A new Metro simulator has been built to help teach learner drivers.
The programme uses CGI to mimic a real-life train driving experience, with the Metro network and all 60 stations being programmed to appear on screens in front of the driver, as if they were looking out of the actual windscreen.
Weather conditions, hazards, and even cows on the line can be thrown at the driver at the touch of a button.
The full-sized, replica Metro train cab has been installed at the Nexus Learning Centre in South Shields.
Nexus aims to use the new simulator to prepare drivers for a new fleet of high-tech metro trains which will arrive in November.
Michael Richardson, Head of Fleet and Depot Replacement Programme at Nexus, said: "This really does mark the start of a new era in how we can train our Metro drivers and it will be in use for many years to come.
"We’ve never had anything like this before. The simulator allows the drivers to get ready for making the switch, because the new trains are much more hi-tech than the current fleet.
"It provides an opportunity to get used to all the various functions and features on the new trains before the drivers get the chance to drive them for real in 2023."
Swiss train builder, Stadler, are supplying 46 new Metro trains and a new £70m depot.
Marc Robson, regional fleet manager at Stadler, said: “We are delighted to have delivered this highly sophisticated piece of equipment to Nexus.
"It will be instrumental to the successful delivery of the Metro driver training programme, enabling drivers to familiarise themselves with the new trains we’re currently building and promoting the smooth transition from the old to the new fleet."
Craig Pearson is one of the 174 drivers who will be first to drive the new trains.
Craig said: "The level of detail is fantastic and is each route is easily identifiable. It is better than the expectations we had for it.
"It will be an integral part of our driver’s conversion training between old and new fleets."