Posted: 9 April 2015
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UK’s first T-pylons

It has been a busy few weeks for the construction team at the National Grid Academy in Eakring, as the first T-pylons ever built in the UK have started to take shape. At the end of February, the first parts of the new T-pylons were delivered to site and by the beginning of March the first full pylon had already been assembled and erected.

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UK’s first T-pylons

UK’s first T-pylons

A computer generated image of Eakring T-pylon test line with mature landscaping.

"By the time we’ve finished building this test line, we’ll have stored up a significant amount of knowledge about the best ways to erect and maintain this new breed of pylon."

Alan Lodge, Lead Project Manager.


A 400,000 volt lattice pylon is typically up to 50-metres high, while the T-pylon stands about 36-metres high.

Source: National Grid.

Now, half way into the construction of the test line, we’re able to look back at what we’ve learnt so far. Lead Project Manager for the test line Alan Lodge is overseeing the construction works and explains how development of the test line at Eakring is already surpassing expectations.

“We’re extremely pleased with how smoothly the project has run since work began on site. Building the first T-pylons in the UK was always going to present some challenges but with the first two pylons in place we’ve already been able to hone the assembly and erection processes. The time we take between bringing the components to site and getting them into place is getting progressively quicker.


Click to watch the 1st T-Pylon erected at Eakring video.

“We’ve also been lucky with the weather. We thought strong winds could impact when we’re able to lift the sections into place. However, we’ve found that we only need a short window of time to crane each component into place, so we haven’t experienced any delays through poor weather.

“As the design is so new, we were prepared for a few glitches along the way. We have overcome issues in the initial fabrication and have fine tuned the manufacturing to ensure the highest quality of finish before the pylons are brought to site. We were also interested to see how the T-pylons looked with a light grey finish; the prototypes erected in Denmark were simply left as uncoated steel.

“The learning curve for the team will continue as we move onto constructing the terminal towers and begin the stringing of the line. By the time we’ve finished building this test line, we’ll have stored up a significant amount of knowledge about the best ways to erect and maintain this new breed of pylon.”

The erection of the final T-pylon is currently expected to be complete by mid-April at which point the stringing of the pylons can begin. The test line is then due to be finished and ready for training in the middle of May.

Read more:

David Raynor, Mabey Bridge’s project director, explains the challenges of making the new 21st century T pylon test line design.

Ian Grimshaw, Director at planning and design experts TEP Ltd, outlines the considerations that guide when and how T-pylons might be used.

Environmentalist and broadcaster Chris Baines discusses recent developments surrounding the £500m provision to enhance the nation’s landscape.

Connecting talks to David Clutterbuck, National Grid’s T-pylon development lead, as work begins on a test line in Nottinghamshire for a radical innovation.

  • Mary Gaylor

    Interested to know why electromagnetic radiation is reduced and by how much by the installation of the new design pylon. Thank you

  • michael davies

    Love them!

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