ALE was contracted to deliver three transformers weighing 135t and measuring 7.6m x 4.98m x 4.55m to the new National Grid substation in Highbury, North London. The delivery to site involved taking a route on the M25 motorway in one night, followed by a daytime move through London. Because of site restrictions, ALE needed to find tranship the transformer and required the road closure of the A1 at Holloway Road – a busy high street area in the Islington borough of London.

The transformers were transported from the vendor’s manufacturing facility in mainland Europe via the ports of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and Tilbury, UK. Once the transformers arrived at the Port of Tilbury, all three transformers were offloaded by mobile crane from a coaster vessel.

Using ALE’s AL50 (14 axle) girder frame and 8 axle lines of SPT, along with two of ALE’s award-winning Trojan trucks, each transformer was transported individually: the first in October, the second in November and the third in January. Once at the road closure on Holloway Road, the transformers were offloaded from the girder frame and transhipped onto 8 axle lines of SPT to transport the transformers the short distance along Seven Sisters Road to the substation site, delivering the transformers in front of each foundation. This was all performed within the time permitted by the authorities.

Tom Irvine, Project Manager for ALE, said: “Right from the start, this transformer move was challenging as we had to find a route that was structurally capable and also a location close enough to the site to tranship the transformers from the girder frame trailer to a smaller trailer for the final delivery and positioning at the site. After working with multiple local authorities, our Logistics and Project Management teams found a suitable route and an agreement reached to offload the transformer and transfer it onto 8 axle lines of SPT at Holloway Road.

“The teams involved worked together to ensure that all three transformers were delivered safely and on schedule. By providing an innovative solution and through forward planning, we could successfully complete a complex transportation route through urban and residential areas of the Greater London area.”

Each transformer was delivered to site over two days. After delivery to the substation site, all three transformers have been installed by ALE onto their respective foundations using conventional jacking and skidding methods.