Our work on the groundbreaking HS2 rail scheme is by far the most involved in length, scope and level of challenge we have undertaken. With our background in capturing complex, challenging rail projects for Network Rail, Volker Rail, Crossrail, Merseyrail, The Staffordshire Alliance and others, we were delighted that HS2 entrusted our experienced team to find solutions for this complex multi-faceted project.
The revolutionary rail project: HS2
From 2017 to date, we have had over 70 custom camera systems capturing on various sections of the HS2 scheme. We have worked with HS2 direct as well as for their various sub-contractors Laing Murphy Joint Venture, Costain Skanska Joint Venture, Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA Joint Venture and more recently Skanska Costain STRABAG JV and Mace Dragados JV.
We have captured the detail of work from Euston Station and the Euston Approaches, through Old Oak Common, up to the Colne Valley and Finham Brook and on to the extensive works in the Curzon Street area of Birmingham. We’ve reported from many different bird’s eye locations including Euston Tower and Millennium Point, as well as more close-up and detailed capture from many other perspectives.
Individual focus has included Euston Station, Euston Vista, Old Oak Common works, Grant Thorton House, The Unite Building, Willesden works, DB Cargo, Granby Terrace, Heartland, Coleshill Manor Office Campus, UCL and Regent’s Park Estate works, St James’s Gardens exhumation, Park Street works Curzon Street works, Curzon Circle and Heartlands Park, Leigh Road Junction and Birmingham Interchange station – to name but some!
HS2 needed the highest quality and the most agile capture for the scheme.
As all our camera systems’ hardware and software is built and customised by us in-house, we could achieve the quality and the flexibility needed. We provide DSLR-based camera systems all fitted with various professional lenses. These are all networked through 4G, allowing us to monitor and micro-manage each camera system continually, adjusting settings from our custom software to accord with the ever-changing circumstances on various projects. No third-party or ‘off the shelf’ system is able to capture so effectively.
The HS2 scheme is a great and constant test of the equipment and methods Time-Lapse Systems continue to hone.
Time-lapsing HS2 Phases
The first phase of the scheme involved the capture of all enabling works; clearance, demolition, excavation, and ground preparation. Whilst on current phases we are capturing the construction of all manner of infrastructure of the nation’s most epic civil engineering project in generations. The challenges for bracketing, fixing, networking, and powering all of our camera systems across all evolving terrains have been considerable. Our success is a testament to a real partnership with our clients; with support from the various professions on-site combining with our highly accredited and skilled engineers who have customised solutions for all scenarios. Each of our engineers is inducted into HS2’s Biosite accreditation scheme. This alongside their other accreditations for activities such as mewp operation (IPAF) and Scaffold Erection (PASMA) and more global accreditation through CSCS, and SSSCS – as well as our company-wide accreditation for 4 major accrediting bodies – allows us to engage in all activity to install and capture safely in a broad range of scenarios.
HS2 dedicated online portal
When we first started work on the scheme, HS2 asked us to develop a dedicated online portal to host and display all the various camera views. As we have in-house developers, we are always able to listen and respond to such needs from clients. Our own developers were able to build this dedicated HS2 online portal bespoke to requirements. This included various levels of access for various project teams within the HS2 family and across the various Joint Ventures. It now hosts archives of images and videos of almost all the current and historic views we have captured. This one-stop online portal helps various professions within HS2 to monitor, track, record, communicate and publicise – as a highly effective tool. We also work alongside the HS2 Archive to help them document all the elements of work in this central system.
Further filming of HS2
In addition to our remotely monitored and controlled long-term time-lapse capture and site monitoring work, we have also carried out film/video and drone work where required. We have three highly experiences Civil Aviation Authority registered drone pilots as well as camera operators. They use cinematic equipment and specialist rigs to record in supplementary ways for purposes of documentation, as well as communication and marketing outputs.
In partnership with HS2
Working with HS2 and their Joint Ventures is an experience in partnership in every sense of the word. The length of the scheme, the various technical challenges, compliances and the ever-evolving requirements and challenges require close cooperation and maximum flexibility.
Thanks to all our partners at HS2 and the Joint Ventures for our opportunity to work with them. We continue to evolve our services to all the requirements of the rail scheme and look forward to capturing in the years ahead.