SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN223936
Module Leader Patricia Lang
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module has been designed 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. The subjects will be considered in an international context and students will be required to analyse and evaluate why differences between systems are adopted. The module will cover the component elements of all rail systems (engineering) and how they affect operations and maintenance including Civil engineering, Permanent way, Mechanical, electrical, train control & signalling, Engineering Operations, Logistics. The module will encourage systems thinking as it should be applied to the relationships between the various disciplines.


The following areas will be covered: 1. The elements of railway infrastructure, power supply, signalling, communications and station structures; 2. The characteristics of the various types of electric and diesel vehicles and the application for heavy rail, light-rail, natural systems etc; 3. Operating and engineering interface implications of different types of railway systems around the world ; 4. The planning and installation of new systems for railways; 5. Asset ownership arrangements; 6. The need for maintenance.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to: 1. Critically evaluate types of railway engineering systems and their interfaces with each other and with operations. 2. Critically evaluate engineering constraints and maintenance requirements which impact on the operation of railway systems in differing environments.3. Apply a knowledge and understanding of the different railway systems used around the world and their interfaces and of the importance of integration with operational planning and practice.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will be expected to draw on academic theories and techniques in order to frame, analyse and solve actual work-based problems. To this end learning will involve not only formal but informal learning strategies and assessment. This module particularly emphasises the integration of learning and work e.g. the student's assessment may involve them in conducting actual work based analysis and decision making within a work context. The module utilises an interactive lecture programme where students are encouraged to participate and contribute. Students are required to undertake a programme of specified reading for independent learning, and reflect upon managerial practices within the workplace. The teaching and skills development programme will be supported via GCU Learn, which will also enhance the students' ability to utilise e-communication.

Indicative Reading

Books: -Planning Freight Railways, N.G. Harris & F. Schmid, A & N Harris, 2003. -The Railroad, What it is What is Does, 5th Ed. John H Armstrong, Simmonds Boardman 2008. -Practical Railway Engineering, 2nd Edition, By Clifford F Bonnett, Imperial College Press, 2005. -Railway Engineering, B.L.Gupta & Amit Gupta, Oxford University Press, 2007. -Electric Traction - Motive Power and Energy Supply, A Steimel, Oldenbourg Industrieverlag, Germany, 2008. -Railway Signalling & Interlocking, Theeg, G, Vlasenko, S, (Eds), Eurrail Press, 2010. -Railway Management & Engineering, Profillidis V. A. Ashgate Publishing, 2006. Websites: -www.railway-technical.com -www.ihha.net/conferences/past-conferences -https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/Background/ index.aspx

Transferrable Skills

-Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. -Interpersonal Skills: an ability to work collaboratively and constructively with others on a complex group assignment. Communication skills, negotiation skills and presentation skills when participating in the group work and group presentation. -Peer assessment: skills in giving and receiving constructive feedback. -Research skills: data gathering using secondary methods, and data analysis. -C & IT skills: engaging in a virtual learning environment; using MS Powerpoint and MS Word packages for presentations and report writing; accessing and using industry databases such as FAME, MINTEL, KEYNOTE. Using Refworks software to develop referencing skills, and Turnitin software to improve writing style.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (PT) 105.00
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Seminars (PT) 12.00
Lectures (PT) 3.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 50% Essay (3,000 words) on agreed module syllabus topic (applying relevant theories and concepts).