Firefighter Training, Fireground Management

Dutch Railways Use RescueSim Simulator for Training

VSTEP’s virtual incident training simulator RescueSim is currently used by the Dutch Railways (NS) to train its personnel in tunnel evacuation procedures and railway incident management. Training has already been successfully started on five key locations in the Netherlands from January 1 st 2012 onwards and will be concluded later this year. The goal is to train all 6000 train drivers and conductors of the Dutch Railways during a one year period.

The demand by the Dutch Railways for a realistic virtual training system came following the incident and fire in the Schiphol railway tunnel on July 2 nd 2009. Following this incident, the Dutch Minister of Traffic and Waterways advised that all Railways personnel should be trained in tunnel evacuation procedures and communication. Following this advise, Dutch State Railways evaluated all available virtual training and communications systems for this purpose and finally selected RescueSim and the RescueSim Communications Trainer for training of all its personnel.

To guarantee realistic training, a virtual tunnel environment and different tunnel incident scenarios were created in the RescueSim simulator. Railways personnel is fully immersed into the virtual training and need to respond to the created incident following the correct communication and evacuation procedures. Good and clear communication and communication procedures are indispensible when training the evacuation of a crowded train. To allow realistic simulation of all means of communication a train driver and railway guard have at their disposal (dispatch radio, train intercom, cell phone) VSTEP developed the Communications Trainer, including all options and even limitations of the above mentioned communication tools. RescueSim and the RescueSim Communications Trainer allow realistic virtual training and full communications interaction between train driver, railway guard and train passengers, simulating actual train tunnel incidents in virtual 3D.

For training of its 6000 employees, The Dutch Railways have installed multiple RescueSim simulators on five key locations within the Netherlands, allowing staff nationwide to train at a center in their vicinity. There currently are RescueSim simulators in Amersfoort (2), Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Schiedam and Zwolle. Training is in full progress and will be concluded at the end of 2012.