Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes : Alstom Citadis Spirit simulator

O-Train Fans goes Behind the Scenes at OC Transpo's operator training centre to explore the Alstom Citadis Spirit simulator. Learn about how the LRV is operated and controlled, the automatic train control, as well as some unique and innovative features.

The simulator is primarily used for training Electric Rail Operators with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to operate the Light Rail Vehicles on the Confederation Line.

A few interesting points I learned from my experience in the simulator:

  • The operator cab has dash mounted displays for exterior cameras, and these cameras are installed in the stations (rather than on the trains themselves).
  • The trains will operate for the most part in ATC (Automatic Train Control), but the operator can switch to Manual Control. In Manual Control, the trains are still limited to the track speed limits that are set so it is not possible to over-speed the train without it automatically applying brakes to slow. Likewise, it is not possible to advance the train beyond the stopping point at terminus stations. Great safety features.
  • The operator when running in ATC mode, needs to routinely (every 15-20 seconds) press the DARS (or GO button) to avoid a Vigilance Infraction. This ensures that the operator is continuously monitoring the train, the track and the passage through stations. Failure to do so will result in the train's horn sounding and the train stopping.


From my understanding during my visit:

  • The maximum track speed on the line is 80km/h. The trains are designed to go up to 105km/h however, and have been operated at that speed on the 'test track'.
  • Some sections like the stretch between uOttawa and Lees, the LRV reaches around 77-80km/h on average. This will be also what can be expected on the longer stretches elsewhere, so the trains should reach the max track speed in many places.
  • In the tunnel it passes at a fairly high speed as well, around 60km/h ish, but in the curves it seemed to take them quite a bit slower then accelerate to the higher speed on the straights.
  • In the video, other than when I was doing Manual Control, in ATC, the simulation was set to operating at regular train service speeds. 
  • The stretch between Lees and Hurdman, it was operating between 30-40km/h. Some reasons included the fact of the guidway going over water and the curve leaving Lees.


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Special thank you for making this video possible to:

John Manconi
General Manager of Transportation Services

Marc Richer
Instructor - Multimodal Operations

Derek Puddicombe
André Brisebois

Communications

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Comments 3

- David B. on Saturday, 27 April 2019 20:21

Amazing video! Really puts in context the safety of the system and how "easy" it might seem. Constant vigilance is key and well implemented here.

Amazing video! Really puts in context the safety of the system and how "easy" it might seem. Constant vigilance is key and well implemented here.
Shane Seguin on Sunday, 28 April 2019 08:25

Indeed. Well said David. Thank you for your comments.

Indeed. Well said David. Thank you for your comments.
- Erick on Sunday, 28 April 2019 11:44

Thank you Shane for this awesome video and inside access.

Thank you Shane for this awesome video and inside access.
Monday, July 22, 2019