SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 10.00
ECTS Credit Points 5.00
Module Code M3N223781
Module Leader Derek Chapman
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to support those employed in railway operations or seeking a career in railway operations, to function effectively in the railway operations context, and to provide them with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the elements shown in the syllabus This module should enable the student to gain a broad awareness and understanding of the concept, design, rationale and implementation of systems of control for train movements, covering principles, practices and safety standards, in normal, degraded and emergency conditions. The module covers aspects of the safe and efficient control of train movement including technology, process and human factors aspects, both in relation to normal operation and in relation to the implementation of a new system or making changes to an existing one.


The following key areas will be considered: -426 Basic TMCS functions including safe movement of trains, interlocking, controlling train speed, ensuring an unobstructed route and functions in emergency, degraded and maintenance modes. Means of control including train detection, movement authorisation, interlocking and movement control. The principles of operation of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) -426 Signalling development history, mainly from a British perspective Signalling principles as applied currently in the UK and in other countries A brief review of train control systems worldwide, focusing on European and United States practice and considering the special concerns of tramways and metros Human factors; aspects of human behaviour and the operator as a sub-system Traffic management systems and practice Future vision for TMCS; communication based train control; ERTMS . -425 Degraded modes and RAMS -425 Safety regulation and the signalling system

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate a range of skills, techniques and practices to demonstrate an understanding of how a spectrum of combinations of technology, process and people can be applied to ensure safe and efficient movement of trains2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the effects of TCMS and its different forms on safety and the reduction of error and risk.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module is designed to be relevant to the student's workplace. The module teaching materials will be made available through GCULearn, the GCU on-line learning environment. It is hoped students will participate in discussions on-line. Support will be offered on the web by e-mail on-line discussion and telephone. 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. 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

Black, A&C (2000) Introduction to Signalling , IRSE Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (2001) Signalling Philosophy Review, April, IRSE Kichenside, G. and Williams, A. (2010) Two Centuries of Railway Signalling. Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company Rolt, L. T. C. (2007) Red for Danger (8 th edition) London: David and Charles. Solomon, B. (2010) Railroad Signalling. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press UK Health and Safety Executive, (1996), Railway Safety Principles and Guidance, HSE Books Winter, P. (2009) Compendium on ERTMS, Eurail Press

Transferrable Skills

-360 Written communication skills Personal and interpersonal skills Information gathering skills Problem solving Critical thinking and reflection Assessment and evaluation skills Negotiation, time management and forward planning skills. -425

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 20.00
Independent Learning (PT) 80.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% 100% CourseworkThe assessments are work based and negotiated between the Institution of Railway Operators and Glasgow Caledonian University. For example, this may include a short answer questions to assess the understanding and principles and terminology and an essay Part B.