Case Study

Rules of the Rails

Re-Building a Conductor Training Program (Rules)

CN is a North American transportation company spanning three coasts with a rail network of over 21,000 miles of track. CN’s Conductor Training Program, a 7-week program made up of 5 weeks’ instructor-led and two weeks’ intensive field training, was in need of an upgrade.

The content was not up-to-date, the format was inconsistent with no standard content and/or delivery, and what was needed ultimately was a course that could handle an influx of young new-hire conductors with expectations of a more engaging, technology-based approach to training.

GP Strategies was tasked with re-building a new 5-week instructor-led training program, to be delivered with a 2-week intensive field training component.

The GP Strategies Solution

GP Strategies implemented a four step approach which included:

  • Gap Analysis – This included a review of existing materials
  • Learning Materials Update – Document design, a learning strategy (higher learner engagement, video in presentation, 3D graphics), the creation of a 3D library, plus a series of animations illustrating the rules and movement of trains
  • Additional Courses Update – pertaining to Rules
  • Enhancement of Learning Materials with Technology – This phase was developed over time and included a series of strategic program enhancements designed to improve the learning experience:
    • First Enhancement iPad Pilot – This involved transferring approximately 25% of the learning materials to the iPad and to be used by a select group of students in and out of class.
    • Second Enhancement iPad Pilot #2 – Based on the results of the first enhancement, a second pilot was commissioned where the remaining 75% of the materials were transferred to the iPad with enhanced train movement animations, custom narration, and immersive scenario-based learning activities including the Signals Challenge game

The Outcome

The ongoing process to re-build a new 5-week instructor-led training program, including an intensive field training component, resulted in the following:

  • 200 hours of instruction
  • 2200+ slides in 25 PowerPoint presentations
  • 100+ activities
  • 138 custom animations
  • 49 audio clips
  • 3D Library including one locomotive, cars, tracks and equipment
  • Virtual 3D models of equipment for enhanced visualization
Results at a glance
The ongoing process to re-build a new 5-week instructor-led training program, including an intensive field training component, resulted 200 hours of instruction 2200+ slides in 25 PowerPoint presentations

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