SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 10.00
ECTS Credit Points 5.00
Module Code M3N222047
Module Leader andre duplessis
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

The learner must be employed in a full-time, part-time or voluntary capacity. This module is intended for students undertaking the BSc Railway Operations Management programme.

Summary of Content

This module covers four main topics: -426 the nature of the railway network, how it determines the shape of the train service, and may itself be shaped by the train service requirements; development of a train service from commercial and other demands; processes and tools for planning the train service; capacity of rail networks, how it is created and the practicalities of exploiting it effectively; devising, defining and implementing developments to the railway system.


The Network -360 how the physical assets of the railway shape the train service; Planning -360 ingredients for a new timetable and train plan; the planning cycle and typical timescales for long- and short-term planning; the typical considerations when introducing a new freight train into an existing timetable; the typical factors in an agreement between a train operator and an infrastructure controller for track access; ways of accommodating engineering work in the train plan; planning for the efficient utilisation of resources to support the train plan. Capacity -360 the factors determining route capacity, and how the timetable exploits capacity efficiently appropriate metrics for capacity, usage and utilisation the relationship between utilisation of capacity and service performance. Projects and Developments the needs and pressures leading to development of the railway system; quantifying costs of projects as an input to project appraisal, and taking that project through to implementation; specific issues in evaluating railway track and signalling proposals in terms of their operating impact; the role of simulation in quantifying operating impacts of rail projects.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:1. Critically analyse the factors that determine the capacity of a railway system.2. Describe the activities involved in creating and implementing a timetable and the supporting resources plans, and the timescales involved 3. Evaluate the impact of the operational plan on the economic and service performance of a railway organisation.4. Critically evaluate how an operator can contribute to development projects, including appropriate application of the various type of simulation package.

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 fromt he 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 Transnet Freight Rail monthly Platform Rail Magazine publish every 2 weeks Modern Railways publish every 4 week Transnet Freight Rail Portal Transnet Freight Rail General Appendix No. 6 (Part 1 ) (2006) Transnet Freight Rail Train Working Rules All Transnet Freight Rail news bulletins Recommended Alexander,T., Garth., Waite., (January1, 2008) Making the trains run on time. Foy,k., Van Dyke. C., Algorithms to run the trains on time. Website www.oliverwyman.com <http://www.oliverwyman.com> Frank, W, Brain., Trains (May 1, 2006) United State Garey,M.,Carville, S., (2003)., Scheduling and plat forming trains at busy complex stations. Glover, J., (1999), ABC of Railway Operations, Ian Allan. Gubbins, E., (2003), Managing Transport Operations, Kogan Page Hall. S., (1999), Hidden Dangers, Ian Allan b7 Hall, S., (2002), The History and Development of Railway Signalling in the British Isles (Vol 1), Friends of the National Railway Museum, York Hall. S., (2003), Beyond Hidden Dangers, Ian Allanb7 b7 Harris, N. G. & Godward, E. W., (1992), Planning Passenger Railways, TPC b7 Harris, N. G. & Schmid, F., (2003), Planning Freight Railways, TPC Muller, H., (August 2011), Transnet Freight Rail Nock, O. S., (1980), Railway Signalling, A & C Black b7 Pachl, J., (2002), Railway Operation and Control, VTD Rail Publishing Solomon, B., (2003), Railroad Signalling, MBI Publishing Company b7 Stirling, D., (2002), The History and Development of Railway Signalling in the British Isles (Vol 2), Friends of the National Railway Museum, York Transnet Freight Rail Core Business., www.spoornet.co.za <http://www.spoornet.co.za> website

Transferrable Skills

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

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (PT) 50.00
On-line learning 30.00
Assessment (PT) 20.00

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, the University of Johannesburg and Glasgow Caledonian University.