Re: Can't they upgrade it?
@ James O'Shea
That deserves one hundred times my one miserable upvote.
There is of course the additional problem that many urban substations are both supplied to and distribute through buried cables. In many cases without good documentation, and that in some instances I know have subsequently had entire commercial building built over the top of them. I know of substations where the distribution network operator cannot upgrade them because it cannot get to the power lines. When the cables eventually fail there will initially be a series of very expensive emergency bodges to restore power, but the permanent fix is going to be a cost of several tens of millions for a single large substation, and that before they have to buy city centre development land or an existing building and demolish it.
This is something government (and the public) don't get. The assume that because navvies build much of it, infrastructure simple. In reality it is a thousand times more complicated than people commonly believe. And ten thousand times more complicated when in an urban setting.