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Doors Open - The Simulation Experience

Click on each image for a closer look!
Continuing with our coverage of the May 29th and 30th opening weekend of the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre, we turn our attention to the activities surrounding the full size diesel cab simulators. We provided simulation experiences in each of our two full size diesel cabs - the GE U33C cab shown at the upper left and in the F7 cab shown in the upper middle image.
As show in the image at the upper right, access ot the U33C cab was from a platform at the back of the cab reachable by a short set of steps. In the images at left and in the middle below we see the AAR Standard Control Stand which is used by the visitor to the U33C cab to "drive the train". In the window directly in front of the driver, a computer display is installed which provides the visitor with a view of the track down which they are driving. Due to its brightness, the displayed image is not visible in this photo. In the middle image, the display above the stand is that shown by the laptop computer which was driving the system during Doors Open. The displayed image on the laptop is horizontally oriented because we needed to turn the display in the front window to a vertical position to match the window size properly. In the near future we will be using a hidden desktop computer to drive the system which will eliminate this second display, improving the driving experience. Each visitor was taught how to start the train and then how to stop the train. In stopping the train, they experienced the powerful momentum of a fully loaded long train and the significant distance required to stop it.
As shown in the image at the lower right, we installed in the F7 Cab a driving device called a "raildriver" which provide a simpler means of controlling the simulated train. While this did not provide the visitor with a full size control stand operation experience, the demonstration in this cab was intended to complement the U33C cab experience by focussing more on orienting the visitor to the scope of the Toronto Rail Lands (1955) simulation. In the near future, once the cab is fully restored, we will be equipping this cab with an AAR Standard Control Stand as well.
The simulators were very popular with the biggest and only complaint being that the wait times were too long to get into the simulators!
Posting by Russ Milland; Pictures by David Flinn, Stephen Gardiner & Russ Milland

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