3D Laser Scan of Network Rail’s Blackfriars Station, London

3D Laser Scan of Network Rail’s Blackfriars Station, London

About This Project

Network Rail opened the landmark new London Blackfriars station in February 2012, to provide a better interchange between national rail and London Underground services, and to make London’s Bankside and South Bank areas more accessible to passengers. The project is part of the Thameslink Programme – a £5.5 billion scheme to improve journeys running north-south through London.

During the redevelopment of the station, Mott MacDonald – a principal contractor for the Thameslink programme – required a Laser Scan survey to verify the positions of existing signage throughout the ticket halls to the north and south of the station, and in the platform areas. Network Rail used the data to evaluate the visibility of the signage and to identify areas that could be improved upon. The data was also used alongside an existing design model to create a visual simulation of the passenger experience.


A closed loop traverse was carried out to extend the existing control network within Blackfriars station. This required a survey traverse down the stairs into the northern and southern ticket halls of the stations and back up alternate routes onto the station platform to create a closed loop. Due to the short legs and the Network Rail specification, additional cross-bracing measurements were carried out to strengthen the network. This was then processed though the Starnet™ post processing software in a least squares adjustment. Each newly installed station was then precise levelled to ensure accuracy and the data fed into Starnet™ so that it could be included in the adjustment.

Specific locations were selected for each of the Laser Scanner set-ups to ensure sufficient data was captured. We used a Leica 6200 HDS Laser Scanner with a Nodal Ninja™ bracketing system and an SLR camera to colour the scans. The scan data was delivered in manageable sections with light intensity and full colour Tru-views™ as specified by Network Rail.

A full survey report including witness diagrams, traverse adjustment etc., was delivered according to the Network Rail reporting procedure and data was uploaded onto the Network Rail Projectwise™ system.


Mott MacDonald

Survey Type

3D Laser Scanning




Leica 6200 HDS Laser Scanner
Micro Survey STAR*NET V7


Case Studies, Laser Scanning & BIM, Rail Survey Services, Survey & Engineering