Rail News

HS2 to Trial Augmented Reality Training

United Kingdom: HS2 is using augmented reality to train staff who will work at Old Oak Common station. Once built, it will be one of the busiest train stations in the country.

HS2 Ltd is collaborating with SME Pauley, the National College for High Speed Rail and Inventya to create augmented reality (AR) training for Old Oak Common. They will work with station designers and specialist engineers WSP to make the project a reality.

HS2 Ltd Station Director Mike Luddy said:

“From its earliest days Old Oak Common will be one of the UK’s busiest and best-connected stations. Serving both HS2 and the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) it is designed to handle around 275,000 passengers every day. To accommodate that number of people in a pleasant, safe and efficient environment, it’s crucial that staff know the station’s workings in detail.

“The challenge is that Old Oak Common station hasn’t been built yet. So to train the station’s entirely new workforce with the skills and knowledge they will need we must innovate.

“Through this project, which is supported by Innovate UK and the DfT, we’re harnessing the power of digital technology to build Old Oak Common in augmented reality.”

HS2 to deliver augmented reality training for Old Oak Common staff
HS2 to deliver augmented reality training for Old Oak Common staff © HS2

The augmented reality training will allow future staff to receive training for a station that is not yet physically there. Staff will receive training in how to deliver the best-possible customer experience, in station maintenance and in safety. In this way they will be very familiar with the station environment right from the get go.

Philip Pauley, Founder and Managing Director, Pauley, said:

“The technology we’re bringing to HS2 enables the wearer to see Old Oak Common station in minute detail. It unlocks huge opportunities to explore, test and refine a digital replica of the station years before the passengers arrive.”

Positive Feedback Loop

The augmented reality training will do more than just train future staff to work in the station. It will also allow the trainees to provide feedback to the designers. They can then incorporate this feedback into the development of Old Oak Common, fine-tuning it at this early stage. In this way HS2 Ltd can avoid having to make expensive, time-consuming and disruptive changes once construction is complete.

Clair Mowbray, CEO of the National College for High Speed Rail, said:

“The National College for High Speed Rail is delighted to be part of this collaborative project, which will support the development of training programmes for train station staff using the latest interactive technologies.”

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