Sugar Cane Railway Locomotive Training Simulator

Click on thumbnails for larger images

We also operate a locomotive simulator on site for driver training. It is based on the 94 class locomotive. We use this to teach train management (managing dynamic forces in the train), developing driving methodologies for distributed power trains and compliance training for safe working. I am pretty proud of this as it was my project developing and building the simulator.

The computer cabinet with the bank of computers that run the simulator.

The computer cabinet with the bank of computers that run the simulator.

The compact set of driverís controls

The compact set of driverís controls.  It is a 94 class console and is detachable.   As the simulator further develops, several different consoles will be available so drivers can choose which class of locomotive they wish to drive.  The instructor will then select the appropriate locomotive model on the simulator and the operating characteristics of that class of locomotive will then be simulated.

A view of the driverís station

A view of the driverís station.  On the right is the forward vision monitor where the driver can see the track ahead.  In the centre is the train performance display monitor. 
This gives very detailed information to the driver in real time.  For example, track profile and where the train is situated on the track, track curvature, coupling status for every bin in the train (buff or draft state) the force on every coupling in the train, train speed, acceleration, air pressures, all relevant operating pressures and temperatures. Below this monitor are the driverís controls. 
To the left of the screen is the rear vision monitor where drivers can observe the train behind them as they do when driving real trains. 
Having forward and rear vision also allows us to run trains in both directions unlike many other train simulators in use today.  The simulator can build trains up to 200 bins in length, with up to seven locomotives and a brake van on the rear. 
The driverís controls allow the driver to control a single unit, multiple units and a brake van if required.

The instructor's console in the next room

The instructor's console in the next room.  From here the instructor loads the simulator runs, and prints post run analysis reports. The instructor can also play the role of a controller by communicating with the driver via radio and clearing signals etc for the driver in the simulator.  All voice radio is recorded and can be replayed for training purposes.  The instructor can also implement locomotive faults and change climatic conditions.  For example the instructor may introduce rain to the scenario and can also reduce adhesion to assess a driverís wet weather driving skills.

The instructors main computer monitor can be changed

The instructors main computer monitor can be changed to view several different screens.  This shot shows an animated screen of the driverís console.  This replicates in real time what the driver is doing with the controls. 
The instructor can observe what the driver is doing in the simulator and identify poor driving practices.

Close up shot of the forward vision monitor showing the track ahead

Close up shot of the forward vision monitor showing the track ahead.  We opted for CGI as opposed to real footage.  It makes life a lot easier to alter scenarios and make the simulation more interactive.  With video footage it is expensive to film and what you get on the day you shoot the film, is what you are stuck with forever unless you want to go and re-shoot it again!!  I had a crash course in a programme called Studio 3dmax and now build all of our simulator footage.

This is an example of fog which is one of the environmental influences an instructor can introduce to a simulator

This is an example of fog which is one of the environmental influences an instructor can introduce to a simulator scenario. The simulator also runs in real time, so if you start a scenario at 1800hrs, as you drive it will gradually get dark until it is night. So you have to rely on headlights etc.

This is a close up of the train performance display

This is a close up of the train performance display.  As you can see in this shot, the train appears on the track profile so you can see exactly where the train is situated in relation to curves and gradients etc. It also allows the driver to see 2km in advance.  We GPS survey our track to get very accurate track data for the simulator.  Track profile is accurate to within 30mm of the real track.

The simulator was built for us by an Adelaide company SYDAC. 
If anyone is interested in reading more about them
they can look at the SYDAC web site.
These guys really are world leaders in all types of simulation.


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