About the Book

The book fills what was previously a gap in the market: it is an approachable and reasonably comprehensive study of overhead contact systems, which explains the why as well as the what, aimed at that those who are new to the topic. At the end of this book you will not be able to undertake all the tasks involved in OLE design, but you will understand what needs to be done and why.

With the UK industry in the throes of a national electrification programme, and many new entrants being drawn to the industry, this book is needed now more than ever.

The book covers the following topics:

  • Basics of OLE
  • Development of OLE systems
  • Categories of OLE System
  • Electrical Principles
  • Mechanical Principles
  • Signage
  • Types of UK Equipment
  • Tram and Trolley Systems
  • Special Arrangements
  • Interfaces with Other Systems
  • The Planning Phase
  • The Design Phase
  • The Construction Phase
  • Testing, Commissioning and Entry Into Service
  • OLE Maintenance & Renewals
  • Remote Condition Monitoring
  • UK Electrification Build History
  • UK Dual Voltage Areas
  • UK Pantograph Types
  • UK Equipment Types

You are welcome to download the book, copy it and share it with colleagues, but please respect the copyright which exists on this book. Details of the creative commons license, and what you are and aren’t allowed to do with the book, can be found here.

About the Author

picture of Garry in electric train cab

Garry Keenor is a Chartered Engineer with 30 years experience of designing overhead electrification systems in the UK and abroad. He joined British Rail as a graduate trainee and since then has worked in a variety of organisations and roles. He specialises in OLE design for major infrastructure projects, and is increasingly focused on electrification asset monitoring and management.

Things people said about the book:

This is THE book on overhead line. – Nigel Harris, Managing Editor, Rail Magazine

Great to see the latest edition of your very useful handbook is out! I have often referred to the previous edition to better understand the OLE interface, which is so critical to us on the ECML. – David Horne, Managing Director, London & North Eastern Railway

Thank you very much for taking the effort to write the book. It’s clear, informative and well organised and it’s a great relief not to have to plough through turgid prose. Excellent – it deserves wide circulation.

The best explanation of OLE I’ve ever read. – OLE Systems Engineer

Ever wanted to find out how electric trains get their power? Well, look no further. A very informative and summative read…

Happy to have passed my first university assignment with your book as part of my bibliography! – Industry Trainee

I completed my OLEC 2 in November last year and only started on the railway in January. Since completing the OLEC course I have hunted high and low for a “bible”… glad I came across this book and thanks for taking the time in publishing it… – OLEC2 Lineman

An excellent book. I have written books myself so I know how much work it takes. Thank you for making it free.

I quite enjoyed reading it… – Senior OLE Engineer

I thought I’d just drop you a quick line to say thank you very much for your Overhead Line Electrification for Railways guide… it’s a really great and accessible document and I only wish there was more like it on the railway. – Signalling Design Engineer

If your rail project has any interaction with or consideration for electrification, this book is an absolute must. Highly recommended. – Managing Director, Gauging Specialist