Train Simulator. Are they realistic as a training tool?

Discussion in 'Modelling, Simulations & Games' started by Gareth111278, 2 Feb 2018.

  1. Gareth111278

    Gareth111278 Member

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    Hi
    My son is really into computer games, built his own computer etc. He knows I'm on the waiting list for a trainee driver vacancy, I passed assessment in November 2016 but got sidelined by the DB Freight drivers being made redundant. I'm currently a guard.
    Anyway, My son keeps saying I should get a train sim on the computer. He suggests Dove Tail Games TS2018
    How realistic are they though? I've 'driven' a 150 sim in Cardiff & that was obviously very good.

    I'm really not sure if its a good idea as I don't want to actually make training for real more difficult.

    Any advice would be welcome.

    Cheers, Gareth
     
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  3. DanTrain

    DanTrain Member

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    Hi,

    As a regular player, I’d say that the top end units seem pretty realistic. Have a look at www.armstrongpowerhouse.com
    , the class 150/2 unit or the 158 enhancement pack are pretty too notch. Equally the class 460 is highly realistic.

    Not being a driver, I obviously couldn’t say for sure, but I imagine that the sim would teach you the physics of a train and some of the feel of it. I’m not a driver, so don’t take my word for it, and it wouldn’t be of any use with any safety systems, adverse weather, incident response etc that I would imagine takes up a lot of training.

    What route would you be thinking of driving and which units? Some stuff may well be detrimental due to some appaulling physics, but some trains are fairly well modelled these days (not cheap mind!)

    Hope this helps a bit,

    Dan
     
  4. 156478

    156478 Member

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    I play regularly and have the Armstrong Powerhouse packs which considerably improve the sounds and physics of the trains in the game.

    It has to be noted that TFL Rail use train simulator to train their drivers and they use the "Raildriver" console that has levers and buttons also!
     
  5. Gareth111278

    Gareth111278 Member

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    Cheers for the replies.

    I'll have a look at Armstrong Power house Dan. My main concern is how the signalling works, do you learn the route so you know where the signals are as you would in real life?
    I'll be driving the Cambrian line, Pwllheli, Machynlleth, Aberystwyth Shrewsbury on ERTMS. Obviously i'd like to get a sim of that route but training on conventional signalling would be OK too.

    Cheers Gareth
     
  6. The Lad

    The Lad Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about practicing on a sim, you don't get the feel of the acceleration and especially braking. Sims are mainly used to practice 'what if' situations. I have heard it said that you never have a good day in a sim.
     
  7. Gareth111278

    Gareth111278 Member

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    Hi ,
    Thats probably good advice. I'm just getting bored stuck in my job as a guard & want to do something positive towards my new job.

    I'm thinking that it might be better for my overall development to get the drivers rule books & study those!
     
  8. DanTrain

    DanTrain Member

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    Probably true in many ways, the Cambrian line has very specific signalling that isn't simulated in TS, and in fact signalling in general in TS is a little buggy and not always too realistic. The only thing I might recommend is the Armstrong Powerhouse Class 158 pack, it's very new and is a pretty good representation of the physics and sounds of the unit if you want some practice. Saying that, I imagine a day or two actually on the line would be far more realistic, and the Cambrian line being fairly slow, the physics are probably a bit less important.

    Good luck :)
     
  9. Wivenswold

    Wivenswold Member

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  10. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Raildriver!?are you sure or is that what you have heard? The raildriver console is so far away from anything realistic or resembling uk cabs you might as well use an xbox controller.

    Truly shocking if thats the case.
     
  11. JonathanP

    JonathanP Member

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    The primary purpose of simulator training is to enable the trainee to run through unusual situations that can't be easily done in the real world(e.g. communication with signalman in case of failures, signal put back in front of train, etc.). This doesn't necessarily need super realism, only enough that the trainee can practise running through the correct procedure for each situation.

    Software used in the commercial world typically does not have particularly advanced graphics, nor fancy snow, rain or night lighting effects. You can learn how to deal with all that in the 'real world'. This sometimes causes people to say "That's not realistic, it doesn't look anything like a real railway", but that's not the point.

    My opinion is that realistic controls are required if you need to assess the instictive reactions of an experienced driver to emergency situations(I don't know how it in the UK, but in Germany every driver has a simulator assessment once a year which they must pass), but for basic training it doesn't really matter.

    One of the problems with using Train Simulator is that using anything other than the keyboard for control requires complex and fragile customisation for every loco to try and inject the control values into the scripts that all advanced vehicles rely on. The other problem with it is that makes me see it more as a game than any serious training tool is that the clock doesn't run at real time speed! From my experience with simulators used in the commercial world, anyone can get a train from A to B, but it takes skill and practice do it without losing time.
     
  12. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    I dont think its the only thing they use if true. Because the crossrail documentary showed an interior mockup of a class 345 cab for training. So train simulator might be used for some things but not others.
     
  13. 156478

    156478 Member

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    You can just glimpse the Raildriver console throughout this video.....
     
  14. 156478

    156478 Member

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    You can see the raildriver in many shots in this video....
     
  15. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    The use of Train Simulator along with RailDriver is in conjunction with Rail Professional Development and is called Desksim.

    It is simply to be used as a basic training tool in a classroom environment and isn't intended to learn how to drive or replicate what can be done in the full size simulator or provide any element of safety critical training. Just think stop/go, this is AWS/TPWS, take a 360 degree look at a cab, press some buttons and ask some questions.

    The issue initially was that the training program would take on so many new applicants at once, something was needed to train large numbers of new entrants on something physical in the classroom before moving on to the main simulator. As the main simulator(s) cost so much and are therefore small in number, there just wasn't the capability to have so many people going through training at once and having to rely only on time in the main simulator.

    Desksim1.jpg

    Desksim2.jpg
     
  16. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    A raildriver setup costs about £15000 and £5000 per annum support costs each workstation that seems an awful lot, do the to get customised software for their needs for that?
     
  17. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Compared to what it would cost to solely use a full size simulator it's peanuts. I don't want to really state how different the software is, but you could say the rolling stock was customised, it isn't a Class 313 being driven as speculated on other forums. Then there is all of the training material as well.

    It certainly isn't a case of here is a laptop, three monitors, Raildriver and Train Simulator.
     

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