SenSat | Innovating Early Stage Infrastructure Design


Innovating Early Stage Infrastructure Design 



To support WSP and Network Rail in developing feasibility and early stage

designs for the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement programme, SenSat have created a highly accurate digital replica of the 16 km² site. 

Kirsten Ingeneeger

05.06.2019 // 5 minute read

Appointed to undertake the GRIP 2 and GRIP 3 design for the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement (EACE) programme, WSP worked with SenSat to introduce a novel technological solution to Network Rail, innovating the design phase and avoiding the delay of the programme.  


The EACE programme itself aims to boost capacity, performance and timetable flexibility within the Ely area for passenger and rail freight. It will de-conflict the most complex areas of the Ely North Junction and Ely Dock Junction in Cambridgeshire, improve level crossing safety along the line of route, and upgrade the rail infrastructure.


To support early-stage design, Network Rail and WSP needed highly accurate survey data of a large area composed of a complicated combination of rail, road, crossings, greenfield and urban areas.

The Project and Challenges

Using a traditional topographical survey method (i.e. using a total station/laser scanning) to digitise the 16km² site could take up to five months. This would be far too time-consuming and risk delay to the EACE programme. Most UAV survey solutions, while being less time consuming and costly, would still be subject to a potentially 12-week approval process for Network Rail site access and approval.

The area also had constant traffic both on the roads and live rail, making some areas extremely hard and dangerous to access without disrupting ground activities. Moreover, some areas were completely inaccessible due to lack of landowner permissions.

Lastly, it was crucial to ascertain the impact on views from Ely Cathedral for designs and changes in the landscape.

Learn more about how SenSat solved the client's challenges and went above and beyond the client’s initial objectives. Download the free case study below:

Download the Full Case Study

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