Performance and Training Academy, and Simulator Centre, officially opened


Sir Moir Lockhead, Chief Executive of FirstGroup has officially opened First Capital Connect's Performance and Training Academy, and Simulator Centre.

First Capital Connect has invested £1.2m in the Academy that will be used to teach the new drivers required for the Thameslink Programme and help support the company's existing team of 700 drivers.

The academy has two simulators for the two main types of train used on the route and each is a realistic copy of the actual train including real train cab parts.

Speaking at the launch Sir Moir Lockhead, Chief Executive at FirstGroup said: "It is vital that we provide the best possible training facilities for current FCC drivers, the new drivers for the Thameslink Programme and additional drivers for increased services on the Cambridge and Peterborough routes."

The Simulator Centre includes a 319 train simulator replicating the train on the Bedford to Brighton route, and the second, a 365 train simulator as seen on the Great Northern route.

Simulations can include evacuation, orientation in an upside down cabin, animals on the line, snow, flooding and other weather, objects hitting the windscreen, and all types of signal changes.

Elaine Holt, Managing Director at First Capital Connect said: "As a driver only operator, our drivers at First Capital Connect are often our eyes and ears on the railway. They note the bumpy track sections, they report any niggles with the train fleet and they are our voice to our customers. It is testament to the role our drivers play that Sir Moir Lockhead, the Chief Executive of First Group has joined us to officially open the Training Academy and Simulator centre."

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