NEW: Download the 5th Edition Now!

Want to know how OLE works? Click the image, save the PDF and off you go. The book has already been downloaded 12800 times. (The 4th edition was downloaded 7838 times between November 2016 and December 2018.)


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Current Errata List

This is the list of errors which exist in the 5th edition. Thanks to readers for pointing these out.

Page 24, figure 7 was taken at Birmingham New Street, not London Euston.

Page 28, figure 12 shows a class 373 Eurostar, not a class 374 as described.

Page 134:
“For steel masts, the form that the mast takes is largely a matter of local preference and the relative cost of holt hot rolled steel sections…”

This is the list of errors which exist in the 4th edition.

Page 12:

“In Europe & the US, it is known as Overhead Catenary Contact System (OCS)…”

Pages 17, 123, Appendix A, Appendix B:
Various references to Manchester to Sheffield via Wath should read “Manchester to Sheffiield and Wath route” (the lines split at Penistone).

Page 18, sentence should read:
“Across Europe, the 1500V DC standard was dropped in favour of 25kV at 50Hz industrial frequency AC; in the UK this was approved in 1956, using 50Hz AC as the standard for future schemes.”

Page 25, figure 13 was taken on 17 July 2016, not 12 July.

Page 40 figure 25 was taken at Patford Bridge, not Hillmorton.

Page 47 figure 32: top right hand side, “+25kV” label should be above the transformer coil, not below it.
Same figure, the sine waves at the left hand side of the diagram should be opposing each other.

Page 48, sentence should read:
“the other half comes from adjacent AT sites, using from current induced in the OLE…”

Page 53, passing clearance for Reinforced Insulation should be 200mm, not 600mm.

Page 63:
“Figure 46: Principal Principles of permanent earthing and buffer sections”

Page 88:
“…(for AC systems the total strength of the insulation must be √2 x line voltage)” should read:

“…(for AC systems fed from three phases with a phase angle of 120° the total strength of the insulation must be √3 x line voltage)”

Page 123:
“London and North East Railway” should read “London and North Eastern Railway”

Page 119, Figure 134 – the lower of the two geometry diagrams shows the Stagger Effect dimension incorrectly, and does not show the most extreme blown off wire position. The corrected diagram is below.

Page 130:
“The range was developed by the Balfour Beatty and Atkins…”

All references to BS EN 50122-1+A1:2011 should be updated to BS EN 50122-1:2011+A2:2016.

Looking for great OLE images

One of the things that I put a lot of effort into is getting the best possible images for the book. For the 5th edition I have a large number of new and original photos – but there are still a few items that are eluding me; usually for geographical reasons or because the equipment is not accessible to the average div with a camera (me).

If you are reading this and can help with any of these, please get in touch. Please bear in mind that I can only accept images that are high quality (sharp, good exposure) and crucially, that are your copyright. Please don’t suggest images that you got from a 3rd party or website.

These are the images I’m looking for:

  • Rock anchor foundation
  • Tram system – Uninsulated zero span overlap
  • Three wire crossover
  • Auto Transformer
  • Oil Circuit Breaker
  • Vacuum SMOS circuit breaker
  • SF6 indoor circuit breaker
  • AC protection relay
  • SCADA outstation
  • Long portable earth + clamp
  • Panning of OLE
  • Mineral hopper under OLE
  • Tram/train OLE crossing
  • Retractable OLE
  • Panchex
  • Ricardo Rail Panmon monitoring system
  • Balance weights in tunnel
  • Burndy tool