TU Delft
print this page print this page     
2016/2017 Civil Engineering and Geosciences Master Civiele Techniek
Elements of Railway Engineering
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Dr. V.L. Markine    V.L.Markine@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Required for
Annotation Rail
Expected prior knowledge
Course Contents
Railway is one of the main transportation modes nowadays. Despite numerous new developments and problems, the main principles of track design and maintenance remain unchanged. Understanding these principles is essential for all railway related activities including:
- design of new and improvement of existing railway systems,
- assessment of railway system performance,
- management of the railway asset,
- policy making.

In this course the students will get acquainted with the main elements of railway infrastructure and rolling stock; their functions and main features. Commencing with the question ‘Why are railways buit?’ the main principles of railway track and rolling stock vehicles will be explained. In this course the students will also learn some analytical/engineering methods to obtain the basic responses of a railway track.

Other topics that will be discussed in the course are
- special elements (welds, turnouts etc.),
- slab track structures and high-speed tracks,
- bridges, tunnels and transition zones,
- overhead/catenary system (excursion to Rail Education Center),
- introduction to rail asset management: maintenance and monitoring,
- practical aspects of rail asset management: contract management (guest lecture),
- integral design of railway track (guest lecture).

During the course a number of demonstrations (rail welding, wheel set stability, etc.) will be given as well.

The course will end up with study case related to one of the topics discussed during the course (e.g. integral design of a track).
Study Goals
- Explain the main basic principles of railway systems

- Explain the principles of the main inspection and maintenance methods

- Asses a track design based on given criteria

- Design a track (line) for a given situation, as the study case: Integral Design of a Railway Track
Education Method
In the second week of the course 21/11-25/11 2016 workshops in Poland in Technical University of Poznan are planned. The workshop participants are MSc students from TU Poznan, TU Berlin and TU Delft. During the workshops lectures, technical visits and discussions are planned. The costs of the workshops depend on the travel costs (to be announced later), the accommodation and (partly) food costs in Poland are covered by TU Poznan.

Registration for the workshop until 1/11/2016 via course responsible lecturer V. Markine after enrolment to the course. The number of the participants is limited. More information is available on the Blackboard or via V. Markine (v.l.markine@tudelft.nl).

This course is build up of 7 weeks. In these weeks there will be:

- 2 times a week lecture (exercises, theory, practical, excursion)
- pre- and post-lecture activities: video and reading materials, exercises
- every week (non-compulsary) exercises
- one intermediate test
- 2 excursion: Rail Infra Educational Center and Rail Maintenance Yard (BAM)
- demonstrations (at TUD): wheelset stability, rolling rig, welding of rails, buckling of track
- study case
- guest lectures (e.g. ProRail, Arcadis)
Course Relations
This course is prerequisite for some other courses of Annotation Rail
Assessment of the course


In the course the following assessments will be graded:

50% - Intermediate test
50% - Study case


The following assessments need to be graded O.K. before the final mark can be submitted:

Pre-lecture assignments
Weekly compulsory tests
Enrolment / Application
It is compulsory to enrol to the course via Blackboard.

In the second week of the course 21/11-25/11 a workshop in Poland in Technical University of Poznan is planned.

Registration for the workshop should be done via the responsible lecturer Valeri Markine (v.l.markine@tudelft.nl) after enrolment to the course.
Expected prior Knowledge
Academic Skills
Literature & Study Materials
Video and reading material, lecture handouts (via Blackboard)
Exercises (in Maple TA on Blackboard)
Written exam (intermediate test)
Study case report and presentation
Permitted Materials during Exam
Formulae list, calculator