CZ/SK verze

"We Recreate Everything Based on Actual Data from Governmental Units," Explains Michał Wierzbicki, SIM FACTOR

&quote;We Recreate Everything Based on Actual Data from Governmental Units,&quote; Explains Michał Wierzbicki, SIM FACTOR
photo: RAILTARGET/Michał Wierzbicki
11 / 03 / 2024

In an enlightening conversation with RAILTARGET, Michał Wierzbicki, Vice President of SIM FACTOR, takes us through the innovative strides the company is making in railway simulation technology, providing a glimpse into the complexities and triumphs of developing state-of-the-art rail simulators that are shaping the future of railway transport training.

Could you briefly introduce this simulator?

Yes. First of all, hello. My name is Michał Wierzbicki, and I am Vice President at SIM FACTOR, the company responsible for delivering this simulator. The short introduction is that it is a full-cabin simulator of Siemens Vectron locomotive, and it's specialized for the Czech Republic, so it has all the safety systems from the Czech Republic specific for the Czech infrastructure. As you can see, it's like a full cabin version of a fully immersive simulation type, so you are not only able to use nearly exactly the same equipment as in a real locomotive but also have the proper sounds, and the virtual environment is also specified to fit the Czech Republic.

Which companies within Europe use your simulators?

ČD Cargo is the third project that we did in the Czech Republic. Mainly, we deliver our solutions to Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Also, we are currently moving forward to Western Europe, specifically Great Britain.

Do you provide simulators just for railway freight transport, or passenger transport as well?

The situation here is quite different because we usually deliver solutions for passenger transport, and freight transport was an additional thing to our portfolio. The first project we delivered for the Lower Silesian district railway in Poland was passenger trains, so nearly everything was focused on passengers. Freight is something we added a couple of years ago.

You must always work individually with the rail infrastructure plans of the country. Is it a complicated process? What about ETCS?

Regarding the track and railway infrastructure, we created our own editor, so each time we deliver a new project in a different country, whether it's the Czech Republic, Poland, Great Britain, or Lithuania, we use mainly the data publicly delivered by the government, for example, the geoportal data. If we are about to purchase them, of course, we purchase them to receive proper data from governmental units. We recreate everything based on the actual data we acquire within the country institutions, and, based on that, we are able to have proper virtual GPS locations, so each time you use the simulation, you can use the geo-specific names. For instance, you want to move to Ostrava, so the map will take you there quite similarly to what we use on our mobile phones, but, of course, you can also use geolocation data, so if you tap in geolocation data, it will also move you to the proper place in the Czech Republic, Poland or Lithuania. It's not a complicated process. After seven years of delivering these solutions, we've managed to make it nearly automatic. We have customers who also have access to our World Editor studio, so they can make the infrastructure on their own or modify the existing one. For safety systems like ETCS, it's also quite crucial to recreate the infrastructure since it's the main European safety system right now. For ETCS, we have recreated over 60 km of the ETCS level 2 infrastructure in the Czech Republic, which is crucial for the training and training systems for the railway operators.