With an aim to ensure passenger safety, Railways is exploring the possibilities of introducing a modern psychological assessment tool for loco pilots to overcome driving-related stress.

Called the Vienna Test System, the computerised package involves screening and training of train drivers.

Loco pilots of the national transporter are facing issues of long duty hours and inadequate rest.

Railway officials had a meeting with representatives of Vienna Test System on Friday and the Vienna-based unit made a detailed presentation of the system involving psycho testing of loco pilots, sources said.

“The psychological assessment tool measures specific abilities related to the job of loco pilots which include alertness, attentiveness, reaction time, vigilance, speed anticipation among others,” a source said.

The test can measure cognitive abilities and personality traits of individuals.

First a pilot project would be introduced on a trial basis and after that a final decision would be taken on the basis of the trial reports, they said.

An advance loco pilot training venture is being set up by Railways to introduce the modern test system for drivers. This will help the drivers to tackle stress and also keeping one’s composure.

Currently, Railways has 90,000 posts of loco pilots of which 22,000 are vacant.

The need for the test system has become essential now as the public transporter is considering running trains at higher speed. There will be screening of loco pilots prior to their deployment on high—speed trains.

Testing process and calculation of results are totally automatic and the results are generated as soon as the testing is over.

The use of computer ensures the highest possible level of objectivity and precision, and enables dimensions to be tested that could not be measured by traditional tests. In addition, the scoring of test results is guaranteed to be fast and accurate.

(This article was published on July 20, 2012)
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