New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin training its subway operators with a virtual rail simulator, courtesy of a deal with FAAC Inc., which has developed a system that provides simulation of all operational aspects of the Kawasaki R160 railcar.
FAAC constructed a virtual training environment that simulates 330 miles of the MTA New York City Transit rail system.
The simulator is based on FAAC's MR-2000 Municipal Rail Simulator platform, consisting of controls to operate the train, one or more visual display units, a sound system, an operator’s seat (either an authentic seat or functional reproduction) and an integrated fault workstation.
The simulator uses specialized, modular software to support construction of pre-defined training missions. For example, a number of training missions specific to the R160 will be available to MTA upon delivery of the simulators. The mission builder software also enables MTA to define custom training missions that meet specific learning objectives.
Described by MTA officials as one of the most sophisticated transit simulators on the market, the R160 system also includes a track profile system that allows real-time manipulation of events in the simulator, a cab familiarization station to promote comfort within the cab’s layout, a fault workstation for trainees to isolate and resolve problems and a program that depicts realistic characteristics of the system, such as crowded platforms, work crews and interactive conditions.