On June 6, this year, a very big electric transformer has been transported from Ipswich Docks to a National Grid substation at Burwell in Cambridgeshire, England. The unusual size of the transformer needed special arrangements…

Transformers play a vital role to help in ensuring that the UK continues to enjoy safe and reliable electricity supplies. Thus, the country needs to make sure that the old transformers that have reached the end of their lives must be replaced ASAP. This real-life report is one such initiative where transporting a mammoth size transformer was nicely planned before the actual logistical work was performed. As far as India is concerned, the roads are highly congested where transporting large sized materials is too difficult, thus, the information conveyed through this report is a knowledge bank for us.

It was decided that the transformer, which was more than eight metres long, four metres tall and five metres wide, would be delivered on a specialist vehicle. The vehicle would travel at approximately 12 miles per hour and would have a police escort for the journey to make the process as smooth and safe as possible. The transformer was decided to leave Ipswich Docks at 8 am on Sunday 6th June and was expected to arrive at  Burwell Substation the same day, between 6 pm – 9 pm.

The transformer, which is more than eight metres long, four metres tall and five metres wide, was planned to be delivered on a specialist vehicle.

Due to the exceptional size of the load and its speed of travel there might be some delays on the route, which was also taken into account. National Grid, its delivery partner, police and Highways England had spent months carefully planning the route and the delivery to keep disruption to traffic and people who live, work and are travelling in the area, to a minimum. A realistic roadmap between Ipswich to Burwell was made through consultation and co-ordination.

A photograph of transportation of the huge transformer through Rochdale…

Due to the size of the transport load, the authority was asking the local people to avoid parking on the street or pavement between 6 pm and 9 pm on 6th June, so the transformer could safely access the substation.

Focusing on their responsibility, National Grid Project Manager, David Oglesby, said, “Millions of people rely on us to supply their electricity without interruption, day in, day out so it’s important that we keep our substations and the equipment in them working efficiently. The delivery of this transformer to our Burwell site will ensure we are able to continue to deliver power reliably to the local area.”

Highlighting their preparation to maintain safety during the transport of the transformer, Rachel Sheridan, Highways England Project Manager, said, “It’s not every day that you see an 184-tonne transformer being transported on the Highways England road network, but we’ve been working closely with the National Grid and police for the last few months to ensure this abnormal load is delivered to the substation in Cambridgeshire as safely and smoothly as possible. Throughout its journey we will look to keep disruption to drivers and people who live, work and are travelling in the area, to a minimum but recommend people plan ahead if they’re looking to use a similar route.”

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