Indian Railways is engaging an Australian firm for training drivers and also personnel involved in signalling and switching operations, in order to improve railway safety.
The Railways have floated tenders for setting up 14 training centres across the country, which will be equipped with top quality 3D simulators, and this is likely to be finalised by this yearend.
In 2014, the Railways had floated a similar tender of $30 million, which was bagged by the Sydac Australia, for setting up 12 training centres. The project is near completion. Speaking to this newspaper, Dermot Dixon, managing director of Sydac Australia, who was in the national capital this week, said the company has bid for the new tender.
The fresh project will have a greater number of simulators in these 14 centres.
He said, as part of the ongoing project, the company has delivered 12 full cab rail simulators and 72 smaller simulators and built training centres in 12 cities—Jodhpur, Vijayawada, Jhansi, Ghaziabad, Ahmedabad, Tatanagar, Kharagpur, Itarsi, Silliguri, Mumbai, Jalandhar and Kolkata.
There are over 12,000 electric and diesel locomotives, which run on the 66,000 km route across the country every day. There are around 86,000 train drivers in India. The government feels that it is very important to improve drivers’ alertness and safety in train operations. Train crew, locomotive pilots and assistance locomotive pilots are key frontline staff of the Indian Railways and play a key role in train operations and safety.
The idea behind setting up the training centres is to enhance the learning experience of the crew members and improve their productivity and driving skills vis-a-vis aspects like train dynamics and handling, dealing with unusual and hazardous event, route learning, and economical fuel efficient driving and overall safe operations.
Dixon said, during his visit to India, he also visited the transformation cell of the Indian Railways. “They have some exciting proposals like developing of driver training systems across India in different railway zones, in 20 years, on PPP model. For this, we took part in the roundtable workshop,” he added.
He said his company is also ready to provide training solutions to personnel of Indian Railways involved in signalling and switching operations.