Third Rail / Power Rail / Overhead Contact System (OCS)

LA offers planning, design, and construction management for rail and people mover/monorail power distribution, including third rail, power rail, and overhead contact systems, electrical design, layout and structure/attachment design, thermal calculations, feeder conduit/cable, and track negative return bonding.  Our experience includes complex catenary cable structures, cable and cable fittings/fatigue analysis, pole/structure design, foundation design, cable anchorage design, disconnect/motorized disconnect equipment selection, control/monitoring system integration, dynamic train envelope development, dynamic pantograph/collector shoe and contact wire/rail clearance envelope modeling.  We also provide construction management services for these power distribution systems, including site inspections for design conformance, OCS height/stagger measurements, OCS counterweight analysis and measurement verification, third rail/power rail contact/collector shoe performance, sectionalization testing, hi pot testing, and performance/integration testing with vehicles.  We have performed field testing of transit power systems under extreme environmental conditions including rime icing/snowfall, and developed computer software and power pickup modeling for manufacturers.  We have developed third rail/power rail heating systems for winter conditions and performed research and development studies, test bed setup and testing of dew point heating control systems for contact rail.  Our engineering services include Power Distribution Wire/Rail System Layout, Site Engineering, Systems Integration, Construction Management, and Testing and Commissioning.

  • Coordination with track alignment design
  • Coordination with vehicles/pantograph/shoe dynamic envelope
  • Coordination with operating speeds from signal block design
  • Contact and catenary wire layout
  • Power rail/third rail insulated bracket layout
  • Collector shoe/power rail/third rail impact modeling
  • Support/pole locations
  • Sectionalization design, failure management analysis
  • Voltage drop, wire/conductor sizing
  • Existing Utilities Coordination
  • System ductbanks
  • Retaining wall design
  • Project coordination during construction
  • Substation design coordination for sectionalization, feeders and negative returns
  • Traction Power track bonding and negative returns
  • Combined system ductbank, conduits, manholes/vaults coordination
  • Traction Power conduits and feeders coordination
  • Track signage mounted to power poles
  • SCADA Integration for Disconnects
  • Site Inspections
  • OCS height/stagger measurements
  • OCS counterweight analysis and measurement verification,
  • Response to RFIs, Submittals, Contractor Design Review
  • Resident Engineers, Contract Administration
  • Construction Safety Certification
  • Test Procedure Development
  • Sectionalization Testing Support
  • Hi Pot Testing Support
  • Performance/Integration testing with vehicles under design conditions

Featured Projects

Vasona Light Rail System, San Jose, Santa Clara VTA: Provided design and construction management services, resident engineer, inspection, and contract administration. Our work included communications, fare collection, control center and integration with traction power substations, overhead contact system, signaling, track, stations, and maintenance facility, for this 8 station, 5.3 mile extension, from Downtown San Jose to Winchester Station. The VTA rail fleet is 100 LRT vehicles. The project included elevated guideway and a tunnel section under the Caltrain Commuter Rail.

Vasona Light Rail System, San Jose, Santa Clara VTA

Guadalupe Light Rail System, San Jose, Santa Clara VTA: Provided design and construction management services, resident engineers, inspectors, contract administration, and stakeholder meeting facilitation support. This project was an upgrade to the existing 18 mile, 27 station system and maintenance facility. Our work included systems and civil subsystems (communications, fare collection, control center, integration with substations, overhead contact system, signaling, track, stations, and maintenance facility).

Guadalupe Light Rail System, San Jose, Santa Clara VTA

VTA Light Rail System Systemwide Improvements 20+ Projects), San Jose, Santa Clara VTA: LA completed more than 20 planning, design and construction management projects outside of line extension projects, for existing system upgrades including: North & South Line PA/communications upgrade design (Guadalupe), San Jose/VTA Traffic Controller network, TVM/Translink planning & design, TVM/Network design, VTA Administrative/O&M Network links, Operations Control Center Overview Display/Console ergonomics, UPS Power System for OCS control circuits, Train Identification System/Signals TWC design Younger Yard/South Line, Fiber Cabling planning systemwide, WiFi/WiMesh/WiMax site investigation, preliminary design and feasibility study systemwide; Centralized Traffic Control compiled systemwide georeferenced/GIS base map, SCADA upgrade planning, TVM network separation planning, PA site & sound quality survey & report for all stations, SCADA central control programming/configuration, SCADA 65 Node Network CPUC Safety/Security Certification, Legacy SONET System Removal/As Built Preparation/Cable Management (65 sites), Fiber Optic Network design Trankslink/IT/CCTV (65 sites), Smart Corridor planning and coordination with the city of San Jose and county of Santa Clara, and Control Center Upgrades. The VTA system has 42 miles of light rail, with 100 light rail vehicles.

VTA Light Rail System Systemwide Improvements 20+ Projects), San Jose, Santa Clara VTA

New Orleans World Exposition Monorail, Louisiana, Universal Mobility -- Provided planning, design, manufacturing inspections and support, construction management, contract administration, and operations/maintenance support for the entire project. Our work included systems and civil subsystems (guideway, stations, maintenance facility, substations, contact rail, train control, communications and fare collection), for this 3 station, 1.5 mile system. The project included elevated steel guideway, with a fleet of 6 trains.

New Orleans World Exposition Monorail, Louisiana, Universal Mobility