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Immersive pod offers unique aerial views of Aberdeen to Dyce rail construction

Railway visitors are being given a unique chance to train their sights on the recent improvement works between Aberdeen and Dyce.

The route was closed for 14 weeks over the summer while engineers upgraded the lines and signalling procedures as part of the first phase of a £300million scheme.

It re-opened in August and yesterday rail bosses unveiled a high-tech method to showcase exactly what the work entailed.

Seven people at a time can sit in the purpose-built “igloo” at the Aberdeen station concourse, where 360-degree drone footage will be projected onto the walls.

With total immersion in the room, viewers can feel like they are floating high above the tracks as they look on at scenes of the extensive construction work.

Network Rail senior programme manager Billy McKay presents the video.

He said: “We wanted an innovative way to show our customers the programme of work we are delivering.

“It’s the first time we have done something like this in the railway and we’re already getting good feedback.”

With a combination of drone video and photographs, including some dating back four years, the bulk of the experience was pulled together in just eight weeks.

The scheme ties into the concept of “digital construction” where projects are mapped out in excruciating detail on computers to test every possibility before shovels hit the ground.

Jack Mitchell, head of digital construction for Bam Rail Scotland, said: “We wanted to demonstrate to the good people of Aberdeen what we did during the 14 week blockade.

“This is the future. This is how we can show people what we have successfully achieved.”

The work earlier this year was just the first phase of the £300m project to increase services and cut journey times.

Over the next 15 months Network Rail will start running trains more frequently throughout the north of Scotland.

This will include an hourly commuter service between Elgin and Inverness, and a half-hourly service from Aberdeen to Inverurie.

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