Dutch Railways will set up a train simulator on July 2 and 3 at Rotterdam Central Station. This way, everyone can experience what it is like to be a train driver and to steer the newest Intercity. With the simulator, NS wants to draw attention to the professions of train driver and conductor.
The train simulator simulates the train driver’s workplace as realistically as possible. The controls and buttons are the same as those of the very latest Intercity, called ICNG. The Intercity New Generation will be the first to travel on the high-speed line between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Breda. Train driver Mark van Dooren: “In the simulator, you are the driver and it is up to you to drive the train safely and on time. The simulator is very realistic. You go through bad weather or a delayed train can pass in front of you. All things that you also encounter in real life.”
The simulator reacts immediately as soon as the driver departs, brakes or honks. A large screen shows the route the train will take. Van Dooren: “Three smaller screens show all the buttons and systems you need to control the train. Think of operating the pantograph, opening and closing doors, and how fast you can drive. Just like a real train, the simulator also has a deadman’s pedal. If you don’t operate it in time, an emergency braking will follow. In the simulator, we can switch off the deadman, so that people who are driving for the first time can also get used to it.”
NS currently has a total of 1100 vacancies
NS normally uses the train simulator internally to train drivers. In order to make people enthusiastic about a job as a train driver. NS is now making the train simulator available to everyone.
NS currently has a total of 1100 vacancies, spread across all business units. These include positions such as train driver off course, but also mechanics, safety & service employees, retail employees at the station and IT employees. In addition, NS urgently needs train drivers and conductors. Recently, NS announced that, as of 13 June, it will be able to drive less frequently on one route due to a lack of colleagues. This year, 220 people have already started training to become train driver or chief conductor, but more than 500 training places are available. NS pays for the training and participants receive a salary right from the start. The train driver training takes one year and the conductor training five months. Both are offered in the training center in Amersfoort.