Simulators help drivers to learn how to operate new suburban trains

Train driver Kev Facer learns on the new train simulator. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA

Train driver Kev Facer learns on the new train simulator. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

Greater Anglia drivers have been learning to drive the new suburban trains on two simulators that have been installed in the company’s academy at Stratford in east London.

They are being trained to drive the new Aventra commuter trains which are being built by UK manufacturer, Bombardier.

They enable drivers to learn how to use the new trains’ hi-tech functions, including an improved Train Control Management System – the “brain” of the train which allows the driver to interact with the train’s systems for the most efficient performance and the Train Protection and Warning System safety feature.

London to Colchester is one of three routes on the simulator. All weather conditions and potential situations from snow and high winds to cows on the line can be thrown at the driver at the press of a button.

Drivers must complete a three-day course – a mixture of classroom learning and practical experience on the simulator, before they are able to complete their training on the real thing, still under the supervision of a driver instructor for a further two days.

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Training started last week – with social distancing observed by using two classrooms and allowing only person in the simulator at a time.

Clive Bastin, senior driver training and simulator manager for Greater Anglia, said: “The new trains are much more hi-tech than our existing fleet.

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“During the simulator training we make sure that drivers are able to use all the train’s different functions and features, so that they will be confident in any situation they might face when driving a real train.

“These new trains are great improvement for customers – but they’re also better for drivers, with superior acceleration and braking.”

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