The Nextgen railway footbridges catalogue is a series of passenger footbridges, which has been put together by the Buildings and Architecture department at Network Rail. Their latest addition to the catalogue, the Futura bridge, is now made public via ARki 7.0 update.
Design Selection Made Easy
Network Rail builds several footbridges every year, but currently there are no simple communication methods that can visualise design options easily. The Nextgen Railway Footbridges Catalogue in AR, aims to simplify the design process, and allow teams an easy way of selecting footbridges. The catalogue consists of 4 distinct footbridges, Frame, Beacon, Ribbon, and Futura bridge, which have been designed by a unique selection of designers including Haskoll, Knight architects, Gottlieb Palladun and Marks Barfield Architects. By visualising the catalogue within a real-time 3d/AR experience, the Buildings and architecture department embrace innovation to encourage greater collaboration, and create more meaningful, beautiful buildings.
Create Real-Time Visualisations in Location
By visualising the footbridges on-site using ARki, users can detect design issues early, solve problems faster, and reduce the time it takes to build a footbridge. Anthony Dewar, head of buildings and architecture, sees the Nextgen Railway Footbridges in AR playing a significant role in their ability to “facilitate improved alignment between design and construction.”
A key design variable for footbridges is the span of the actual footbridge across the railway line which varies at different stations. In the latest update to the catalogue ARki provides animation support so that users can visualise these design parameters easily. Material support is another key tool that has been added to the footbridge catalogue, helping users to select materials that best respond to their site, and surrounding environment.
Rob Noonan, a scheme project manager from the TRU central team, accessed the Nextgen footbridge catalogue available on ARki, to select a new footbridge at Castleford station. By visualising the footbridges on site, he was able to achieve full scale, augmented reality visualisations, allowing him to navigate around each footbridge and fully experience what it would feel like to build these projects on location. Rob was able to generate fast images of the footbridges using the app, “it was very useful that you can really visualise the footbridge straight away, and it gave a really good idea of what we are looking to achieve, and the time and cost it saved trying to do visuals was immense.” The images created using the app allowed Rob to achieve better communication with key stakeholders, helping to speed up the process of erecting a footbridge on site.
The Nextgen footbridge projects in AR aims to simplify the complexities behind footbridge design, and ultimately make architectural assets more accessible to everyone, in a way that has not been possible before.
To view the Nextgen railway catalogue in AR, download ARki app on IOS.
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