A new combination of laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) and electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD) with a field-emission scanning electron microscope (SEM) is utilized to study the mechanism of bainite transformation in reheated low carbon bainitic weld metal. The LSCM observations show that laths grow on the surface at various rates, from 30 mu m/s to 240 mu m/s, which is greatly larger than those referred in literature for bainite. In order to confirm that the laths are bainite and not surface martensite, additional experiments were performed. The crystallographic characteristics of surface bainite were compared with those of bulk bainite obtained during isothermal treatments and those of bulk martensite obtained by water quenching. By means of a dedicated EBSD data-treatment software, orientation relationship, variant selection and packet groups were identified; it was shown that both the surface laths and bulk bainite share the same misorientation, habit plane, and have similar variant distribution. Experiments are running to compare these features with those of bulk martensite. If the distinction between martensite and bainite is successful, the very high growth rates of the surface laths could be used to discuss the displacive/diffusive nature of bainitic transformations.