April 2011 in London Underground
Metropolitan Line Train Operators are concerned about the lack of 'road handling' training being provided for the new S Stock trains.
The reporter comments that in the past Train Operators received two weeks' classroom training followed by specific road handling duties with an Instructor Operator, where staff were not expected to operate new units by themselves. Currently staff still receive classroom training but the about the amount of road handling training received varies greatly.
Some staff have had sufficient time to do this training where as others have received little, if any at all. The reporter is concerned that without adequate training, staff will not feel confident should something go wrong whilst operating the train, increasing the risk of a mistake being made.
The reporter would like all Train Operators to receive between three days to a week of continuous road handling training.
Could LUL comment on:
Thank you for your enquiry. The procedure for training Train Operators on the new S Stock is similar to that for other stocks which are currently being introduced onto London Underground.
Before training started, a training needs analysis was completed to identify risks associated with the new stock. Subsequent 'real time' evaluations have been carried out to establish the optimal stock handling times; this included extensive Trade Union consultation.
Each S Stock conversion delegate had eight days in a state of the art simulator and the classroom, and two days available for practical experience driving the new stock for real, observed by an Instructor Operator. The Train Operators are already route familiar and therefore only need to learn the stock elements. There is a robust defect handling module within the training which allows the Train Operator to respond to incidents.
The last two days are spent stock handling with an Instructor Operator on the train who uses their observation and professional judgment to ascertain the amount of, if any, additional stock handling that may be required before signing delegates off.
All the Metropolitan Line Train Operators who have attended the course, have passed the S Stock conversion course, which commenced in June 2010. Only two Operators required more time in the simulator.
The Victoria and Jubilee Line upgrades have similar stock handling timings. They have eight days in the simulator and then the last two days are spent on stock handling.
All Operators have received S Stock handling. Where there has been a gap between Train Operators completing their training and operating the S Stock, they have been given an opportunity to undertake 'refresher' training.