A BUSINESS consultant from Winchfield has found out what it is like to drive one of South West Trains’ new Desiro cabs.

Tim Davies, who aptly lives in Station Road, won a competition to visit the operator’s state-of-the-art train driving simulator centre and try out the controls.

South West Trains’ new £1.5million operations training centre in Basingstoke houses four simulators, which are fully functional replicas of the new Desiro train cabs.

They allow drivers to experience driving in a range of severe weather conditions including snow and ice.

They can also replicate conditions during signalling failures, loss of brake systems and on-board passenger alarm calls.

The simulators, which cost £1.1m and were built using real train equipment and modified software, are being used to train existing drivers how to operate the new Desiro trains.

Mr Davies was one of only four lucky winners of a competition featured in South West Trains’ passenger newsletter InFocus.

Tim, who brought his engineer brother Nick along for the ride, said: “I was very impressed with the simulators and we both had a fabulous time.

“When I was at the controls I really felt like I was moving forward and I realised just how difficult it is to get a 400 tonne train to move — and of course stop again.

“I’ve been travelling on trains for 40 years and have always wanted to see what it would be like to drive one. I’d love to do it again.”

Nick is pictured on the left with brother Tim on the right, seated, in one of South West Trains new state-of-the-art Desiro simulators.