Representatives from Virgin Trains have visited Solihull College & University Centre at the completion of their partnership project.

Computing degree level students have finished work on their virtual train carriage, built for use as a training tool for the company. The VR environment will be used to assist Virgin with safety initiatives in a train kitchen.

Virgin representatives Garry Hall, Head of Safety, Richard Taylor from the IT team and On Board Managers, Andrew Rennie Scrivens and Sarah Griffiths, attended the demonstration.

Garry who visited the college while the project was in its early stages was impressed with the outcome. He stated: ‘The carriage is far more realistic than I expected, and the train is very close to the actual thing. It’s the first time Virgin Trains have taken part in a partnership project like this and the potential is massive.’

Sarah, On Board Manager stated: ‘I wasn’t sure what to expect. The carriage was so realistic. I haven’t seen anything like it, but this could be a really useful tool to work with what we already have. Some recruits don’t see an actual train for a few weeks in training so this could be a real asset.’

On Board Manager wearing virtual headset
On Board Manager Sarah trialing out the VR.

Andy Rennie Scrivens, On Board Manager added: ‘This project gives trainees the possibility to reach every area of the train. For training new starters or refresher training it could be a massive plus. The likeness to the kitchen is brilliant. I can see this being useful to every grade’.

Head of Computing at the College, Mohammed Mayer commented: ‘Virtual technology can be used to simulate so many different situations, from something small like making coffee, to creating an entire train carriage for training. This sort of project solves a real life problem. It has been a fantastic achievement by the students and one we hope to see implemented’.

If you are interested in studying computing or virtual reality at the College, please visit www.solihull.ac.uk.