As part of Network Rail’s Great Western Electrification Programme across southern England and South Wales, Track Access Services Ltd (TAS) partnered with Bentley to provide signal sighting services using Bentley’s signal sighting software. The project required a full positional survey of re-signaling schemes. A combination of video recordings and 3D models would need to be imported into Bentley Rail Track for desktop signal and overhead line electrification sighting.
The project’s survey of the re-signaling schemes included train planning, train hire costs, camera operators, equipment provisions, data download, positional data post-processing, and video data post-processing, including blurring of redundant signals and signs. TAS developed a MicroStation application to integrate positional video footage into Bentley Rail Track software. Base models of station areas were also imported into MicroStation.
The ability to import TAS positional video survey to Bentley signal sighting products provided TAS with the most cost-effective solution for video collection. Operational costs were minimized by targeting the precise areas of survey and collecting the up-to-date information with bi-directional shoots from the locomotives. Performing signal sighting via video and virtual reality modeling instead of trackside visits reduced project time, cost, and risk at every location.
The MicroStation application that TAS developed ensured that there was a tangible link between CAD designers and the engineering team. By bringing additional video and modeling data and resources to the TAS design teams, the company increased its skill sets and, in turn, self-enabled the Network Rail signaling design staff with the Bentley signal sighting applications. Information modeling and information mobility mean that the visualizations can be used downstream in the process, for example converted to fully functional simulation models for driver training.