Liverpool City uses VR in £100m Baltic Merseyrail Construction Project

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority uses VR showcase new construction project ahead of 2027 launch

Liverpool City uses VR in £100m Baltic Merseyrail Construction Project
Virtual RealityInsights

Published: May 22, 2024


Rory Greener

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority recently outlined a plan to introduce the new Liverpool Baltic Merseyrail station, ready for use in 2027. The Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram introduced the project in 2022, aiming to boost public transportation accessibility in the area.

The project marks a huge investment in the region. Currently, forecasts estimate the project to cost roughly £100 million. Recently, news emerged from the BBC highlighting how the project managers are offering the public a virtual reality walkthrough experience to help residents understand what the new establishment will look like and how it may benefit their lives.

The project managers trust VR to accurately portray the soon-to-be station, building support and understanding of its multi-million dollar project ahead of the official construction-starting 2025.

In a statement to the BBC, Neil Grabham, managing director of Merseyrail, stated how the VR walkthrough can translate the “incredibly complex project” to a broader breadth of individuals.

Neil Grabham also added:

I would encourage everyone to visit the drop-in events to judge for themselves how the new station will look and work for customers. Thankfully staff and officers don’t decide what happens in the Liverpool City Region, it’s the directly elected mayor and that happens to be me at the moment and I’ll be the one who decides on that.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is hosting a drop-in session for the public to experience VR from 3 June to 26 July.

Using XR to Translate Big Ideas

VR, AR, and MR  are great tools to translate big ideas.

In the case of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the group can easily showcase a large-scale project. Much like virtual training sessions can save money by allowing learners to train using digital twins of experience machinery and kit, virtual showcases like the Liverpool station experience can offer a range of participants a digital presentation of a large-scale investment, making sure the project is correct and beneficial ahead of onsite work.

The Liverpool use case also supports the region’s Merseyrail for All efforts, which connect diverse communities using accessible local battery-powered rail network technology.

Again, the VR experience allows residents to understand the establishment and its new technology, gaining local support for the costly project.

Network Rail Debuts VR Training to 1,000 Students

The news comes following Network Rail’s recent success in providing immersive training to over 1,000 students at the Trinity Academy in Thorne, Doncaster. This is a significant achievement for the organization’s training programs.

The Community Safety team at Network Rail and the British Transport Police conducted five safety sessions at the school, demonstrating the hazards of trespassing on railways. The training utilized VR headsets to create simulations of rail lines and illustrate the associated dangers through 360-degree presentations.

The sessions were organized by Trinity Academy educators and were attended by 100 students aged 13-14. As a result of this initiative, Network Rail has reached a milestone of training over 1,000 students.

In addition to the success at Doncaster, Network Rail has reported that “more than 1,000 young people” are benefiting from its immersive learning program along the East Coast route. This has led to an improved understanding of railway safety and associated risks.

Building on the success at Doncaster, Network Rail plans to expand the safety immersive training module to more schools and universities along the East Coast railway route.

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