Watch subway drivers get acquainted with the new high-tech training simulator
The first of 46 new trains is expected to arrive in the region at the end of the year and enter service in mid-2023.
In the meantime, manufacturer Stadler has provided a full-scale replica of the new cabin that uses CGI to provide a realistic and interactive driving experience.
The simulator, which has been installed at the Nexus Learning Center in South Shields, will be used for essential training and familiarization before the new fleet hits the rails.
The entire metro network and 60 stations were programmed, appearing on high-resolution screens in front of the driver as if looking through the actual windshield.
All weather conditions and potential snow and high wind situations and even potential hazards such as cows on the line can be projected onto the driver with the push of a button.
Michael Richardson, Nexus Fleet and Depot Replacement Program Manager at Nexus, is delighted: “The new simulator will be essential in preparing our drivers for their new metro trains. It’s a really exciting time for them to be able to use this amazing new technology.
“This really marks the start of a new era in how we can train our metro drivers and it will be used for many years to come. We are grateful to Stadler for providing us with driver training assistance so fantastic and immersive. We’ve never had anything like it before.
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“The simulator allows drivers to prepare for the change, as the new trains are much more high-tech than the current fleet. It provides an opportunity to get used to all the different functions and features before drivers have a chance to drive them for real in 2023.
“We are months away from a really exciting moment when we see the first new train arriving in the region. By implementing a simulator, we ensure that we are ready to make a smooth transition to this new modern metro fleet. »
Marc Robson, Regional Fleet Manager at Stadler, added: “We are delighted to have delivered this highly sophisticated equipment to Nexus.
“This will be instrumental in the success of the training program, allowing drivers to become familiar with the new trains we are currently building and supporting a smooth transition from the old to the new fleet.”
Craig Pearson is one of 174 conductors employed by Nexus and has played a key role in helping his colleagues prepare for the new trains.
“The new simulator is amazing,” he said.
“It already gives us a real idea of what the new trains are capable of. The level of detail is fantastic and each route is easily identifiable.
“It’s better than we expected. The first feedback from the drivers has been very positive.”