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Capitol Expressway Story Road Station Photosimulations

VTA, San Jose, California

The Capitol Expressway Light Rail Transit (LRT) line is an extension of the Santa Clara County Valley Transit Authority (VTA) rail transit network. The design called for a median running double tracked mainline that included two long viaducts, an elevated station, several grade level stations, a bus transfer station and a redesigned major arterial.

POITRA was asked to prepare a series of visual simulations to address anticipated visual impact and design concerns of public and local governmental stakeholders. Photo-simulation was the obvious medium for accurate and convincing presentations.

An aerial view was chosen as the best way to communicate the complex design for an incredible elevated LRT station in the restricted space available at the Story Road intersection. An elevated station was the best option for making it possible for a large station and redesigned higher capacity intersection coexist. The Engineers even managed to work a signature pedestrian bridge into the design mix.

POITRA Visual custom 3D Model LRT vehicle in wire frame.
POITRA Visual custom 3D Model EMU commuter vehicle.

POITRA artists created a custom 3D model of the Kinkisaryo LRTvehicle with VTA colors and markings.

POITRA often creates custom transit vehicles at no cost to the project.

Photo-realistic photo simulation and design visualization services by POITRA Visual


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Mouse-over images above to toggle between the existing photo and the photosimulation.

The Engineer provided photograph captured the Capitol Expressway far into the distance making volumes of civil, structural and architectural plan study a major part of POITRA's work.

Existing frontage roads, curb and gutter, sidewalks, driveways, signage, landscaping, fencing, street lights, utilities, pedestrians and even lanes of traffic had to be reconfigured on the photo to precisely match the Engineer's design. Only then would the proposed elevated LRT line, station, pedestrian over crossing, station stairs and elevators find proper places to rest. POITRA artists performed this work using traditional digital painting techniques.

left quotation markThe Story Road Station aerial photosimulation probably qualifys as the most complex simulation POITRA has created to date in terms of overall scope and the level of detail required.”

M.P., POITRA Visual
Visual Simulations Project Manager

POITRA modelers then constructed an accurate 3D site model to a very high level of detail that included all of these elements. Later in the project this model was used for a ground level view of the intersection. POITRA drew heavily upon its principal's previous career experience in bridge and highway design to complete the project.

The site model was then camera matched, lighted, rendered and composited with the base photograph. The photo simulation was topped off with POITRA VTA LRT vehicle models, station patrons and the proposed project landscaping.

Special effort was required to make sure that all of the elements of all of the various design diciplines, such as Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Architecture, Traffic Control, Signing and Striping, Utilities, Lighting and Landscaping came together correctly as one in the final photo simulation from final design plans.

The finished simulations were used in meetings with VTA Capitol Expressway Light Rail Project stakeholders.end of article


Take a Closer Look! Highly developed skills of the Artists at POITRA make your project real. (click to magnify).

Take a closer look! POITRA created a displays suitable for printing at poster and handout sizes (click to magnify).