De Lijn buys three simulators to train tram drivers

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn invests 1,5 million euros in buying three tram simulators. So tram drivers no longer have to attend their practical training lessons alone in real trams and traffic situations. In the future, part of the training will be given virtually.

De Lijn trains about 200 tram drivers annually. Some are new candidates; others are former bus drivers switching to trams. Today, practical training takes place in actual traffic conditions. However, this also means that vehicles and rails have to be available without hindering the daily tram service.

Real-life circumstances

A tram simulator, on the contrary, has innumerate advantages. It allows candidate drivers to drive a tram in real-life but specific surroundings. The trainer can opt for all thinkable situations and traffic interactions without risk for other road users.

The simulator has a cockpit and touch screens, offering a 180° frontal view. It is completed with a system of flexible and interchangeable operating panels. As a result, it can imitate real-life circumstances, including traffic signs, other traffic, and road users.

A foretaste of the job

The executive board of De Lijn approved the planned purchase, and delivery of the ‘vehicles’ is expected by 2030. The Brussels company Transurb, which won the tender where five companies participated, will deliver and maintain the simulators. They will also be used for tram driver refresher courses and offer candidate tram drivers a foretaste of the job.



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