Track Access Services (TAS) have been working with Network Rail to produce and deliver reality modelling for London Bridge and surrounding Thameslink stations.
London Bridge station is set to open in January 2018 following the completion of track and platform upgrades. This achievement is a major milestone for Network Rail and the Thameslink Programme, with the new station able to host Thameslink services from May 2018 - for the first time in three years.
Network Rail have stated that with completion of track work to the west of London Bridge, the lines are now in their final position through the landmark station, awaiting final signalling commissioning at Christmas and over the new year.
Network Rail has remodelled over 40km of railway that links London Bridge to both Blackfriars and Lewisham since work began in 2009. This also involved strengthening 35 bridges and the construction of 154 sets of points.
Track Access Services (TAS) developed and supplied driver training materials to assist route familiarisation. Relevant train operators will receive material to conduct training of new track layouts and signalling, before Thameslink services serve the station from next year.
TAS have been involved throughout the scheme, from development stages through to supplying 3,200 drivers with training materials. Virtual models are created from Bentley Microstation CAD designs and constructed directly from CAD drawings, signal sighting forms and scheme plans to ensure all objects are modelled with precise positioning and dimensions.
Environments and structures are enhanced with textures obtained from photographic and video surveys, including; station features, platform objects, foliage and surrounding buildings. Completed models maintain a high level of accuracy and detail, enabling drivers to familiarise themselves with new or unfamiliar track layouts and surroundings.
"The driver training material provided for the London Bridge remodelling project is of very high quality, the level of detail and realism achieved in the virtual modelling is the best we have seen and provides our staff with the best representation of how it will work operationally and how it will look.
A significant factor was the quality of the material provided has allowed GTR to gain full support from ASLEF and the drivers themselves."
Paul Brace - Route Training Manager, GTR
Complete track models are supplied to operators in advance of commissioning, providing drivers with the training materials required to learn new moves and signalling positions. Virtual models have been presented with on-screen graphics, information overlays and commentary to assist route familiarisation and knowledge retention.
Driver training content can be made available online and accessed securely through Track Access Portal, a browser-based distribution platform, currently being used by Network Rail, GTR and other UK rail operators.