DC traction power substation

A partner from the big picture to the final details. Clients come to Burns for strong, specialized systems engineering, and a record of delivering complex technology projects.

Burns Engineering’s team of engineers and industry professionals have worked on half of the DC Traction Power Systems in the United States.

Technical Know-How

With 30 years of DC traction power substation rehabilitation, replacement, and new installation, there’s no design challenge we haven’t faced. We’ve seen the pitfalls and the hurdles, and know the strategies to keep an electrified rail system moving even while the power system is under replacement.

Logistics Experts

Some of the toughest challenges aren’t even in the technical details, but in the logistics and big picture approach. We have proven design techniques that diffuse risk to schedule, cost and passenger experience.

Construction Savvy

A team of engineers who trained under electrical contractors, who know the realities of installation, who know that successful outcomes depend on the physical installation, and the best practices to get you there.

Risk Averse

We understand that a positive passenger experience is the ultimate goal and yardstick of project success. Clients rely on Burns’ judgment in technical approach to reduce risk in cost, schedule and operation outages.

Collaborative Partnerships

We look at each project as an opportunity to work collaboratively with our clients to bring national perspective on “Best Practices” to our designs. We incorporate must-have project requirements with innovative alternatives that best serve the project goals.

Unambiguous Installation Documents

Whether we are developing detailed point-to-point wiring designs for the SCADA system or 3D models to illustrate the physical clearances, our attention to detail will minimize the field adjustments required to get the system up and running.

No Surprise Outcomes

With national experience in the design and integration of DC traction power substations and gap-breaker stations, we have the technical ability to design, specify and integrate all facets of the system.

  • High Voltage Rectifier/Transformers
  • DC Rectifiers
  • DC Circuit Breakers and Relay Protection
  • DC Disconnect Switches
  • Control, Communication and SCADA Equipment
  • Substation Yard, structure and site work
  • Third rail configuration and distribution

DC Traction Power – Project Portfolio


Traction Power Substation

Solutions That Save

Passenger Goodwill

Given that the passenger experience is paramount, we use our modeling software and inject mobile substation alternatives to minimize outages. Through the use of simulation tools and temporary construction techniques, we support planning so that the riding public is not impacted.


Our engineers provide common-sense solutions by optimizing industry-proven products and protection schemes, and not “reinventing the wheel”. We know that smart use of resources has meaningful impact on the successful outcomes of a traction power replacement project.

Time and Costs

We approach projects with the big picture in mind, and seek economies of scale and efficiencies in coordination. We have proven success in coordinating with other capital projects, and developing and deploying prototypes for large DC Traction Power system renewal.

Questions About Our
DC Traction Power Services?
Tony Koltuv, PMP
Tony Koltuv, PMP
Vice President,
Railroad & Transit