|Unit Name||INTRODUCTION TO RAILWAY OPERATIONS|
|Unit Duration||12 Weeks|
Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Civil: Railway Infrastructure)
Duration: 1 year
Master of Engineering (Civil: Railway Infrastructure)
Duration: 2 years
|Unit Creator / Reviewer||Brian Marsden|
Grad Dip total course credit points = 24
(3 credits x 8 (units))
Masters total course credit points = 48
(3 credits x 12 (units) + 12 credits (Thesis))
|Mode of Delivery||Online or on-campus.|
10 hours per week:
Lecture - 1 hour
Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours
Assessments / Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)
Unit Description and General Aims
At the beginning of the career of railway engineers, staff often learn about the operation and management of their rail organisations by experience. Within their company they may work as consultants or contractors, but to be successful they all require a broad knowledge of the railway environment, including the fact that it is an area subject to many different hazards.
In this Unit railways are examined from the perspective of an infrastructure manager. It begins with the history of rail, then explores and defines the different types of railways around the world, discussing some of the main features of railway infrastructure, track layouts, and their uses.
A broad description of the different types of rollingstock and traction is likewise incorporated in this study, including some high level technical aspects of rollingstock and maintenance of rail-related equipment and facilities. The topics covered consist of: train control and operation; detection of trains; timetabling; train control systems; driving of trains; driver health standards; and, driver training. Rail operations economics, management, and finances are also briefly explored.
The general aim is for this Unit to provide an introduction of the main assets and resources used to operate and maintain a railway. The “Introduction to Railways Management” Unit in the next term will provide students with management and operational perspectives, such as the management of safety, resources, people, activities, and business processes for a typical railway. This first Unit is therefore a prerequisite for the second Unit, both of which are located early in the Master’s degree program to give students a broad view of the railway business, ready for the more in-depth Units which follow.
On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:
- Evaluate the history of railways including the different types of railways around the world.
- Bloom’s Level 5
- Assess and describe the uses of the different types of railway assets and infrastructure.
- Bloom’s Level 5
- Compare how different railways are controlled and operated.
- Bloom’s Level 5
- Evaluate the basic processes of train detection, communication, and signalling.
- Bloom’s Level 5
- Critique the main types of rollingstock, their uses, and forms of rollingstock maintenance.
- Bloom’s Level 5
- Develop, assemble and synthesise appropriate engineering and/or management elements within a major case study of railway operations.
- Bloom’s Level 6
(% of total Unit marks)
Learning Outcomes Assessed
Type: Multi-choice test
Word length: n/a
Topic: All material covered in the syllabus to date. Assessing the main types of railways and what are their uses.
Type: Mid-semester test (Proctored)
Example Questions: “How are railways operated and controlled? What is the difference between Dark Territory and Signalled Territory? Describe the operational and infrastructure differences between an urban passenger railway and a heavy-haul mineral railway. How would different climates e.g. ice and snow, and desert, affect the operation of a freight railway?”
1, 2, 3, 4
Type: Group Rail Related Case Study
Word length: 1000
Develop, assemble and synthesise appropriate engineering and management elements within a major case study of railway operations.
Type: Rail Related Report (Final Project)
Word length: 2000
Example Topic: You have been appointed as Chief Engineer for development of a very high speed (400 km/h) intercity passenger railway in your own country. Describe the control and operation of the railway, and the organisation, infrastructure and assets required for maintenance of all railway assets.
1 – 6
1 - 6
Prescribed and Recommended readings
- V. A. Profillidis, Railway Management and Engineering, 4th Edition. Routledge, 2014 - ISBN: 978-1409464631
- Railway Reform: Toolkit for Improving Rail Sector Performance http://www.ppiaf.org/sites/ppiaf.org/files/documents/toolkits/railways_toolkit/index.html
- New Railway Environment: A Multi-Disciplinary Business Concept / Martin Baggot ... [et al.]; edited by Wardina Oghanna and Martin Murray; technical editor, John Dring. ISBN 0858257874
- Railway Technology – The last 50 years and future prospects by Roderick A. Smith at http://www.ejrcf.or.jp/jrtr/jrtr27/pdf/f16_smi.pdf
- Forces Acting on the Railway Track” by Brainkart at https://www.brainkart.com/article/Forces-Acting-on-the-Railway-Track_4156/
- Esveld, C., Modern Railway Track 2nd ed. MRT Productions, Netherlands. 2011, ISBN 90-800324-3-3
- Code of Practice for the Defined Interstate Rail Network Volume 1: General Requirements And Interface Management: Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services
- History of Rail in Australia: https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/history.aspx
- A Global Vision For Railway Development: International Railway Research Board: International Union of Railways
- AS 4292.1:2006 Railway Safety Management – General Requirements. Standards Australia, Canberra.
- Standards by Transport for NSW at https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/industry/asset-standards-authority/find-a-standard/
- Standards appropriate to the railway jurisdiction in which you work.
- A number of websites as advised below:
- Other materials to be advised during the lectures.
One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.
History of Railways
- Historical context
- Rail markets
- Transport in economic development
Different Types of Railways
- Railway costs and alternatives
- Environmental and land use benefits
- Safety, quality and environment
- Basic organisation structures
Rollingstock and Traction
- Passenger rollingstock
- Freight wagons
- Main components of rollingstock
- Maintenance of rollingstock
- What are timetables used for
- Factors in their compilation
- Master train plans
- Variability and working without timetables
Detection of Trains/Signalling and Safeworking
- Train detection and separation
- Safe working systems and principles - SPADS
- Key parameters – sighting distance, braking distance, overlaps, train separation, overlap
Train Control and Operation
- Train planning
- Timetables and run when ready
- Different types of control systems
- Control centre operations
Driving of Trains and Driver Training
- Communications systems
- Information to driver
- Driver controls and fail-safe provisions
- Human factors impacting operational safety
- Importance of health
- Alcohol and drugs,
- Driver fatigue and work schedules
- Incident investigation and human factors
- Main elements of railway infrastructure
Economics of Rail Operations
- Business cases
- Early private investment
- Government support
- Investment and public/private financing
- Integrated and holistic management
- Infrastructure elements
- Design considerations
- Asset management plans (AMP)
Project and Unit Review
In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work, to clarify any outstanding issues, and to work on finalising the major assessment report.
The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.
|Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency|
|1.||Knowledge and Skill Base|
|1.1||Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.|
|1.2||Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.|
|1.3||In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.|
|1.4||Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.|
|1.5||Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.|
|1.6||Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.|
|2.||Engineering Application Ability|
|2.1||Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.|
|2.2||Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.|
|2.3||Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.|
|2.4||Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.|
|3.||Professional and Personal Attributes|
|3.1||Ethical conduct and professional accountability.|
|3.2||Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.|
|3.3||Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanor.|
|3.4||Professional use and management of information.|
|3.5||Orderly management of self and professional conduct.|
|3.6||Effective team membership and team leadership.|
Additional resources or files: N/A
- Hardware: N/A