Potential train drivers will be able to test out their skills in a traveling train simulator over the next few weeks as Dutch railway company NS tries to encourage more recruits to sign up.
The simulator will let people interested in the job get a feel for really driving a train and all the things they will have to deal with on a daily basis, the NS says.
‘It is a realistic version of a train driver’s cabin in the latest intercity train,’ train driver Mark van Dooren said. ‘While driving the simulator you will meet with all sorts of situations, such as a delayed train ahead and bad weather, all things that happen in real life.’
The NS is currently struggling to fill 1,100 vacancies, from train drivers and ticket collectors to engineers, IT staff and safety personnel.
The lack of staff will impact on timetables, the NS has warned. The service between Arnhem, Schiphol and Rotterdam, which had recently been extended, will return to a 15-minute service from June 13 because train drivers and ticket collectors in particular are in such short supply.
Training to become a train driver takes one year, while ticket collectors can get to work after five months of training. Both are financed by the NS. This year 200 people have signed up for a training place out of an available number of 500 places.
The train simulator will stop at Utrecht central station on Friday and will then travel to Arnhem, Almaar, Deventer, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.
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