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Enroll now for the next run of Track and Train Interaction or follow the full program and improve your knowledge and skills on Railway Systems Engineering based on practical examples and academic background.
TU Delft

Railway Engineering: Track and Train Interaction

Acquire cutting-edge integrated rail system knowledge and skills to better evaluate railway-related cases and enhance your decision-making process.

The world of rail is all about interaction: a complex and interconnected system in which every decision can have a multi-layered impact on its overall performance and reliability.

This course will equip you, as a rail professional, with the knowledge and skills needed to apply an integrated approach to railway engineering. This will help you enhance your decision-making and adopt a proactive approach to problem solving. This will enable you and your organization to make smarter choices when dealing with current or potential problems and improvements within the railway system.

This course will build on and strengthen your knowledge of systematic thinking to prevent and deal more efficiently with problems such as train failures, infrastructural challenges and other technical issues.

Using practical examples, you will experience and examine the key aspects of railway systems and the complex interfaces and interactions between infrastructure and rolling stock, namely:

  • Vehicle-Track Interaction– How do forces acting on the vehicles and the tracks, influence their design and performance? How can innovations in track designs be best implemented?
  • Power Supply – How can energy consumption be improved, reduced or reused for individual operations or the whole system? How is this energy distributed and how does this affect vehicles and tracks?
  • Wheel-Rail Interaction – What is the source of problems related to wear and tear to both rail and wheels, such as at crossings and on slippery tracks? How can the consequences be avoided or reduced in order to prevent disruptions and delays?
  • Vehicle Dynamics – How can you deal with the dynamic forces, the noise and vibration resulting from a moving vehicle which affect the system?
  • Interface with Civil Structures – What considerations in designing your railway system need to be taken into account to mitigate the effects of bridges, tunnels, soil properties, level crossings and transition zones in a railway network?

After taking this course, you will be able to apply the system knowledge of railway interfaces and interactions you have acquired to design new solutions to real-life problems or make suitable adjustments when elements of these interfaces change. Since there can be many appropriate solutions, managerial or executive decisions often involve compromise. During this course you will learn to use tools to support your decisions and make a strong case for your proposed solutions.

After taking this course you will be able to:

  • Analyze the interfaces and interaction of track and train and their effects on the railway system, with an understanding that dependencies of the system mean one change will require an understanding of the adjustments required as a consequence.
  • Identify opportunities to improve the performance and reliability of a railway network based on your analysis of interfaces and interactions between track, train, traction and civil structures.
  • Use basic calculations, models and tools to support your proposed solutions.
  • Engage in technical discussions, even beyond your specific field of expertise, supported by essential knowledge and detailed appreciation of the interfaces involved in moving trains.