Railway Coupling and Uncoupling Training

Our online CGI Coupling Trainer® lets you reduce rostering and travel costs to zero, achieve 100% consistency, give Live LMS Link and micro-credential feedback and deliver continuous compliant accreditation all from the depot, with no hardware beyond a standard PC and browser. 

Coupling and Uncoupling Training Challenges

Coupling/decoupling is one of the two primary procedures in train operations (train assembly, train driving). Coupling events may happen regularly per network, dozens of times a week, but rarely per driver, perhaps annually. Thus drivers may not have the opportunity to practise coupling and uncoupling regularly, which leads to skills degradation and safety and compliance breaches.

Coupling and uncoupling is a complex procedure, with variables including rear or front assist, mechanical or electric as well as different train types, weather, with or without passengers, at platform or not.  The procedure includes multiple sub-procedures including safely exiting a cab, radio protocols and  train control communications. 

Some key challenges associated with the training include:

Safety: Lack of regular practice can lead to skills degradation and safety breaches. This can have serious consequences for train drivers, passengers, and the public.

Event Duration: The traditional training method can take up to 4 hours per driver, plus travel time. This time quickly compounds. 

Lost Hours – Extra Cover: When drivers are unavailable due to training, overtime is required for other drivers to cover shifts.

Hours Per Year: You may need to train hundreds of drivers per year on coupling, which can have significant resourcing impacts.

Trainer Hours Per Year: Railway operators must pay trainers for their time in delivering coupling and uncoupling training. Trainers are a scarce and expensive resource.

Hourly Rates Per Role: The average hourly rate for train drivers and trainers is significant, and increasing.

Rostering / Backfill / Overtime Costs: Railway operators must carefully roster drivers and trainers to ensure that training can be delivered without impacting operations. This can be a complex and time-consuming process.

Asset / Yard Access Costs: Railway operators must provide access to assets and yards for coupling and uncoupling training, which can be costly and have subsequent impacts on availability.

Data Inputs: Training results may be manual and take time to and resources to enter into the Competency or Learning Management System (CMS/LMS).


CGI Engagement has been the key to quickly winning trust and understanding on hundreds of projects across millions of issues and elements.

Compliance With Regulations: Without keeping training up to date, railway operators may be lagging in terms of compliance with regulations.

Throughput Issues: Traditional methods of coupling and uncoupling training can be a bottleneck for railway operators, and it can be difficult to keep up with demand.

Regularity: the difficulty of regular training with the extreme time demands on train drivers and operators can make it difficult to keep this training up to date across hundreds of drivers.

But What About VR?… Virtual Reality (VR) and physical simulators have been tried by operators for coupling training, but have challenges like:

VR is Awkward: Many do not like to put on VR headsets, which can be bulky and heavy. Additionally, drivers may experience dizziness or nausea when using VR.

Physical Devices = Physical travel: Trainees must travel to the equipment location which can be time-consuming and expensive. Simulators even VR consume floorspace adding to costs.

One User Per Device: Physical devices usually have one user per time – which is a bottleneck to keep up with training demand.

In-person Support: Physical devices like VR often need a human guide, a check-in process, on-site technical support etc. This all requires extra costly resources.

Expensive to Build and Update: VR content is expensive to purchase and maintain. Typical prices for VR training are $2m – $4m plus maintenance costs and rapid redundancy.

What if there was a desktop CGI procedural training solution drivers could do in their downtime, at the depot?

Introducing our CGI Coupling Trainer™️ Solution

Our online CGI Coupling Trainer® CGI trainer is a comprehensive solution that requires nothing but a standard computer, mouse and keyboard. It is a browser-based interactive CGI training tool that helps drivers learn training procedures in a realistic and immersive environment with continual clear feedback.

The CGI Coupling Trainer® process includes hazard identification, cabin exit, component identification, and safety-critical communication protocols to ensure that drivers are fully prepared for all aspects of the coupling and uncoupling process.

Some of the key elements of our CGI Coupling Trainer®:

20-Minute Training: Training modules completed in 20m, in drive downtime at depot giving enormous savings in administration.

Increased Retention and Recall: Realistic interactions and AAA visual quality help confident procedural retention and recall.

