In innovating and designing new concepts in the railway sector, the Dutch railway infrastructure manager ProRail uses different types of simulations to identify and tackle possible bottlenecks in future infrastructure design. Computer simulation tools are used in earlier stages of the design process, followed by the application of gaming simulations where the design is fine tuned together with railway traffic operators before it is put into operation. This study focuses on providing insights into the use of a human-in-the-loop simulator in which an organizational research question investigates the impact of multiple geographical workspace designs, while in parallel human factors research is conducted to investigate the concept of team situation awareness from an academic research interest. Finding a balance between the practical and academic implications in one research design and its findings does not rely on a trivial approach. The current article aims to contribute on several levels: (1)to illustrate the balance between research for practice and research for academia through the applications of gaming simulations; (2)to illustrate the use of gaming simulations for railway traffic operations and (3)to provide insights in team SA development in railway traffic operations using gaming simulations.
- Balancing research and practice
- Gaming simulation
- Research design
- Team situation awareness
- Traffic control