The project of the century

There is currently no infrastructure project in Europe that is larger than High Speed 2. This new generation ultra-fast railway will connect the largest British cities, and the speed of the trains on it will reach 400 km/h. This is the story of our role in this megaproject.

Geat deeds make a big name. Following this principle, this year, Great Britain continues with construction of High Speed 2 (HS2). Thousands of workers are engaged in this endeavor to construct an ultra-speed new generation railway.

From the beginning of last year, Elnos teams have been a part of huge, heavy-duty machinery engaged on this project. Together with our partner, a British company Emico, or more precisely through our joint company EMEL Power from Great Britain, Elnos has been entrusted with design, production, delivery and installation of 46 distribution substations to provide power supply for three construction sites within this project – at West Ruislip, Atlas Road and Victoria Road Crossover Box in north west London.


It all started with our engineering team in Banjaluka. In cooperation with their colleagues from company Emico, they designed the distribution substations to meet the specific needs of the HS2 project. Our engineering team has been entrusted with the task of designing substations for three construction sites.

These substations are very specific, custom-made solutions, designed in line with strict British standards corresponding to the latest market needs. Voltage and power of the distribution substations designed by our team for this project range from 11/0,4 kV and 630 kVA to 11 kV/20 kV and 8 MVA. Their length varies from five to twelve meters.

“Each of the distribution substations designed is a unique product for itself since all of them are different in terms of the equipment they are supplied with. Each and every substation was designed in line with limitations on the construction sites in terms of available space, equipment to be installed within the substations, transport requirements and a series of other conditions“, said Mitar Vadić, Senior project engineer at Elnos Group.

Successful completion of this project phase confirmed our company’s expert skills in designing distribution substations to supply construction site machinery on highly demanding projects.


Once the design phase was finished, our electrical assembly workshops (EMWs) in Belgrade and Banjaluka became quite busy. The task for our teams is to fit a very complicated and modern technology within an extremely small package, complying with very restricting technical requirements throughout the entire process.

This was a true test of knowledge and innovation in practical problem solving. Components for assembly of the distribution substations come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Great Britain, Poland, Italy and France. The following is installed: transformers, MV plants, LV cabinets, SCADA systems, busbar trunking systems, HVAC systems for air conditioning and ventilation and other common electrical elements.

“Assembly of such plants for the British market carries many specific challenges with it. The most difficult part was to find a way to adjust technical solutions to British standards. Moreover, it was very demanding to assemble all substation elements inside a very small space. However, thanks to great efforts and an innovative approach, we managed to meet all the requirements set before us“, said Nebojša Milosavljević, Manager of Production and Logistics Center in EMW Belgrade.

Works on the assembly of distribution substations in EMW Belgrade started in February. The first plants were ready to be delivered in April.

“When you finish assembling a plant such as this one, you know you have given the best of you. You also know that the work you and your team have done will be visible at the time the plant starts working on the construction site. When we “saw off“ our substations to Great Britain we had to wait until they became operative on the site. The feedback we got was that the plants had been successfully commissioned and were highly commended by the client on the project. This was the biggest green light for us and a strong motivation to keep up the good work“, Milosavljević pointed out.

All distribution substations made in our workshops in Belgrade passed all factory and site tests. EMW teams have so far assembled and delivered 40 distribution substations for three construction sites for which we have been engaged.


In April this year, the first distribution substations assembled in Elnos EMWs in Belgrade started their 2.049 km long journey from Belgrade to West Ruislip. On their journey, they crossed seven countries: Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Belgium and France from where they were transported by ferries across La Manche to the construction site in West Ruislip.

Mega flatbed trucks were used to transport the distribution substations, the height of which reaches three meters. Transport such as this one is considered a logistical endeavor and required great effort to comply with safety measures and devoted engagement by Elnos Group’s logistics team. Thanks to well implemented preparation, transport of all substations delivered so far has been completed impeccably.


The day of the final test has a special place in the log of each engineering venture. For our teams engaged on the project, that was the day when the first distribution substation was installed at the West Ruislip site. The substation was successfully commissioned after connecting and calibration had been completed. At that moment, we knew we did the job well.

“Construction of HS2 is the largest construction and infrastructure venture in Great Britain and one of the capital projects currently implemented in Europe. The moment when the first tunnel boring machine supplied from our distribution substation started working was a huge event, not only in our eyes but also in the eyes of the British public“, said Predrag Ivanović, Project Manager on this project.

After the first distribution substations were successfully installed, our teams continued assembling substations for Atlas Road and Victoria Road Crossover Box construction sites. What is interesting is that our distribution stations provide power for major construction equipment including tunnel boring machines (TBMs), so-called “moles“.

The TBMs are 140 m long and our teams made an 8 MW substation so that one such machine could run smoothly. Each distribution substation is equipped with an automation cabinet that enables remote manipulation of middle-voltage switches. Within this project, Elnos teams have been assigned with integration of SCADA system on three site locations with the aim to monitor all substations from one remote control center.

“30 Elnos Group workers have been engaged on daily basis in Serbia and in Great Britain on tasks assigned to our company within the HS2 project. Today, following successful installation of dozens of distribution substations on this project, we can state with great certainty that we have opened many other opportunities for engagement in the British market and in railroad construction projects in other countries“, said Ivanović.