Reduced Rostering and On-Costs: Reduce the need to roster drivers off for training, which leads to significant cost savings.

First-Person 3D Training In-Browser: Interactive first-person and third-person 3D CGI viewpoints support procedural retention. 

Realistic User Inputs: Our unique push-pull-lift–grab-twist controls give a tactile learning experience with no need for VR goggles.

100% Consistency: A consistent training programme for all drivers, regardless of their location or prior experience.

Increase Footplate Time: Drivers complete re-accreditation requirements in stand-by time, without travel or distraction from their regular duties, thus increasing resource capacity.

Decreases Asset Impact: This training method reduces the need for physical assets, such as training yards and real rolling stock.

Supports Off-The-Job Learning:  Drivers learn and review coupling procedures outside of the classroom for rapid re-accreditation.

LMS/CMS Link: We connect the system via API with your Learning and/or Competency Management Systems (LMS).


In addition to the benefits listed above, our online CGI Coupling Trainer® offers several benefits from a learner’s perspective:

Accelerated Skill Competence: Drivers practise skills in a safe digital environment to accelerate competence and confidence.

Live Feedback: Real-time performance responses and data to identify and correct errors on the fly. Every data point recorded. 

Authentic Procedural Learning: Realistic and immersive 3D design allowing drivers to interact authentically for improved learning.

Competency Alignment: Mapped to the Australian TLI42615 Certificate IV in Train Driving (Urban Electric) competency, and adjusted to other jurisdictions for regulator compliance.

Leader-Board Comradery: Option for Leader-Boards to encourage friendly competition between staff to improve performance.

Customisable: Adapted to your processes, rolling stock, train cab, characters and environment and linked to your LMS. 

Aligned to Your LTS: We align training with your Learning Technology Strategy (LTS) and support LTS deployment.

Portable and Scalable: Our Trainer is accessible anywhere with unlimited concurrent users that suits operators of all sizes.

Supports Growth Targets: The trainer is used to attract staff and drive growth in onboarding as well as re-accreditation.

Micro-Credentialing: Infinite data-points can be recorded for every interaction analysis and training credentials support. 

Our online CGI Coupling Trainer® is a comprehensive, trusted and effective solution for railway coupling and uncoupling training. It offers several benefits for both railway operators and learners, including improved safety, compliance, efficiency, convenience, feedback and affordability. 

The CGI Coupling Trainer® fits into our suite of training tools to support industrial organisations to improve safety, efficiency and competence in resource-constrained workforces. 

Features of the CGI Coupling Trainer™️

3D Visual Learning
Captivating and precise interactive 3D visualisation engages learners.

Unlimited Concurrent Users
No bottlenecks by training class sizes or physical devices.

Access Anywhere
Setup in any depot on any PC – or let trainees access from anywhere. 

Use Depot Downtime
Training is on computers at your depot between shifts. No travel needed.

Live direct link to Learning / Competency Management System via API.

20-Minute Training 
Fast, intuitive, and accessible training allows continuous accreditation.

Any number of data points for precise learning analysis and trainee feedback.

Mapped to Regulations
Training mapped to national competencies for compliance and authorisation.

Leader Boards
Create friendly rivalry between trainees to improve organisation performance.

Benefits of the CGI Coupling Trainer™️

Reduced Rostering
Reduce expenses with fewer meetings, re-works and revisions.

Increase Footplate Time
Keep drivers productive with less distraction with training travel.

Increased Retention
Faster recovery when trains are disabled with highly confident staff.

Better Procedural Retention 
Interactive challenges and AAA visuals enhance recall and confidence.

Less Demand on Trainers 
Reduce costs and demands on stretched trainers and key staff.

Much Less Admin
Nothing to organise. Trainees access anytime and it’s all linked live.

100% Compliant
Reduce admin and regulatory burden with auditable and compliant training.

Resource Efficiency
Costs go down and resource capacity increases through hyper-efficient training.

Accelerated Competence
Move new and experienced staff up the competency ladder quickly. 

Industry Leaders Who See the Future


Contact us today to get a free RoI review of your training methods

Talk to Urban CGI today.