Railway Route Competency. Easier driver qualifications.

Our railway partners deliver route competency qualification in 50% less time, ahead of time. Lower labour. Months ahead in calendar time. Less rostering, much less on-site or in-cab supervision. Access online with no simulator and no goggles required. Step into the future with Urban CGI Railway Route Competency products.

Is Railway Route Competency taking too long?

Train drivers need to be qualified on a track or route to be able to drive that route in revenue services, whether for freight or passenger rail. Truly, train drivers need to be qualified for a ‘sub-network’ of interconnected routes to maximise rostering efficiency. 

“Practical runs” of upgraded or new routes for train drivers has been a conventional method for rail route competency training – including a schematic map and signal arrangement plan. 

Train drivers maybe competent in driving a train, but need route-specific training to be qualified to drive a railway route. Route competency expires if undriven by a driver for a period of time.

When routes change, through upgrades to signals, gradients and layouts, or when drivers are learning a new route for a new operator or location, they are required to achieve route competency and be route qualified. 

In the railway industry, this has been largely achieved in cabin with a route-qualified driver teaching the route one-on-one or one-to-few.

For any route, qualified train drivers need to be competent and confident on the location of signals, kilometre markings, track components, risk areas, sidings, pedestrian and level crossings  and especially gradients as different inclines and declines require specific braking and throttling behaviours for each train – from a suburban metro train to a loaded 2km freight train. Thus familiarisation landmarks and trackside elements within and beyond the railway corridor are important cues. 

Physical simulators do not have the throughput for route familiarisation across hundreds of drivers per year in route upgrades nor to manage new drivers and intake. Physical simulators are slow and expensive to buy, maintain, develop content and are physically in one location.

Urban CGI Route inductions have transformed the MTM process from 14 weeks on-track to one hour in the classroom then online access.

In practical runs, the route qualified train driver drives the track teaching and familiarising the trainee with components. This puts pressure on the team to have capacity to teach hundreds of drivers, or few drivers many times. It may lead to inconsistent training and knowledge transfer. 

Route competency updates are required for hundreds of qualified and new drivers per year in a regional network. 

Hundreds of drivers may need to achieve route competency in a few short weeks for an upgraded metro track pre-commissioning, during operational readiness. 

In practical runs, each driver is required to travel to the site and have instructed training in cabin. 

For an upgraded route on an urban network, this route requalification process takes 12-16 weeks for the 300-1000 drivers to drive the track 3 or more times, slowly at first, then at track speed. This is logistically very difficult and can be culturally challenging in industrialised workforces. 

In this time, the track will be unavailable for operations and/or construction. Every unavailable track day has direct and opportunity costs of tens of thousands of dollars. For 100 days at just $10,000/day is $1m.

For a regional freight network, competent train drivers on new routes may take 12 months, and over 35 journeys up and down the track before being competent and confident. Route competency training OPEX costs escalate to tens of millions per annum.

The train drivers under route instruction have much downtime, require complex rostering,  considerable overtime, travel and extra administration and management. The sheer complexity may impact customer service and revenue services.

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Railway Route Induction examples from Urban CGI


How to achieve Route Competency faster with CGI

We have invested deeply and built a CGI process that can deliver precision CGI training tools for route competencies within 40 business days. This means, for Operational Readiness, you can be ahead of time for route competency training. 

You can have your staff inducted offsite, in the classroom and/or online well ahead of track access, in high precision visual formats using CGI or real cabin video. 

For CGI, we have the skills, workflow and capability to deliver the exact and precise future environment. This includes track upgrade, rail signals, exacting details including train whistle signals, old and new railway signals, wig wag crossings, axle counters, track belize, OLEs and every detail necessary in AAA visual quality. 

We provide informational overlays including track speed and gradient inclinometer as well as labelling of all elements to your standards.

Our standard CGI product includes the Up Track and Down Track simulation for each train movement and scenario with exact train physics and audio environment. We include train driver cabin view, and can include an overhead view for Train Control and Signallers.

The CGI product can be delivered as a standard MP4 video file in HD 1080p format. This can be used in classroom and accessed online via your intranet or our hosting.

Track videos, from real cameras or from CGI, can then be converted into interactive learning tools accessible online. 

This helps you verify that train drivers know which behaviours to do on which section of the track, validating confidence and competence. 

We transform in-cab video or CGI video to interactive cabin-view test and learn familiarisation, with all the procedural learning elements required for route competency. 

Examples include when to brake, when to throttle up due to approaching gradients changes, identification of signals and track elements by location and by name. 

The inputs are linked to your LMS and/or our CMS (learning / content management systems) for unlimited feedback data points as required.

In short, we transform your Route Qualification process from a physical, expensive and slow process to a digital learning solution.

Whether you are metro, regional or suburban, passenger or freight – our Digital Railway Route Inductions are saving clients tens of thousands of hours a year and getting them months ahead of time. 

Features of Urban CGI Railway Route Inductions

AAA Visual Quality
Photo realistic CGI Simulation.
“Best in Market” visualisation.

Information Overlays
Naming of signals, crossings, street names, axle counters and features. 

100% Accurate to Inputs
OLEs, track gradients, cabling, components and context from survey.

Weekly CGI Workshops
Work collaboratively with weekly workshops to edit and review live. 

Rapid Deployment
40 business days to deploy.
Accelerations available.

Video Mark-up System
Login and leave comments and squiggles on any video frame for easy feedback.

Inclinometer Overlay
Gradient change per metre as ratio  (1:100) and percent (0.015%) to three decimals.

Route Map Overlay
Signal arrangement plan route map overlay with train position.

100% Digital
Paperless workflow. Use MP4 CGI videos online and in classroom. Link to LMS. 

Benefits of Urban CGI Railway Route Induction Training

100% Ahead of Time
All training can be completed weeks and months before go-live.

Better Knowledge Retention 
AAA visual quality gives deeper knowledge and faster, richer learning.

Improve Customer Service
Better trained staff, more capacity and less downtime improves rail revenue.

Perpetual Self-Accreditation 
Staff access CGIs on their phone or tablet for self-serve familiarisation.

No Assets Decommissioned
No track, rolling stock, sites are out of commission.

Lower logistics
Administration reduction across rostering, travel, site access etc. 

Rostering Improvement
From day/s of training, plus travel, to 1 hour in classroom. Or all online. 

100% Consistency
Convert expert knowledge precisely into training tools for all trainees. 

Cost Positive
>50% cost reduction for inductions.
Plus opportunity and secondary savings.

Industry leaders who deploy Urban CGI


See how CGI can get you ahead of schedule.

Message us to learn about our processes and the ROI you can achieve with our Digital Railway products.