Taiwan hails home-built locomotive simulator as milestone for rail industry

The simulator helps train drivers deal with emergency situations such as earthquakes and typhoons

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Officials from transportation ministry and THSR board the locomotive simulator (Photo/THSR)

Officials from transportation ministry and THSR board the locomotive simulator (Photo/THSR)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) and National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) jointly inaugurated a Taiwan-built “locomotive simulator” on Wednesday (April 24), lauding it as a milestone for the country's rail industry.

Developed by NCSIST over the course of 29 months, the simulator is designed to deal with emergencies likely to be encountered by high-speed trains, including earthquakes, typhoons, storms, or situations when airborne objects, like balloons, get entangled with overhead wires, according to THSR.

The locomotive simulator can even be attached to real trains for training purposes. This allows drivers to practice standard operating procedures in staged emergency scenarios, thereby providing a safer transport service.

The biggest challenge in developing the simulator lay in the inaccessibility to math models from foreign rail manufacturers required to prompt human reactions in various conditions, Gao Chung-hsing (杲中興), president of NCSIST, was quoted by Central News Agency as saying. The success of the project can be attributed to the provision of railway operation data by THSR over its 12 years of history, he added.

With locally-drawn resources, the collaboration has drastically reduced costs and will help increase rail system maintenance efficiency. It has also laid the foundation for new features and modifications to be developed for the locomotive simulator according to future demand, THSR said.