Rail

BART training becomes virtual-reality

Posted on March 1, 2002

When train operators at San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit claim it takes about three years before they feel confident doing their jobs, it’s time to re-evaluate their training program. That is the conclusion BART officials arrived at after taking a survey of train operators that revealed they might not be adequately prepared to face real-life on-the-job challenges. BART training officials believe a new virtual-reality program will go a long way in correcting the problem. “If we have better trained operators, we have increased safety and better customer service,” said Calvin Coleman, BART’s manager of operations training and development. The Train Operators Training Simulator will duplicate scenarios operators could face on the job, such as inclement weather, engine failures and even terrorist attacks. Repeated simulator experience will enable operators to hone their skills until their responses become automatic. Currently, BART’s program consists of 11 weeks of classroom learning, followed by four weeks of on-the-job training with an experienced operator. Pete Snyder, BART board member, told the Oakland Tribune he knew something had to be done after visiting a training facility and finding it was basically a console laid out on a classroom table. According to Coleman, officials recognized the need in 1995 to incorporate new technology into the program and boost practice time. Since then, with the help of a state grant, they have been taking steps to improve BART’s training procedures. BART is seeking funding for the project, as well as companies to partner with in creating the software. The plan is to have software and computer work stations completed within a year, and then to work toward establishing four simulators. These will cost from $3 million to $5 million each and will have walk-in graphics, creating a virtual world to simulate all BART lines.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Feds wants more proof of local money for Durham-Orange light rail line

Go Triangle expects its Board of Trustees to vote April 26 on a $70 million engineering contract, which would be executed only after the FTA allows the project to advance.

SEPTA trains collide, injuring 4

Crews are still working to remove the 18 cars involved, with each car weighing about 37 tons. The NTSB is on the scene and fully in charge of the investigation.

Minn. legislators attempting to move $900M from rail to roads, bridges

GOP legislators have long sought to block planning and funding for light-rail projects, saying they put metro-area priorities above rural Minnesota.

Alstom secures $105M Australian trainset contract

The contract will expand PTV’s fleet to 101 trains (606 cars) delivered from Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Ballarat since 2002.

DC Streetcar fares to remain free

The decision to hold off on charging fares was based on two reasons — District Department of Transportation feared charging even $1 per ride would scare away passengers and charging a fare would actually cost the District money.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close