Home » Network Rail, Atkins team up to create digital twin of Reading station

Network Rail, Atkins team up to create digital twin of Reading station

by Sion Geschwindt
Network Rail, Atkins team up to create digital twin of Reading station

Network Rail has teamed up with Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, and Cardiff University to develop a digital twin of Reading station.

The project aims to reduce carbon emissions and improve the station’s energy performance by 20%.

Sensors are set to be installed across Reading station to capture live, real-time data on the station’s energy usage which will then be fed into Cardiff University’s Computational Urban Sustainability Platform (CUSP).

CUSP has been used to map out ways of improving the station’s performance via energy efficiency measures whilst exploring further possible changes and the potential impact this could have on making additional energy savings.

A number of ways to reduce energy expenditure and carbon emissions with minimal costs have been identified, including improved lighting controls and turning off machinery such as escalators when they are not in use.

In addition to the data being collected by the sensors at the station, passenger numbers and research to understand passenger and station-user behaviour will also be recorded to understand how identified energy savings might impact their safety and experiences when in the station.

Following the pilot at Reading station, Network Rail hope to utilise the technology across the wider rail network in an effort to lower its carbon footprint.

Adam De Benedictis, Regional Energy and Carbon manager for Network Rail, said. “We’re delighted to be working with Atkins on this innovative project which will help us gain a better understanding of complex assets, such as Reading station, and their predicted performance, allowing us to confidently identify and deliver energy efficiency measures and ultimately manage our assets effectively.”

Nick Tune, Technical and Technology director at Atkins, added: “This is an important milestone as we look to harness data and technology to improve delivery at every stage of an asset’s life.

“Digital twins are the centrepiece of this shift which is giving us the information needed to not only identify opportunities to improve an asset’s energy performance but to interrogate future scenarios, explore further recommendations and tell us how those interventions will work with an unprecedented degree of certainty.”

Image: Reading station (credit: Network Rail)

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