SPI's virtual reality redefines station design approach in Liverpool


The 4D virtual modelling technology is being used for the first time by Network Rail on the £340m Lime Street station project ahead of work starting in 2017.

Major safety and programme reduction benefits
Virtual reality has enabled Network Rail to prepare for the work, reducing the amount of time needed on track and the potential to impact on train services.. Safety and efficiency of work is improved as virtual reality enables planners to avoid overlaps between different engineering teams as well as identifying potential risks and hazards which could potentially impact on reopening the railway on time.

Oculus Rift technology
A unique feature of the system is that it works on multiple formats including mobile devices. Liverpool Lime Street is also the first project to use Oculus Rift virtual reality technology, which allows for a fully immersive experience for training and engagement..

"Using this state-of-the-art technology we can spot those clashes before they happen, making the project safer and more efficient. This delivers benefits for passengers, taxpayers and our orange army of engineers."

Graeme Whitehead, Liverpool Lime Street Project Manager, Network Rail

Read more coverage from Network Rail, Construction Enquirer and The Times:

SPI at the National Infrastructure Forum 2016


The SPI team exhibited its virtual reality technology to the industry at the National Infrastructure Forum 2016 at the ExCeL centre.

Oculus Rift technology
Using the Oculus Rift, SPI's team introduced virtual reality for building and infrastructure solutions, highlighting the adoption by Network Rail on some of its major projects.





Digital Rail Symposium 2016

The Bentley Digital Rail Symposium took place on the 21st and 22nd of September 2016 and looked at how the industry is leading the way, supported by academia and innovative technology companies, by researching and proving that we can deliver truly world-class digital railways.

At the core
Creating virtual assets in a digital world allows us to make smarter decisions based on more reliable information. Our railways, whether underground, over-ground, high-speed or local metro, need to deliver services that allow nations to grow and societies to prosper. This can only be achieved by constantly driving innovation and investing in the people, processes, and technology required. Source:  http://bit.ly/2d4nqEm

SPI engagement
SPI has been geared up for the `digital railway` for years now - rolling out the use of virtual reality for engineering, construction, driver safety and positioning.  
The Digital Rail Symposium looked at new technologies and how they are impacting the way we interact with rail assets. Topics included autonomous drones, RFID, photogrammetry, virtual reality, and laser scanning.

"SME engagement is imperative to driving innovation on major infrastructure projects"

John Pelton MBE, Strategic Projects Director – Crossrail


A survey by any other name . . .

Within architecture, engineering and construction, `survey` information refers to the geographical space that an asset occupies.

Surveying, or geomatics, is the science of collecting, analysing and processing data relating to the location of built environments and geographical features. Knowing where an asset is to be positioned or orientated is very important for environmental and thermal optimisation, construction planning and design and identification of hidden or underground services.








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        BIM4Rail launches with Mervyn Richards OBE

        An assembly of over 120 BIM-related professionals attended the launch of BIM4Rail at the Bentley Systems office in London on 7th December, after a year of planning its vision and building awareness.

        BIM4Rail, part of the BIM Task Group BIM4 communities, is a cross-industry, special interest group focused on the promotion and adoption of BIM in the UK rail industry.


        The vision of the group includes (1) provision of leadership and direction in rail; (2) how rail operators are using BIM currently and how will they successfully uplift to BIM Level 2; (3) collaborative dialogue with rail stakeholders and supply chain to ensure continuity of accurate asset records and model data and (4) what changes in the rail industry are required to fully facilitate BIM for rail.

        The event’s programme included speakers included Mervyn Richards OBE (Avanti Partnership), Dr Anne Kemp (Atkins), Ben Feltham (Skanska), Karl Siddons (HS2) and Barry Gleeson (Chairman).  They spoke on the BIG 4 challenges for BIM4Rail which include:

        1) Development of a UK Rail handover best practice process.

        2) Develop a list of 7 key attributes

        3) Test and identify the state of software interoperability.

        4) Test and assess the strengths and weaknesses of organisational IT strategies and capabilities.

        BIM level 2 preparation

        Specialist Project Integration Ltd is a key member of BIM4Rail due to its long-term experience with Network Rail and the rail infrastructure industry as a whole. It will aid the group through an engaging and active voice to highlight the many challenges that rail faces.  This will include discussions on how to overcome these barriers and help the industry to become BIM Level 2 ready.  


        "2017 will see alignment of BS1192 with PAS1192-2 and PAS1192-3"

        Mervyn Richards OBE

        Avanti Partnership

        Capturing and handling survey data, or even deciding what type of survey should be procured, is all down to the right management.  

        At Specialist Project Integration (SPI), we have access to a network of trusted surveyors and the latest remote terrestrial, aerial and subterranean laser scanning equipment and robotic total stations with high end GPS delivering an accurate survey on time and within budget.

        SPI has experts in survey management and our experienced team will advise on the right survey, the types of surveying equipment to use, grids and coordinate systems, QA and delivery.