Machine Testing and Monitoring Center
The Machine Testing and Monitoring Center is a modern facility established by the Railway Transport Office. The center is equipped with 3 simulators based on motion platforms with payload up to 1800 kg dedicated to heavy full cockpits applications as a electric locomotive, shunting locomotive and electric multiple unit. The Center is both the main examination center for future drivers entering the profession of train driver and for applicants for train drivers’ certificates and licenses. All exams will be conducted using the latest technologies and IT solutions. The IT examination module has been designed specifically for the Railway Transport Office, thanks to which UTK has the opportunity to independently and innovative check the knowledge and skills of candidates for train drivers on a European scale.
Especially at the beginning of a professional career, training on a simulator is a form of prevention against human errors. Consolidating and shaping the appropriate reactions and behaviors of train drivers and ensuring the level of knowledge and competence are equal guarantees safe running of trains in reality and are the basis for improving of the safety of railway transport. In Poland, training with the use of rail simulator is obligatory. This is a minimum of 3 hours of simulated driving per year.
Railway Vehicle Simulators
Previously, only drivers of railway vehicles at speeds above 120 km / h were required to conduct professional development with the use of simulators. From now, every driver will be subject to mandatory annual training. Training with the use of a railway vehicle simulator should enable the assessment of the driver’s handling of a railway vehicle, as well as his reaction in both standard and emergency situations. The training should be able to reproduce a variety of scenarios and should take place on devices that can simulate various conditions, failures and events. Equally important is the appropriate scenarios of exercises, taking into account the experience of training centers so far, as well as the situations that led to accidents on the railroad.
Various Training Scenarios
UTK has published 30 training scenarios covering various situations a driver may encounter during his work. In addition to standard activities, they also include unusual events and take into account any irregularities that may appear in the train composition. The simulator allows developing habits of action in situations that rarely happen in the real world. This is, for example, about the appropriate use of the radio.
Currently, in Poland there are 17.5 thousand people running trains and railway vehicles, including 15.8 thousand are drivers with a license and a train driver’s certificate. The average age of a driver is 47 years. The generation gap in this profession is still threatening – there are fewer new, young drivers than those entering the retirement age, therefore training with the use of simulators is also to encourage young people to acquire competences in this profession.
Full Cabin Train Simulators
In UTK’s project Sim Factor (main contractor) used solutions which involve full cabin reproduction. As a basis, was to build replicas of vehicle cabins and dedicated installations compliant with railway industry standards. The replicas have all the elements, just like the real vehicle. The 180-degree view means complete simulation of side windows together with virtual side mirrors.The cabin simulator has its own sound system enabling realistic rendering of sounds and vehicle surroundings. Each cabin simulator is also equipped with such elements as mechanical ventilation or the train driver’s chair and footrest adjustment to vehicle type. Moreover, in the cabins there are often driver’s assistant’s station and a touch screen presenting the rest of the locomotive elements which need to be operated by the train driver, such as low voltage boards etc. The cabin also has a virtual radio (with GSM-R) and intercom. Modulated contact with train dispatcher/instructor is ensured.
Each of three cabin simulators is ready to have a six degree of freedom motion platform installed. The platform makes it possible to model the physics of the vehicle and all the forces which affect the train driver’s cabin while driving and during atypical events (such as train set derailment). Managing the platform gives an option of adjusting the forces affecting the vehicle depending on the chosen configuration of the virtual vehicle started at a given time by the instructor. The platform also adjusts itself in a dynamic way to the size of the train set and to multiple operations. The motion system is full compatible with on-screen visualization as well as with VR. The motion platform has been personalized in accordance with the client’s guidelines and the corporate identity of UTK and Sim Factor.
3 x PS-6TL-1800, the 6DoF motion platform is mainly intended for professional applications in defense sector, flight and driving simulation or entertainment industry. The PS-6TL-1800 is perfect for applications with heavy cockpits.