Train simulation for research, training and project design

VTI has developed a train and railway simulator that can simulate the train driver's working environment. The simulator can be built anywhere from complex cab environments to simple desktop versions or laptop installations, depending on the application. It is used for research and for the training of train drivers and operators, as well as for project design verification. It can also be used in marketing events to show how it is possible to drive a train.


At VTI, the simulator is used for behavioural science studies with a focus on vehicle technology, the interaction between operator and technology, traffic safety, education/training and physiology. Simulators provide opportunities to conduct studies under controlled conditions and to study, evaluate and train situations that, for security reasons, cannot be performed in real operations.


Several versions of the simulator are used by the operators SJ, Green Cargo, MTR and Transdev as well as by the train driver trainers ProTrain, Järnvägsskolan, TCC and NässjöAkademin. Simulators can be used to revive theory and practice and make the training more effective. Suitable training sections include, for example, basic training on ATC, STM and ERTMS, training on unusual events such as Balise error, reversing and switching at ERTMS and exercise on energy-efficient driving.

Project design

It is possible to test a signal project design, regarding how the speed profile is handled by the vehicle and how it is presented to the driver on the DMI, which is crucial for improving the driver's ability to drive the train. The simulator can be used as a tool for iteratively testing project design solutions before it is implemented. By testing solutions in advance, improvements in the project design can be detected at an early stage, reducing implementation and operational costs.

Six lines are available

  • Line 711 - Jönköpingsbanan (ATC / STM, System H)
  • Line 831 - Nässjö - Eksjö - Hjältevad (ATC / STM, System M)
  • Line 2sken, Citytunnel in Malmö (ATC / STM, two-signaling)
  • Ådalsbanan Härnösand - Västeraspby (ERTMS, E2)
  • Botniabanan Örnsköldsvik - Husum (ERTMS, E2)
  • Södra Stambanan Linghem - Linköping - Vikingstad (ATC / STM)

Along the simulated railway there are signs, signals and more, which correspond to the contents of the line book and to the reality. Some surroundings in the form of, for example, houses, forests, bridges and level-crossings are available to facilitate the process of route knowledge.


VTI has developed software for its train simulators - TrainManager. TrainManager communicates via a TCP/IP network with a train simulator and acts as a simple train management tool for future train drivers. Using the software, the teacher can select a lesson, control train signals, switches and level crossings, and see where on the network the simulated train is located.

The development forum TUFFA

For those who have a train simulator from VTI, there is the possibility to join the TUFFA (Train simulator development forum for users). With the help of the membership fee, the simulator is developed according to the members’ requirements and work meetings are held to share experiences and learn from each other.

For more information about TUFFA, please contact project manager Krister Gällman.

Last updated: