed aerial feeder wires and approximately nine miles of 25KV power cables in underground duct-banks.  In addition, a 2400V 200Hz Motor Alternator system was provided to power SEPTA’s signal system. 

Amtrak Hamilton Substation

The Amtrak Hamilton Substation Project was for the construction of a new 25Hz, 138kV to 12kV traction power substation with four 4.5MVA transformers.  This substation was an addition to Amtrak’s existing Traction Power system to provide increased capacity along segments of the Northeast Corridor as part of their High-Speed Rail Improvement Program.

Vanalt was the prime contractor.  Major work elements of the project included extensive civil construction, installation of four 4.5MVA 25 Hz step down transformers, nine 12KV 25 Hz traction power trolley circuit breakers, one 6.9 KV 200 Hz signal power circuit breaker, more than 40 medium and high voltage disconnect switches, all new gantry and take-off steel structures, in-house installation of over 100 caisson foundations, aerial feeder and bus work, ground grid and low voltage cable trough, conduits and wiring.  All the major equipment is monitored and controlled via a prefabricated control building also provided and installed by Vanalt.

SEPTA Jenkintown Substation

This project was the complete replacement of the existing 80-year-old Jenkintown Traction Power Substation.  In addition to being the prime electrical contractor, Vanalt was also the coordinating contractor, responsible for the coordination, scheduling, safety, and quality assurance of all contractors on the work site.

The original design called for a large nine-section prefabricated substation building to house 25Hz 12KV and 24KV metal clad air insulated switchgear line-ups.  Due to the size and spacing requirements of the specified switchgear, the overall building would have been an extremely tight fit in the available space for the substation.  Vanalt presented a value-engineering proposal to SEPTA to replace the specified switchgear with Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS).  Vanalt took on a design-build role and made numerous other changes to provide a better project.  The revised design reduced the footprint of the building and platforms to one fifth of the original size.  This created a much better substation layout, provided space for future expansion, and saved SEPTA more than $1.2 million dollars.

Along with the substation building, major work elements of the project performed by Vanalt included installation of two 25HZ, 36KV/12KV, 5MVA liquid filled autotransformers, two 2-pole 46KV circuit breakers, 18 medium voltage disconnect switches, two new take-off steel structures, modification of existing steel structures, aerial feeder and bus work, 25KV & 46KV insulated cable to connect the switchgear to the take-off structures, new fiber optic communications cable and equipment, ground grid, and low voltage cable trough, conduits, and wiring.

Amtrak Metuchen Substation

Vanalt was the prime contractor for the rehabilitation and expansion of an active Step-up Yard at PSE&G’s facility in Edison, NJ.  The purpose of this substation is to take 25Hz 13.2KV power from the new static frequency converters and step it up to 138KV to feed Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Transmission System. 

Major work elements of the project included installation of four 20/24MVA 25 Hz step-up transformers, nine 15KV 25 Hz 5000A traction power generator circuit breakers, 28 medium and high voltage disconnect switches, new gantry and take-off steel structures, aerial feeder and bus work, ground grid, cable trough, conduits, and control wiring. All the major equipment is monitored and controlled via a prefabricated control building provided and installed by Vanalt.  The scope of the contract also included extensive civil work, the installation of 138KV cables from the substation to the Northeast Corridor, and the removal of existing aerial circuits and structures.

SEPTA Lenni Substation

Vanalt was the prime contractor for the design-build rehabilitation of an existing 80-year-old traction power substation fed from a 138KV transmission line.  Work was performed while the substation remained operational, and required complex staging in order to safely renovate the entire facility while continuously powering the railroad.

Major electrical work elements of the project included installation of a new control house, two 4.5MVA 25Hz step-down transformers, three 12KV 25Hz trolley circuit breakers, 14 medium and high voltage disconnect switches, aerial feeder and bus work, a full site ground grid, cable trough, conduits, and power and control wiring.  Other work performed by Vanalt included lighting, communication and security systems, structural steel, new aerial walkways, fall protection systems, and demolition of existing transformers, other equipment, and circuits.  Activities performed by Vanalt’s subcontractors included civil work, foundation repairs, new foundations, preparation and painting of existing structures, fencing, demolition of the existing control and battery building, and repairs of cribwalls.

SEPTA Substation Contract 1

This project was the first of SEPTA’s multi-location substation rehabilitation projects.  The project was for the design-build reconstruction of three existing Traction Power Substations along SEPTA’s West Trenton Line.  Again, Vanalt partnered with Gannett Fleming, to progress the 50% design documents received with the contract to 100% final design.

Construction at each of these sites was performed in an operating substation yard and staged to allow construction to proceed safely while half or more of the yard remained energized.  In addition to the challenges affecting the medium and high voltage portionsThis project was the first of SEPTA’s multi-location substation rehabilitation projects.  Vanalt was prime contractor for the design-build reconstruction of three existing Traction Power Substations along SEPTA’s West Trenton Line.  Work at each location required complex staging to safely renovate the entire facility while continuously powering the railroad.  In addition to the challenges affecting the medium and high voltage portions of the work, these sites required equipment to be connected to existing, new, and temporary circuits to enable control and protection schemes to remain fully functional as each site transitioned from all existing equipment connected to existing controls, to all new/final equipment connected, controlled, and protected by the new control circuits.  Electrical and subcontracted civil and other work was similar to that performed on Vanalt’s other substation projects. of the work, these sites required equipment to be connected to existing, new, and temporary circuits, to enable control and protection schemes to always remain fully functional as each site transitioned from all existing equipment connected to existing controls, to all new/final equipment connected, controlled, and protected by the new control circuits.

SEPTA Substation Contract 2

This was the second straight multi-location rehabilitation contract awarded to Vanalt.  Vanalt was prime contractor for the design-build reconstruction of Two Traction Power Substations and two Traction Power Switching Stations on multiple SEPTA lines.  Work at three locations required complex staging to safely renovate each facility while continuously powering the railroad.  In addition to the challenges affecting the medium and high voltage portions of the work, these sites required equipment to be connected to existing, new, and temporary circuits to enable control and protection schemes to remain fully functional as each site transitioned from all existing equipment connected to existing controls, to all new/final equipment connected, controlled, and protected by the new control circuits.  Electrical and subcontracted civil and other work was similar to that performed on Vanalt’s other substation projects.

The project was progressed at multiple locations concurrently and was completed approximately six months ahead of schedule and under budget.  Vanalt was awarded the 2023 NECA National Project Excellence Award for Transit & Infrastructure and the NECA Penn-Del-Jersey Project Excellence Award winner for Design Build for its work on this project.

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