The subway simulator; Photo - Newsday

MTA has a $3 million subway simulator to help train subway operators. It's a replica of Lexington Avenue subway car - just in front of a movie screen. Newsday describes it as such:

Operators sit in the cab and drive the subway like any other, using the same equipment on an assortment of city tracks that have been painstakingly replicated, right down to city landmarks, platform size and scowling passengers of all backgrounds.

The machine also makes various subway noises (squeaks, hisses) and rumbles like a real cab. Also, there are "forces of nature" to keep trainees on their toes, like fog, snow, and cardboard boxes on tracks. But, unlike simulators in Japan, there are no suicide attempts. An MTA official says that's because those simulations "got so graphic that blood actually got on the screen."

Gizmodo readers, MIT Media Lab, everyone else- we need your help. Gothamist believes we can build our own subway simulator, we just need:
- Multiple LCD computer monitors
- Lots of footage of subway rides from first car, ideally from the operator's point of view
- Computer animation/motion graphics expertise
- Some sort of rumbling machinery that seems subway-like