Switches & Routes – VR Training Simulation

BACKGROUND & PROBLEM: Since the FRA began reporting data in 1975, an average of 350 yearly switching-related accidents  have occurred — accounting for over $842,940,000 in damages. Cost of damages has also increased, with the previous 5-year damages rising to 60% over the lifetime average. The occurrence of Rule Violation Derailments (RVD) are also rising.

Clearly, navigating through switches safely is a fundamental part of operating a locomotive. Employees typically know when to throw a switch. However, they often don’t take the time to confirm the switch is properly aligned and flush with the rail or may struggle with understanding which direction the switch should be aligned. This leads to higher chances of run through switches. If a train runs through an improperly aligned switch it will derail the train.

SOLUTION OVERVIEW: Using this training simulation, a student can hone their switch alignment skills on various track layouts featuring hand-thrown switches. The simulation prompts the student to navigate a path to and from a specific point along the track. The student must then verify if the switches are correctly aligned and flush with the rail for the entire length of the track. If the switches are misaligned or not flush with the rail, the student must take action to align them properly or adjust them to be flush with the rail.

It can be difficult to get enough time on a physical simulator or hands-on training to reinforce good habits. This Sim gives the student additional practice at their pace, from any device.

Used for: Classroom Training, Self-Paced/Refresher Learning


  • Tutorial to guide students through all basic actions required to perform and complete the Sim
  • Test the student on setting up a switch and track path to connect to a specific track path
  • Randomly generated configuration of tracks (layouts with 3 to 7 switches per route)
  • Randomly set up the direction of travel on the track (facing or trailing)
  • Randomly generated switch alignment (all switches will not be in the same direction)
  • Results to be shown once the student completes the Sim with an opportunity to view incorrect items

Students navigate a consist to and from a specific point along the track.

Offer repeated scenario-based training on switch alignment and troubleshooting.

Practice on randomized track, direction of travel, and switch alignment.


  • Reduced Rule Violation Derailments
  • Improved situational awareness which can lead to increased efficiency navigating track paths
  • A formalized tool for new hire training or refresher training for employees with increased numbers of RVDs


After using the sim, employees should be able to:

  • Identify which direction a switch should be aligned
  • Identify if a switch is flush with the rail
  • Setup a safe track path through multiple switches


Deploy on your devices via VR, PC, Tablet, LMS.



Staff have run-through switches because of a lack of situational awareness. Training with this sim with flush verification and double check is the piece they are missing
– Manager Technical Training, Norfolk Southern

This year 45,315 railroaders will stay competent with these training simulations and guides.

Want to license this training solution for your workforce? Reach out here – [email protected] or call 888.781.0274 ext. 701

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