SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code M2N122072
Module Leader Caroline Tuff
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

The objectives of this module are to enable the student to: -426 - learn the basic principles of train planning and performance; - gain an understanding of the documentation of the train plan and the performance, and of how it is constructed and used in the railway workplace; -426 - gain an appreciation of the infrastructure over which the traffic runs and the impact of engineering work.


During this module the student will cover the following syllabus, which will enable the student to identify the basic principles, which apply to the following specific areas of operation: -426b7 Timetable construction (train graph, the occupation graph, rules of the plan, rules of the route); b7 Types of train planning (the permanent timetable, short-term timetable, very short, investigatory exercises, engineering work, projects); b7 Types of train services; b7 Infrastructure implications (track layout, headways, line speed, train speed, line capacity, single lines, bi-directional signaling, electric power supply); b7 Passenger and freight terminal constraints; b7 Identifying poor performance of the train service; b7 Resource planning; -426b7 Bringing about improvements in performance: the train planning - the performance loop

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Critically analyse approaches to train planning and performance management;2. Demonstrate an understanding of infrastructure implications and resource planning in train performance management;3. Evaluate the factors which have an impact on timetable construction;4. Demonstrate an understanding of the stages of timetable construction.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

It is intended that this module is delivered through GCULearn, GCU's on-line learning environment. Students will be expected to participate in a range of e-learning activities including individual and group work, and where appropriate self- and peer assessment. Formative assessment will be used to encourage learning and interpersonal skills, and the summative assessments will provide evidence of the development achieved throughout the module. A tutorial event at the start of the module will bring students together from the programme. This also provides the opportunity to meet their tutors. Further support will be offered via GCULearn, for example, on line discussion and announcements, by e-mail and telephone Formative assessment will be used not only to encourage knowledge of the subject, but also to help develop transferable skills. Summative assessments will provide evidence of the learning achieved throughout the module. Summative assessments are compulsory. A mark of 35% must be achieved for each summative assessment and an overall mark of 40% must be achieved in the module.

Indicative Reading

Books Include the following: -720b7 Glover, J. (1999) ABC of Railway Operations , Ian Allan Publishing, Shepperton, (specifically Chapters 3 and 5) b7 Harris, N. & Schmidt, F. (2003) Planning Freight Railways, A & N Harris b7 Harris, N. & Goddard, E. (1991) Planning Passenger Railways, A & N Harris -720b7 GarthWaite, A.T. (2005). Making the trains run on time. University of Pennsylvania -720b7 Carey, M. and Carville, S. 2003 . Scheduling and platforming trains at busy complex stations. Pergamon b7 Glover J. 1999. ABC Railway Operations. Ian Allan. The reading suggested for the modules on Railway Operating Principles and Passenger/Freight Operations are also relevant. Magazines There are numerous railway magazines available in the shops containing information on subjects ranging from political developments affecting the industry to reserved steam traction. Very good for current international developments are: -720b7 Rail Magazine (UK), b7 Modern Railways, b7 Rail Professional, b7 Railway Gazette International b7 Railway Digest Magazine (Australia). b7 Trains: The magazine of Railroading (USA) South African rail industry magazines include: Railways Africa and SA Rail Magazine. For this module any national timetable is a good reference. Websites: Network Rail <> ATOC <> Office of the Rail Regulator <> Transnet Freight Rail Core Business., <> website Website for a train operating company Foy, K., Van Dyke. C., Algorithms to run the trains on time. Mercer Management Journal. Website For an indication of how the Swiss show their train plans (diagrams), try <> . This shows the loco and coaches diagrammed for nearly all Swiss trains (except Regio). Transnet reading: -720b7 Transnet Freight Rail monthly Platform b7 Transnet Freight Rail Portal b7 Transnet Freight Rail General Appendix No. 6 (Part 1 ) (2006) b7 Transnet Freight Rail Train Working Rules b7 All Transnet Freight Rail news bulletins

Transferrable Skills

-425b7 Written communication skills b7 People management skills b7 Problem solving b7 Information gathering skills b7 Critical thinking and reflection

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorial support 15.00
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Independent Learning (PT) 50.00
Directed Learning 55.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 40% The assessments are work based and negotiated between the Institution of Railway Operators, University of Johannesburg and Glasgow Caledonian University.