Greater Anglia gets 360 view of almost every station in region ahead of new trains
- Credit: Archant
Immersive technology that allows the region's train operator to view almost every railway station in East Anglia is being used in preparation for its new fleet.
Greater Anglia is planning to replace every single train within its existing fleet by the end of 2020, with the first being introduced next year.
But in order to ensure a smooth transition the company is having to measure its platforms to check where its 169 new trains need to stop for bike and wheelchair access.
That is why its office on platform three at Ipswich Railway station has been filled with large screens capable of showing 360 degree video of almost every station in the region.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia business readiness director, said: 'There's so much we need to do to make sure that we will be able to make a smooth transition from our existing trains to our brand new state-of-the-art fleet.
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'We need to measure the length and height of platforms, check where trains need to stop for wheelchair and bicycle access and work out where we need to put up signs for drivers or move benches.
'It's quite a task and would take a very long time if we had to go to every single station to carry out surveys and measurements.
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'Instead we're using immersive technology – we can tap in a platform number and station name into our database and then view 360 degree video of that platform which is so accurate we can carry out detailed measurements and surveys from it.'
The videos were produced by initially attaching eight cameras on a train – two in the cab, two in the back and two on each side, and filming as the train travelled through stations.
The film was then processed into a programme which transferred the film into 360 degree video on software with measuring and reporting tools.
Great Anglia's new trains will be longer, with more seats, and each of them will have wheelchair spaces and bicycle spaces.
At some stations, where the trains are going to be longer than platforms, either the platforms will be lengthened or selective door opening will be programmed into the trains, as is the case at some smaller stations now.
The new trains will start coming into service by the middle of next year and will have replaced all existing trains by the end of 2020.