Gear­ing up for new elec­tric trains

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Train driv­ers are get­ting ready for the ar­rival of new elec­tric units.

With Auck­land’s first elec­tric train set to ar­rive next month the city’s driv­ers are learn­ing how to op­er­ate the new model with the help of two state-of-the-art sim­u­la­tors.

Each sim­u­la­tor is laid out ex­actly like the driver’s cab in an elec­tric train with all the con­trols in the same place and a large flat screen dis­play in place of the wind­screen.

The screen shows the view the driver would see from the cab and the sim­u­la­tors are pro­grammed with the Auck­land rail­way net­work, which was filmed last year and con­verted into video graph­ics, al­low­ing driv­ers to be trained to drive over the full net­work.

The sim­u­la­tor can be set to show day or night-time, in­cludes a range of weather, and can also sim­u­late faults in the train or events on the line.

Auck­land Trans­port chair­man Lester Levy has had a go on the sim­u­la­tor.

‘‘I was given some ba­sic train­ing on how to drive it. The new trains are go­ing to be great for Auck­land com­muters and, if the sim­u­la­tor is any­thing to go by, they’ll be a plea­sure to drive,’’ he says.

A train­ing in­struc­tor sets up the sim­u­la­tor at the start of each train­ing ses­sion to se­lect the route, weather, time of day and any in­ci­dents or faults that are re­quired for the train­ing ses­sion.

The trainee then op­er­ates the sim­u­la­tor while the in­struc­tor mon­i­tors progress re­motely, us­ing mimic screens and a we­b­cam that shows what the trainee is do­ing.

Ev­ery train­ing run is recorded and can be played back and an­a­lysed with the trainee.

Once driv­ers are com­pe­tent on the sim­u­la­tor they will be tested driv­ing the new trains on the net­work prior to pas­sen­ger ser­vices start­ing early next year.

There are 57 three-car train sets be­ing man­u­fac­tured by Con­struc­ciones y Aux­i­lair Fer­ro­car­riles in Spain and all will be op­er­at­ing by mid-2015.

Train­ing up: Auck­land Trans­port chair­man Lester Levy with driver trainer Pat James in one of the sim­u­la­tors be­ing used to pre­pare driv­ers for the new elec­tric trains, which are on their way from Spain.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.