For the first time in its history, Bangladesh Railway (BR) has introduced a locomotive simulator to train entry-level loco masters.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan inaugurated the set of locomotive simulators at Kamalapur Railway Station around 11:30am today.
After the inauguration, the minister along with top officials of Rail Ministry and Railway visited the building where the simulators have been setup.
These custom-made high-tech simulators will run on virtual tracks. In the first phase, 300km parts of the Dhaka-Chattogram and Dhaka-Khulna routes have been digitised and are being used in the simulator, said the project director.
Just like training of pilots, the trainees would be given random situations to deal with in the simulator, which include emergency stops and signal changes
The move came at a time when BR is facing a serious shortage of instructors and loco masters to operate trains, forcing many of them to work extra hours to keep the service operational, officials said.
The state-of-the-art motion simulators will help entry-level loco masters cut short their field-level training period, improve skills and ultimately help government’s bid to enhance the service, they added.
BR has set up the diesel locomotive simulators -- one broad gauge and another meter gauge (MG) -- nearby Kamalapur Railway Station at a cost of Tk 15.60 crore.
Spanish firm “Lander Simulator and Training Solution” supplied the simulators. The company also constructed the building where those were installed and provided training to four persons including three instructors, said Project Director Nur Ahmed Hossain.
At present, BR has 1,129 loco masters, sub-loco masters and assistant loco masters against the sanctioned post of 1,742. Usually, senior loco masters train the entry-level ones. BR has 386 trains and at least two loco masters (senior and assistant) are required for each.