AS many as ten jobs could be created in Swindon after a major contract in the Great Western Electrification programme was signed in the town yesterday.

Network Rail agreed a deal with a consortium made up of ABB, a power and automation technology group, and transport infrastructure operator UK Power Network Services (UKPNS).

The consortium will build more than 30 power substations along the railway between Maidenhead and Cardiff as a part of the plan to electrify the western main line.

Network Rail’s High Output Operation Base in Ocotal Way will be one of three hubs for the delivery of the substations, with five to ten jobs likely to be created.

Bryce Denboer, sector manager for rail at ABB, said: “There will be five to ten jobs created here at this facility in Swindon, though there will be many more delivered right along the line between Maidenhead and Cardiff.”

The substations being created will provide power to the overhead lines which are at the centre of this electrification programme.

They will range in size from 25 metres by 14 metres, to 100 metres by 20 metres. The stations are expected to be separated by eight miles for the full length of the western railway.

One will be built in central Swindon, adjacent to the Steam museum, with another likely at Royal Wootton Bassett.

The station in Swindon is likely to be completed before the end of 2015.

The first on the line as a whole will be delivered in June next year, with a new station delivered at six-week intervals from then on.

The work programme will create around 100 jobs nationwide, helping with the continued development of both consortium partners’ apprentice and graduate programmes.

The consortium is creating a fully integrated project delivery team with ABB and UKPNS people deployed in Swindon, London and Stone, Staffordshire.

Stewart Dawson, director of UKPNS, said: “This is a great opportunity for both of our companies to build on an existing long, successful relationship and demonstrate our complimentary areas of expertise and to support Network Rail’s investment in infrastructure projects.”

This will be the first large new electrification project delivered by Network Rail in more than 30 years and forms a key part in its national electrification programme for the UK.

Network Rail is electrifying the Great Western railway to deliver journeys that are more reliable, greener and smoother for thousands of passengers as well as quieter for people living near the railway.

Electrification will bring more trains with additional seats helping stimulate economic growth across the region.