The work on the standardisation of the driver’s desk has been ongoing for ten years now and some projects have helped to continuously reduce the grey areas within the railways.
The MODTRAIN European project started in 2004 and its sub-project EUCAB presented for the first time in history a standardised driver’s desk. At the end of EUCAB a list of drivers’ comments was established during the simulator tests performed at SIMUFER.
Creation of Working Groups (WG)
Perhaps the most important aspect of MODTRAIN was the creation of working groups, bringing together the experiences of experts from operators and manufacturers. We created working arrangements enabling consensus to be established regarding the driver’s desk. Cooperation and collaboration form the basis of the common work enabling good dialogue to take place between railway experts.
The main aim of EUDDplus was to come closer to reducing the grey areas in order to finalise standardisation of the driver’s desk. We had to define the desk to be checked and an important aspect was not only the incorporation of the drivers’ comments from EUCAB but also the latest development in the Operators Working Group to clarify the consensus achieved between operators (UIC Leaflet 612). Once the EUDDplus experts had defined the desk to be checked, we were able to test it on a real locomotive with European drivers.
Two working groups are currently developing more precise specifications for a future standardised driver’s desk:
1. A common UIC-UNIFE group is working on the TecRecCab (Technical Recommendation for the Cab) standard agreed by UIC and UNIFE. It will soon become a reference document accepted by operators and manufacturers. The TecRecCab document will be used during the tenders.
2. The second group is the WG 37 in CEN/TC 256. The WG 37 is preparing the future EN by defining many aspects of the driver’s desk.
The continuation of the standardisation work will be carried out by these two working groups.
What are the next steps to further reduce the grey areas?
Important remarks made by drivers during the EUDDplus project have been:
Displays becoming too full due to a large amount of information displayed on the screens
A need to define and harmonise the buttons and levers
The first aim of the current development of the desk configuration is to help the driver in his job. We succumb to the temptation to use all the available technology to display as much information as possible. Now our next challenge is to study the driving from an objective point of view and to establish the necessary information to be displayed and how to display it. The rest of the information could be hidden but easily be made accessible to the driver on request.
The second necessary development will be the study of ergonomics and the position of buttons and levers. Advice from the drivers is vital in this necessary study. Different shapes and sizes have to be tested by drivers throughout Europe. In the medium term it is possible to establish consensus between European drivers by defining in more detail the position and size of the various desk components.