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Substation PDS Case Study

Reliable and Running: Upgrade without a Single Stop

Chermik Expert: Brad Peesker, General Manager – Electrical Services
Client Company:  City of Edmonton
Project: Traction Power Substation and PDS Upgrade



The Traction Power Substation and Power Distribution System (PDS) Upgrade project through the City of Edmonton was required to replace the existing equipment and cabling. The reasons for the upgrade were two-fold. The equipment and cabling were nearing end of life after being in service for forty years. The upgrade would allow Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) to operate five-car trains with five-minute headways and run revenue service above the current five-car, 10-minute headways scenario. In theory, this increased ridership would also increase revenue, reducing overall operating costs per rider, along with an increase in reliability and a reduction in maintenance costs.



Engaged in a highly competitive bid, Chermik was awarded the project due to the quality and completeness of our RFP responses. Contributing factors to our engagement include:

  • Familiarity with ETS systems and procedures due to extensive work on the operating LRT network.
  • Honesty in approach through our proposal response, completed in house with contributions by team members who were proposed to be involved in the execution phase of this project.
  • Demonstration of our ability to successfully execute the scope of work based on the proposed strategies.
  • Proven track record with similar projects for the same client, outlined during the RFP process.
  • Willingness to take on risks on behalf of the City for the project’s specialized requirements, such as the bored tunnel beneath CN Rail’s right of way, demonstrating we are a true skin in the game partner.


Chermik became a reliable partner to ETS, trusted to design innovative solutions while promoting our values to deliver a quality project safely, on time, and on budget. Through Chermik, the client received:

  • A safe solution via the creation of a barrier to allow work within the limits of approach of the track, maintaining full revenue service while completing work, minimizing disruption to transit service and customers who rely upon this service.
  • Uniquely designed safety plans, along with the use of smaller equipment, allowing work to proceed without requiring overhead powerlines to be shut down in some areas, saving on specialty maintenance costs and increasing work windows promoting scheduling efficiencies.
  • Significant flagging and outage cost savings, both the responsibility of COE, throughout the duration of the project.
  • Maximized financial return to the COE for the recycled equipment and cable using recycling methods previously not used on other projects.

Key Project Stats

100mm Conduit Installed: 3,700m

Concrete cable trough installed: 900m

Unplanned revenue service outages: 0

500kcmil copper feeder cable installed: 13,000m

Salvaged cable recycled: 24,000kg

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