We have built a virtual reality environment of Victoria Station, allowing us to test changes before trying them in the real world.
The environment is populated with artificial intelligence (AI) passengers, and uses data based on real crowd behaviour and train timetables. We can understand more about the flow of people through a station, and explore how layout changes - such as reversing the direction of barriers - will affect this flow.
This model means we can prototype quickly, which saves time in the design process. It also allows for more testing, leading to an improved experience when upgrades are completed.
One of the core systems that our engineering team uses for modeling and simulation is the Railway Engineering Simulator (RES). The RES uses gaming technology to create 3D simulations, allowing users to understand how changes will look against the actual geometry of the railway.
We have prototyped an application to allow drivers (and others) to work through scenarios that occur while driving a train. This helps drivers to keep their skills sharp, and allows them to practise scenarios that can't be simulated on the live railway.
By reducing passenger delays, this type of technology could lead to savings of around £360k per year, per line.