Transport for Wales Remote collaboration to deliver acoustic modelling

Image of a Station sign at a train platform.
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Using a digital collaboration approach for designing a state-of-the-art public address system for Wrexham General railway station required Amey Consulting’s engineers to master the complexities of electro-acoustic modelling within tight timescales while working remotely.

The Stations Improvement Project (StIP) is a multi-million Transport for Wales programme aimed at enhancing the customer experience in railway stations across the Wales & Borders network. Under the StIP programme, Amey Consulting provided the multi-discipline design services to refurbish Wrexham General station. The most technically challenging aspect was the design of the new bi-lingual public address (PA) system to modern standards including; EU Directive 1300/2014 and the TSI for Persons with Reduced Mobility.

In order to design a system that would meet the client’s requirements, Amey had to carry out electro-acoustic modelling throughout the station to ensure the proposed design could deliver the required performance. Amey was able to quickly source appropriate bespoke software from Swedish company CATT, in order to meet tight client timescales.

External training was arranged to train Amey designers remotely using Microsoft Teams. With hard work and solid support from CATT, the Amey engineers succeeded in mastering the necessary skills – developing their own capabilities in the process.

The project itself was delivered in an integrated digital environment using multiple sources of information to create 3D models of the station. This allowed the acoustic environment to be simulated in the software. The Covid pandemic had significantly affected usage of the station, making it impossible to measure typical peak-time noise levels. Instead, the engineers used values based on measurements taken at similar stations.

 

The 3D models of the platforms, station buildings and footbridge were successfully integrated into the CATT software. The acoustic performance of different speaker configurations was modelled, generating the data alongside a digital heat-map of decibel levels. The result is a PA system design that is fully compliant with Network Rail standards and complements the newly improved station.

 

Solving the technical challenge meant Amey’s engineers enjoyed a significant boost to their professional development, while Amey Consulting has added a valuable new skill to its portfolio.

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