Network Rail and Osborne ramp up work to make stations more accessible by capturing site data remotely

In collaboration with:

Network Rail’s ‘Access for All’ programme aims to provide an obstacle free, accessible route to and between platforms at stations across the country that were not originally designed with people with reduced mobility in mind— making it safer for everyone who visits these. As part of the scheme, Sensat along with partner Osborne, were commissioned to conduct a topographical survey of four stations. The data, which was made accessible on Sensat’s visualisation platform, serves as a single source of truth (SSOT) and a powerful tool for stakeholder engagement when making decisions on station development.

The project

Sensat, working alongside partner Osborne, completed a drone photogrammetric survey, capturing 0.14km2 of data across four sites in two days. The sites included stations at Barnes, Isleworth, Stoneleigh and Wandsworth Town, and the survey collected data on station buildings, stairs, canopies, bridge structures, permanent ways and signals within the survey extents to support the need for retro-fitting lifts and ramps in stations to make rail transport fully accessible for everyone. Accurate survey data was required to integrate the new structures into the existing station environment safely and efficiently.

The solution

Fixed-wing drones were used to remotely capture topographic data safely and efficiently, producing highly-accurate, geo-referenced 2D and 3D outputs. With permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly drones within built up areas, combined with EVLOS (extended visual line of sight) exemption, Sensat were able to eliminate the need for land access approval across all four sites increasing time-to-delivery and safety of workers and public. Aggregated in Sensat’s visualisation platform, the processed 3D point cloud and 2D orthomosaic data, also integrated with laser scan data, will be used to onboard team members remotely and conduct real-time measurements during meetings with clients.

Bespoke data capture service

To support the project, Sensat’s in-house team worked with Osborne to collect topographic data in accordance with social distancing during lockdown.

Utilising drones, a team of three (two Sensat operatives and one Osborne supervisor) safely captured the required data in just two days. Sensat’s drone solution meant the data could be collected quickly and effectively, eliminating the need to send people on track.

A powerful tool for design, consultation, and more

The collected data is hosted on Sensat’s cloud-based visualisation platform. Over 20 team members are now able to access the site remotely, on any device. Through Sensat, stakeholders can now also visually combine different data sets in their real-world environment and take survey-grade measurements without being on site.

In Sensat’s visualisation platform, it’s possible to get access to all above and below ground data and information, including: geospatial and topographic site information, buried services and below-ground utilities, masterplan models and BIM integration, residential structures, and all engineering design information for the associated infrastructure.

“Despite the tight programme and budget, coupled with the added constraint of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sensat worked collaboratively with both Osborne and Arcadis to get an agreed scope in place, mobilise on site quickly and safely and provide a cost-effective solution to meet our client’s needs.”

Beckie Mayne-Evans Development Manager, Osborne


When housed in Sensat’s visualisation platform, 3D data can be used for creating an accurate real-world representation of the physical world, enabling remote and real-time measurements for quicker, more sustainable decisionmaking and contract administration. It also means less boots on the ground and vehicle usage during survey collection and visualisation, ultimately using less carbon.


Sensat provides a realistic alternative to expensive in-person visits. An accurate and up-to-date model, rich with context provided by layers of information, annotations and shared files, enables off-site users to get perspective of the entire site.

Moving to the future, Network Rail now have a 3D point cloud model for new station enhancements which could ultimately feed into a ‘digital twin’ of the rail network to facilitate dynamic asset management.

Want to learn more about how you can remotely capture topographic data safely and efficiently?

Download the full case study below: