Salisbury Tunnel Incident drove South Western Railway to adopt GSM-R simulation app
A train cab has lots of features, many of which are not used by guards or drivers on a day-to-day basis.
As an organisation SWR must assess drivers and guards on the use of many of these features as part of their regular assessment processes, so drivers and guards need a way to become familiar with this functionality to ensure they can be assessed and maintain their competence.
The Salisbury Tunnel Junction accident, which occurred in 2021, resulted in a recommendation from the Joint Industry Investigation to provide guards with more in-depth understanding of the use and features of the GSM-R cab unit.
SWR licenced Denova’s GSMR app to re-brief guards’ competence on cab features and this also gave benefits for drivers to be able to refresh their knowledge. A briefing style training course was developed with a series of scenarios using the GSM-R cab unit app which is available on both mobile and tablet.
Head of Operational Standards at SWR Stewart Player said, “Denova’s GSM-R app is highly interactive and very realistic. It enables the user to press buttons, it speaks to the user, it enables the user to make a call or send a text message; it really is an exact simulated double of the real in-cab layout!”
SWR are using the app as an aid within their guard training courses, alongside a training guide, to ‘bring the training to life’. They can bring in rare events and procedures that may never experience on a train and when messages are pushed to the driver or guard, they will know exactly what that will look like and prompt the individual to acknowledge and react to the activity.
“Denova has really considered how the in-cab functionality works and reflected that accurately in the GSM-R app. We have been able to tailor the app to suit our requirements such as changing the voice to someone local to SWR, updating the phone book etc. The team at Denova helped us manage the process to ensure our IT department had all the requirements necessary for us to adopt this as a training app and that went very smoothly. It’s a great tool. Our drivers and guards find it really easy to use and it reflects the functionality of the cab really well,” said Stewart.