In 2021 we were privileged to have the opportunity to support Avanti West Coast and First Group in utilising the power of 3D visualisation. Our capture service was used to create 3D virtual tours / digital twins to help them meet their business commitments for property surveys and asset management of their mainline railway stations.
A key part of the Avanti West Coast franchise is the numerous stations they operate from, and manage. With sites exceeding half a million square feet, and some dating back to the mid 1800’s, keeping the stations in good order and operational is a massive task. The day-to-day upkeep and ongoing development of the sites and the equipment within them is an unenviable and time consuming task.
The project was ambitious. Not just because of the scale, but also the complexity and dynamic nature of working railway stations, with trains and people constantly moving through. It was also a task that would push the limits of this emerging technology.
We successfully delivered the digital capture of the 16 stations and believe this is a first in the UK, with the creation of these train station 3D virtual spaces providing a complete view, encompassing the full extent of the demise at each location. Both public and non-public areas, building interiors, underpasses, tunnels, undercrofts, car parks, bridges, platforms etc. were all included, and we delved into areas where few people visit. Despite the ghost stories at many of the older stations, we didn’t manage to capture anything spooky in the images!
Avanti now have a fully immersive and feature rich set of 3D virtual walkthrough environments for all their stations, which not only gives them a visual condition survey, but also can support day-to-day troubleshooting and projects, with the 3D spaces easily viewed online and shared with collaborators such as Network Rail.
With the stations spread from Rugby to Carlisle, the immediate and obvious benefit is the time-saving reduction in unnecessary site visits by colleagues and contractors. The ability to visualise, check access and measure features directly within the virtual environment will no doubt improve communication, response times, and in turn reduce unwanted costs.
A key aspect for Avanti is the management of all the physical assets within the stations… equipment and facilities integral to supporting customers, and the running of the railway. To bolster their asset management systems, the ability to utilise media tags within the virtual environment provides a visual connection… a view of asset locations, identification details and documentation.
Along with the supply of a virtual and visual 3D walk-through environment, the scans also provide 3D data. This is where the principle of creating a ‘digital twin’ is developed further. The 3D data has facilitated a full set of CAD schematic layouts that we have supplied as part of the scope. Avanti now have a complete up to date set of drawings available along with the 3D data to support projects and other initiatives within their business.
just a few steps away
- tailor package The first step is a discussion about the project and aspects of your business you want to capture.
- plan We'll work with you to plan a date and find the best time to carry out the scan.
- scan The specialist equipment we use captures both 3D & image data at the same time.
- deliver In as little as 48 hours you'll have a link to your digital twin. We'll set everything up to your spec, along with any additional digital assets.
- support We give the support you need to start reaping the benefit, including communicating with your website provider or social media teams as needed.