NS Using 3-D Technology for Training

A screen shot from the 3-D training program Norfolk Southern is using to train new employees.

Norfolk Southern is using a 3D simulation-based training application to train employees in freight car air brake inspections.

The app was developed in partnership with Heartwood 3D and is being made available to other railroads.

In a pilot program involving the new technology, new employees use the 3D simulator to conduct virtual inspections of freight cars and interact with various brake components on a tablet or desktop computer at any time or location.

The inspection and testing typically requires NS to set up multiple freight cars onsite and allocate a significant amount of training time for demonstration, practice and evaluation.

In a news release, NS said that using the simulator, students are able to virtually walk a line of freight cars, inspect various components determine the correct brake pressure, and ensure proper brake application and release.

Upon completion of the course, students receive a record of their performance and suggested areas of improvement.

NS expects to train 50 to 100 freight-car-repair personnel and 1,800 conductors using the simulation.

The Class 1 carrier said it continues to work with Heartwood 3D to identify other training programs that could benefit using the technology.

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