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Railway staff being lined up to run a new ‘super’ station in London will train in augmented reality (AR) to prepare for dealing with hundreds of thousands of passengers every day.

High Speed Two (HS2) is a planned railway currently being built in the UK. The billion-pound project, expected to be completed in the next decade, will link major English cities with London.

The new ‘super hub’, Old Oak Common station in North London, will serve both HS2 and the Elizabeth line (Crossrail), with a view to handling around 275,000 railway passengers per day.

To accommodate such volumes on a daily basis, HS2’s developers need a means of training members of staff ahead of the railway station’s completion.

Immersive tech company PAULEY, the National College for High Speed Rail and innovation management consultancy Inventya will work with Old Oak Common station’s designer, engineering firm WSP, to develop AR training for this purpose.

Through this project, which is supported by Innovate UK and the Department for Transport, future staff will be trained in customer service, station maintenance and safety so they can develop the skills to efficiently manage the station before it is completed.

Trainees will also be able to provide feedback to its designers, so plans can be honed before the station is built.

PAULEY founder and managing director Philip Pauley said of the AR project: “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.”

WSP technical director John Harding added: “This technology will enable us to future proof Old Oak Common station design. In future, it can be used at other stations not just for training but for all staff following a refurbishment or upgrade.”

Image credit: High Speed Rail