Not a single case of “line failure” has been reported on the Western Railway (WR), nearly a year after it began training its train pilots on a state-of-the-art simulator at the Virar car shed. With 230 pilots being trained in the last year, even the punctuality of trains on the suburban section has improved with pilots reacting faster to instances of trespassing and flooded tracks.
“Our motormen are reacting better. Also, there have been no line failures recorded this year,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer of the WR.
The simulator was installed in August 2018 at the cost of Rs 12 crore to train motormen for piloting an electrical multiple unit (EMU). Minor failures that caused the train to be stuck on the tracks were termed as “line failures”, which would only be resolved after the train was attended to by technical staff.
However, the motormen, at a five-day intensive training at the Virar car shed, were trained to sharpen their reaction in situations such as waterlogging and trespassing and to conduct troubleshooting measures during line failures.
Created in the shape of a motor cab, a motorman is first asked to pilot the simulator from a given section. “The entire Mumbai suburban section was recorded with the buildings and infrastructure around the tracks being recreated on the visual screen visible through the cab,” an official said.