New footage reveals what it is like to learn to drive an Elizabeth Line train



This new footage reveals what it is like to learn to drive an Elizabeth Line train using a simulator. 

Before train drivers can take to the tracks on the Elizabeth Line, they are put through practical training in a life-size train cab simulator.

Rail company MTR is aiming to train 400 drivers before the new line opens as part of Crossrail in December.

And the cab, which is an exact replica of the new trains, offers immersive training including for situations like trackside fires to learning train routes or making passenger announcements.

The simulator runs much like a video game, with large-scale screens in place of the windows of the train

The simulator is an exact copy of an Elizabeth Line train cab.

It provides trainee drivers with practical experience before undertaking 175 hours of real-life training on the line.

The simulator, which features a large HDTV at the front as well as screens to replicate the views through the side door windows, runs much the same as a video game.

Signals, speed limit signs, residential areas, green spaces and passengers waiting at stations are all included in the programme.

Trainees may also face harsh weather conditions, people working on the line or trespassers.

First glimpse inside the new Crossrail stations

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Glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels at Bond Street

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Soho street map detail at Tottenham Court Road

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Escalators and acoustic ceiling drums being installed at Tottenham Court Road

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Glass panels featuring a Soho street map at Tottenham Court Road

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Acoustic ceiling drums being installed at Tottenham Court Road

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Bespoke brickwork at Paddington station

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Glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels

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Bespoke brickwork at Woolwich station

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Soho street map detail at Tottenham Court Road

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Soho street map detail at Tottenham Court Road

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Curved glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels line the platform tunnels at Farringdon

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Curved glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels line the platform tunnels at Farringdon

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Glass-fibre reinfoirced concrete panels line cross passage and terrazzo flooring at Farringdon station

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Glass-fibre reinforced concrete panels at Tottenham Court Road

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They are able to drive the train as if it were real, as well as control on-board CCTV, check maintenance records, do passenger announcements and respond to emergencies.

Outside of the simulator sits a control area where other drivers and trainers can watch the trainee in the simulator, add scenarios and alter situations in real-time.

MTR Crossrail operations development manager Gary Eccles said: “It’s quite hard for someone to come [onto a train] and pick it up – there’s lots of acronyms.

“We can use the simulator for some of the practical… and give our drivers experience before going on the train.

Driver trainers, such as Gary Ecclestone (pictured), can control scenarios in the simulator from a separate station outside

“Whether it’s a fire on the line, a car on the line, a landslide or people on the line, there’s lots we can do so the driver knows how to deal with a situation.

“We can’t do that with the 175 hours of practical training as it’s unlikely those situations will occur.

“It’s key that we can put the drivers in those situations.”

The practice forms part of a nine-month training course, which also includes theory, to become a qualified Crossrail train driver.

Crossrail Tunnel July 2017 – In pictures

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Cable management systems installed in Stepney Green eastbound cavern

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Overhead catenary system installed in Thames Tunnel

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Engineers installing overhead catenary system in the Connaught Tunnel

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Cable management systems installed in Crossrail tunnel

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Engineers installing overhead catenary system in the Thames Tunnel

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New gantry installed over tracks at entrance to Victoria Dock Portal

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Overhead catenary system installed in Thames Tunnel

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Engineers installing the overhead catenary system in the Thames Tunnel

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Engineers installing the overhead catenary system in the Connaught Tunnel

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Overhead catenary system brackets and cable trays installed in entrance to Thames Tunnel

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Cabling being installed in entrance to Thames Tunnel

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Installing overhead catenary system in the Connaught Tunnel

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Installing overhead catenary system in the Connaught Tunnel

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Crossrail has so far qualified 240 drivers, with around 150 more still left to train.

And the firm is also pushing to recruit more women.

Since MTR acquired the contract, Crossrail has increased the number of women in employment from 3.4 per cent to 11 per cent.

And 12.4 per cent of new recruits to the rail line are women.

Trainee: Vicky Badham-May applied for the role after becoming a single parent

Vicky Badham-May, who was filmed in training on the simulator, has been training for five months. She is due to have her first shift on board the real trains this weekend.

A mother-of-one, Ms Badham-May said she applied for the job after becoming a single parent.

She said: “I got made a single parent a couple of years ago and I needed a job as my previous company had gone into administration.

“I’ve got to be able to provide for my son now because it’s just me.

“This is going to give me security for the rest of my life and it’s going to give my son security.”

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Of her experience on the simulator, she added: “It gets people that bit more excited and it gives you a little bit more confidence.

“It has made me a little bit more confident.”

New trains destined for the Elizabeth line are currently in use on TfL Rail between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

Three services will operate on the Elizabeth line when it opens at the end of 2018: Paddington to Abbey Wood, Paddington to Heathrow and Liverpool Street to Shenfield.



Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/new-footage-reveals-what-it-is-like-to-drive-the-crossrail-train-simulator-a3756756.html

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