Adjustable cantilevers could make rail electrification greener by reducing need for bridge lifts

A Dynamic Electrification innovation by engineering consultancy Furrer+Frey is one of 24 projects to win funding from the first stage of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence’s (GCRE) Innovation in Rail Construction competition. These projects have been selected by the GCRE for their potential to make the UK’s railways stronger, greener and more affordable.

Railway bridge and tunnel lifts – or demolitions – to make way for OLE have become commonplace as engineers strive to make the modern technology compatible with older, often Victorian, infrastructure. As the electrified line reaches a piece of infrastructure like a bridge or level crossing, the OLE has to either dip underneath or rise up higher and if the gradient of the overhead wires is too sharp, the train’s pantograph (the arm that connects the top of the train to the wires) can become disconnected.