Driver Learning Framework

Learning to drive trains.  

The client

Southern Railway had recently become part of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). The GTR rail franchise now includes Southern Railway and Gatwick Express.

The Challenge

In accordance with commitments made to the Department for Transport, training needed to be made available to all train drivers within GTR. Elearning formed a key part of their blended learning strategy. GTR needed an elearning company to convert existing Southern content into material applicable to train drivers across all brands of GTR. They also needed new content written for different traction types.

The Discovery

We had previously created elearning for Southern Railway as part of their customer service initiative. This elearning was rolled out to staff in a customer facing role across the network and informed them of procedures, information and ways of working, including how to operate Ticket Vending Machines. We were therefore recommended to carry out this work.

The Solution

We needed to create a newly branded template which would better reflect the GTR brand. We also needed to ensure that drivers saw only content that was relevant for the trains that they would be driving. We achieved this without duplicating the number of elearning modules that GTR would need to maintain. At the beginning of each of the 18 courses, the driver would select which part of the company they drove trains for. They would then see only relevant content.

The Implementation

We first converted existing content into the new style. Next was the really fun bit as several of us visited a depot and practised train driving in one of Southern’s simulators to fully experience how train drivers operate in a safe environment. Following this, we studied train manuals and guides and used this knowledge to write new content covering different traction types.  From this, GTR had 18 elearning courses covering a variety of trains operating across their network.

The Results

The elearning was delivered to the client’s satisfaction, and ahead of their transition from Southern to GTR. By developing content that drivers can use to view material relevant to them, we have ensured that drivers do not have to view content on trains they won’t be driving. And we have made it much easier for GTR’s training team to maintain the courses going forward, should there be changes in track safety rules, or upgrades to train equipment.