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In Rotterdam, Omexom teams have relocated an electrical substation used to power a tram line without disrupting service or residents’ lives.

In Rotterdam (Netherlands), teams from Omexom (VINCI Energies) were selected by the city’s public transport company RET to move the power supply system of tram line 7 in order to free up space in the city – a scarce commodity! – and to enable student accommodation to be built.

“The city had to find space for a new student residence near Excelsior Stadium, home to a First Division football club,” explains Rini Kouwenberg, mobility client manager at Omexom. “It was important for Rotterdam to redevelop the area and to make it more attractive for residents. But a tram substation was located right in the selected area, so a solution had to be found.”

There was one strict requirement he stresses, which was that: “The substation had to remain in operation until the last minute, otherwise no trams would be able to run and it would mean penalties. The transport company had to keep the whole system in service.”


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Station moved to stadium

So what was the best way to overcome a problem like the presence of a stadium? By turning it into an opportunity! “It was decided to build a new substation for the tram system in the area and to integrate it into the football stadium under the main stand,” says Rini Kouwenberg.

The decision required planning since the stand and stadium were being refurbished at the same time as relocation of the power station.

To ensure the energy transfer could take place within a few hours, part of the new equipment of the approximately 50 m2 substation was pre-assembled so that it could be directly installed without wasting valuable time building it on site. This meant that there was no disruption for tram passengers.