SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2N222067
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 students to gain a broad awareness and understanding of the concepts, basis and reasoning behind the methods of operating a railway, covering principles, practices and safety standards, in normal and degraded conditions. - To introduce students to the requirements and arrangements to achieve the safe working of trains upon the railway infrastructure. This includes operational aspects of safety-related interfaces (i.e. with engineering work, staff, other rail systems, level crossings and road vehicles) to ensure the protection of the movement of trains and the security of passengers and goods.


The following key areas will be considered: -426b7 the working of single, double and multiple track railways b7 basic signalling principles and systems for train spacing b7 track types and layouts b7 level crossings b7 station, yard and terminal working b7 train movements including Out of Gauge and special working conditions b7 train/infrastructure interface issues b7 train driving and handling b7 the concepts of failsafe and wrong side failures b7 safety of operations in adverse or degraded conditions b7 planned and emergency engineering work b7 response to rail accidents and incidents b7 communications systems and standards b7 people issues in railway operations b7 achieving, maintaining and improving operational safety standards

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Critically analyse the reasons for the different roles, priorities and variations of railway systems;2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the purpose and structure of operating standards, rules, regulations and instructions;3. Evaluate common strands and issues emerging from interfaces;4. Analyse principles and operating practices in different railway contexts.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

It is intended that this module is delivered through GCU Learn, 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 GCU Learn, 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

ESSENTIAL READING Railway Operating Principles Core Text Beyond Hidden Dangers. Railway Safety into the 21st Century by Stanley Hall Essential Reference Material: Railway Safety Principles and Guidance (RSPGs) on Signalling (Part 2D), Trains (Part 2F) and Level Crossings (Part 2E), and Railway Safety Publications (RSPs) on the Safe Movement of Trains (003) and Guidance on Tramways (002) - accessible through www.rail-reg.gov.uk <http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk> , navigate to Guidance and Research, then Railway Safety Publications. OTHER RECOMMENDED READING Railway Company Rule Books, especially the Glossary Modern Signalling Handbook by Stanley Hall (currently out of print, reissue due August 2010) Railway Accidents and Occurrences of the Year 1845 Red for Danger - The Classic History of British Railway Disasters by L.T.C. Rolt Railway Accidents by Stanley Hall (currently out of print) Tracks to Disaster by Adrian Vaughan Reducing Error and Influencing Behaviour. HSE, HS (G) 48, (obtainable through www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg48) Railway Operations by John Glover Principles of London Underground Operations by John Glover Level Crossings by Stanley Hall On-line resources: www.rail-reg.gov.uk <http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk> www.rgsonline.co.uk <http://www.rgsonline.co.uk> www.trainweb.org/tgvpages/signals <http://www.trainweb.org/tgvpages/signals> www.railway-technical.com/sigind <http://www.railway-technical.com/sigind> www.railwaysarchive.co.uk <http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk> www.dlr.co.uk <http://www.dlr.co.uk> (navigate to "Technology")

Transferrable Skills

-426b7 Written communication skills b7 Personal and interpersonal skills b7 Information gathering skills b7 Problem solving b7 Critical thinking and reflection b7 Assessment and evaluation skills b7 Negotiation, time management and forward planning skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Directed Learning 70.00
Assessment (PT) 45.00
Tutorial discussion 15.00
Independent Learning (PT) 70.00

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.