Simulation possibilities expand
RECENT customers of simulator maker Corys TESS include railways in Turkey, India and the Netherlands, and the Grenoble-based company is currently upgrading to the latest capabilities simulators used by operators in France and Britain.
Turkish State Railways' Eskisehir training school is to take delivery of a full-motion cab simulator later this year. Featuring a visual database containing 600route-km, the simulator will represent the 65 GT26CW-2 locos being supplied by Tülomsas and EMD.
The turnkey project to supply Indian Railways with 12 full-motion simulators is progressing on schedule, with the ninth replica cab undergoing its factory acceptance tests last month. Building on this first contract in India, Corys TESS has since won a contract to supply Delhi Metro Rail Corp with a motion simulator with real-time computer generated images representing all 65 km of Lines 1, 2 and 3. The metro's full range of signalling and ATP/ATO systems will be represented, along with onboard fault-finding and troubleshooting facilities. The contract includes six years of maintenance services, and 20h of staff familiarisation at DMRC's training centre in Shastri Park depot.
The successful delivery of Bombardier metro car and Alstom Citadis tram simulators to Rotterdam Public Transport convinced RandstadRail to award Corys TESS a contract to supply a full-scope motion simulator to train HTM and RET drivers on the future RandstadRail network. 'Driver training for this project is strategically very important for us, as the present tram drivers will also need to drive on the main line with a different signalling system through to Zoetermeer', said Ronald van den Berg, Simulator Project Manager at RandstadRail. 'The simulator provides the only solution available in the project timescales to address the driver training needs, and in the longer term will enable us to increase the quality of training.'
SNCF's training centres at Lille and Noisy-le-Sec in Paris will soon take delivery of two full-motion cab simulators and 12 desktop systems representing TGV Est. The first of 200 trainees will begin using the simulators by the end of this year, ensuring drivers are ready for the opening of the line in July 2007. The simulators must include the five signalling systems which will be encountered between Paris, Strasbourg, Frankfurt and Basel, and they form 'a key training element to enable the commissioning of the TGV service', said Eric Marchat, SNCF's Manager of Rolling Stock Training Tools.
Two full-scope static simulators representing Class 185 Desiro UK DMUs have been supplied to TransPennine Express, with a computer-based training package to assist drivers converting from existing rolling stock to the new vehicles. The Train Discovery package provides an initial introduction to the Siemens units, including fault finding and emergency safety rules and procedures. The Train Management System explains the onboard interfaces and functionality, while Train Preparation shows the procedures to be performed each time the trains enter service.
Technology gets better
Corys TESS has a permanent research team among its 100 staff, and current projects include the development of fuel optimisation programmes and driver assessment tools. Technology is always advancing, and operators are able to upgrade their existing simulators with the latest functions.
Four Z2N and MI2N simulators which SNCF uses to train drivers on the Paris RER network are currently being modernised, along with 10 simulators used by VR in Finland.
In Britain six EMU simulators are being upgraded for Southeastern, and improvements to Virgin Trains' Class 390 Pendolino simulator include the implementation of a multi-channel visual system. Graeme Singer, Head of Driver Training & Development for Virgin Trains, said 'drivers benefit from the incorporation of the latest fault-finding simulation station, detailed 3D graphics and vastly improved post-run analyser and end-of-run reports'. Reports and video and vice communications can be stored on a CD, improving feedback and providing an impartial audit trail.
As part of the lengthening of London Underground's Jubilee Line trains with a seventh car, two cab simulators dating from 1996 have gained additional functionality, including computer-generated platform views. Maintenance costs have been significantly reduced with the replacement of obsolete equipment, and the Windows platform has been updated with a standardised and easier-to-use interface.
CAPTION: Corys TESS has supplied a full-motion simulator to prepare Rotterdam and Den Haag light rail drivers for the RandstadRail network
CAPTION: Two static simulators representing Class 185 DMUs have been supplied to TransPennine Express, where computer-based training is helping drivers convert from existing trains to the new Siemens Desiro units