- HS2 is planning to fit trains, power lines and bridges with thousands of sensors
- These sensors will relay data via 5G on any issues with the HS2 line in real-time
- Workers will be able detect issues on the line from a Birmingham control centre
- ‘Digital twin’ of track will allow engineers to fix faults using virtual reality headset
Engineers working on HS2 will be able to explore England’s high-speed railway using virtual reality headsets in order to fix faults that crop up in the future.
In addition to the train tracks, overhead power lines, and bridges, 50,000 sensors similar to those in Formula One. In addition aviation will detect problems and send data to a duplicate 3D digital model of the railway.
Engineers will be able to enter a’metaverse’-style environment in which they will view a virtual image of the real world. Allowing them to diagnose problems and dispatch teams to resolve them if necessary.
The first ‘phase’ of the line, between London and Birmingham, will open between 2029 and 2033.
However, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen informed the Commons in September last year that the ‘loss-making’ project. Which currently has a budget of almost £106 billion, will not be completed before 2041.
Sensors on board the trains will transmit information directly to HS2’s Network Integrated Control Centre (NICC) near Washwood Heath, around two miles north of Birmingham.
Workers will be able to don a headset to keep an eye on the HS2 digital replica
Workers will be able to wear a headset to monitor the HS2 digital duplicate. Which will have the same level of realism as the real thing.
HS2’s head of strategic planning and asset management, David White, told the Times, ‘They will see a virtual version of the real environment.’
‘Anything with a sensor on it will have data on its status sent into the virtual reality version of the railway, which can be viewed through the headset.’
An antenna on top of the trains will receive data from sensors on the railway track, bridges, and power lines along a specific portion of the London to Birmingham track.
A 5G signal will then send the information to the control center and update the replica in real time via a tall signaling pole.
When an issue is discovered, HS2 workers will be able to dispatch teams to the site to resolve the problem.