DEMAND for visual and interactive ways of teaching railway rulebooks is being met by FAAC with its Simulation-Based Training package. SBT bridges the gap between traditional video-aided classroom teaching and realistic but expensive full-size cab simulators.

SBT is intended for use in initial, refresher and remedial driver training and assessment, and is cheaper than full cab simulators such as one which FAAChas supplied to Houston MTA to train light rail drivers. As well as training staff to handle out-of-course events, SBT can be used in incident reconstruction.

Two high-performance PCs are linked by a high speed data connection. One machine provides rapid scenario generation and a user interface, the second is responsible for graphics rendering and playing back recordings of real-world sounds. Both geographically accurate and typical but non-specific sections of route can be modelled, with a point and click interface to position colourlight and semaphore signals, signs, lineside equipment, track workers and other features stored in a library. Lighting and environmental conditions can be varied to represent the effects of time and weather.

The instructor can drive through and interact with the scene, which is stored for replay. Bird’s eye and roaming views are available as well as a driver’s view.

FAAC’s Desktop Training Environment builds on SBT, with the addition of a driver’s console combining real controls with computer-generated instruments. It can be used for specific driver training applications, and under development is a console with a touch screen which accurately replicates the track layout and features of a real British depot, including the train washing plant.

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, FAAC Inc has provided over 200 simulators representing various military, emergency service and commercial vehicles. As well as SBT and DTE, the company supplies full cab simulators, and can offer a cost-effective three degree of freedom ’seat shaker’ or a six degree of freedom full-motion platform for heightened realism.

FAAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delaware-based Arotech Corp, and on February 24 it announced the creation of subsidiary FAAC Ltd to provide local sales and support in the UK.