Rendering of the Bay Head Marin substation. The substation is brick and is shown across a body of water.

New Jersey Transit Substation Recovery Program

STRENGTHENED FACILITIES POWER FUTURE TRANSIT NEEDS

Our Client’s Challenge

The nation’s third largest bus, rail, and light rail transit provider, New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), accommodates an estimated 270 million passenger trips each year.

To minimize future disruptions to NJ Transit’s operations, the agency initiated a $72 million project to replace substation infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The effort incorporated resiliency features to protect against storm surge flooding and other storm-related events.

Gannett Fleming was selected to provide planning, design, engineering, and construction assistance services for the repair, reconstruction, or replacement of six electrical substations at the Hoboken Terminal and Yard, the Meadows Maintenance Complex, and Bay Head Yard.

Our work included obtaining flood hazard area individual permits, flood hazard area permit-by-rule determinations, and soil erosion and sedimentation control approvals, enabling NJ Transit to replace this critical rail infrastructure with more storm-resilient facilities.

Our Solution

For the Hoboken Pullman facility, the team designed a double-ended indoor secondary-unit substation with primary switchgear, two 2,000 kVA transformers, and low voltage (480 volt) drawout power circuit breakers arranged in a main-tie-main scheme.

The substation was retrofitted to accommodate the substation equipment loads, and the building’s façade was restored to its original historic appearance after approval by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). The intent was to replace the storm-damaged equipment and elevate the new equipment to prevent damage from future submergence. In addition, phasing plans were developed to minimize impacts on the substation’s operations.

For the Hoboken Marin facility, the team added drawout vacuum circuit breakers for a 13,200-volt metal-clad switchgear. The existing main-tie-main arrangement will be modified to a main-double tie-main (main bus/tie bus/main bus) configuration to accommodate the additional power sources which are planned.

The new switchgear will be installed inside a new substation building dedicated to electrical equipment. The indoor location will provide a controlled environment to allow safe and expeditious maintenance, restoration of power, and repairs in all weather conditions and at any time of day.

The Rail Operations Center at the Meadows Maintenance Complex operates continuously throughout the year. The center’s new substation is a 480Y/277-volt, double-ended, indoor secondary unit substation with primary switchgear, transformers, and low-voltage switchgear arranged in a main-tie-main configuration. The medium voltage switchgear was arranged in a primary selective scheme, allowing either primary feeder to feed either transformer with interlocking to prevent paralleling of sources. The equipment is housed in an elevated building enclosure to protect against future storm surges.

The Bay Head Substation is in a prominent location in a beachfront community. For this reason, we worked closely with NJ Transit and SHPO to develop various building alternatives to ensure that the structure would serve as a positive contribution to the architecture of the community.

The structure will be clad in sand-colored brick masonry with textured details, recalling the long-buried rubble wall that saved this community during Superstorm Sandy. The electrical equipment will be elevated above projected flood levels. This new structure will replace two existing substations, one abandoned building, and another building vulnerable to future storm events. This substation will also be supported by an emergency generator building in the event of power supply failure.

The project includes:

  • Gas-insulated 38 kV main circuit breakers.
  • Two 5 MVA 34.5-13.2 kV transformers.
  • A 13.2 kV switchgear lineup.
  • Two wayside power substations.
  • Two 34.5 kV services from Jersey Central Power & Light, including a new transmission line supported by laminated wood poles.

Key Features

  • Environmental and geotechnical soil and groundwater investigations assessed the quality of soils to determine if excavation was needed for worker protection.
  • Technical specifications guide the management of potentially contaminated materials and groundwater.
  • Storm hardening measures, including elevated building enclosures, mitigate the risk of storm surge flooding.
  • SHPO approvals recognized facility design sensitive to the surrounding communities.

Outcomes

  • Strengthened resiliency for critical rail power infrastructure.
  • Extended service life for storm-damaged substations.
  • Improved reliability of rail transit service.

CLIENT

New Jersey Transit

LOCATION

Hoboken, Kearny, and Bay Head, New Jersey

ROLE

Planning, Design, Engineering, Construction Assistance

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