UK-based rail firm Virgin Trains has teamed up with students from Solihull College & University Centre to develop virtual reality technology that will be used for health and safety training for on-board and catering teams.

Computing students have developed a Virtual Reality (VR) carriage for Virgin Trains, which could be used to train newly recruited staff.

The wearer of a VR headset is taken to the virtual “carriage”, which mirrors a Virgin Train. Hand held devices are used to practice their duties, as well as deal with health and safety issues.

"The likeness to the kitchen is brilliant, I can see this being useful to everyone working at every level."

Virgin Trains believes that the VR technology can be used for safety programmes and training purposes so that new members can be made familiar with what might happen during an incident in a train kitchen.

Virgin Trains safety head Garry Hall said: “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.”

On-Board Manager Andy Rennie Scrivens said: “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 everyone working at every level.”

Virgin Trains first contracted the students in October 2018 after members of its training team were impressed by the VR demos created by the students as part of their course.