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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5550M Railway Signalling and Control

15 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Ronghui Liu

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module starts by developing the objectives of railway signalling and train control systems, including key objectives of safety and capacity. It then focuses on a range of current and future systems of railway signalling, explaining their key characteristics and the principles underlying them. The module then moves on to consider the main methods used for train control on railway systems, again considering both current and emerging methods. For both signalling systems and train control systems, consideration is given to methods used across a range of railway operating environments, including high-speed rail, traditional heavy rail, metro rail systems and light rail and tramway systems.


This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the objectives of railway signalling and train control systems. It also provides a critical awareness of the various methods of signalling and train control used across a range of railway operating environments.

Learning outcomes
- Comprehensive understanding of the various objectives of railway signalling and train control systems
- A critical awareness of the underlying principles and the methods used in the main systems of railway signalling, covering traditional signalling systems and more recent and emerging digital systems, across various operating environments including high-speed rail, heavy rail, metro rail, light rail, and tramway systems
- Knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the various objectives of train control systems
- A critical awareness of the methods used in the main train control systems
- Ability to evaluate train control systems to generate solutions to a case study problem, while understanding their limitations


- Objectives of railway signalling and trail control
- Traffic signalling systems
- Signalling systems for mainline railway (fixed block signalling, ETCS Level 1, ETCS Level 2, and moving-block signalling)
- Signalling systems for light rail/metro/tram systems (CBTC)
- Traffic Control and Management
- Principles of cab signalling and speed control
- Speed control in ATO and DAS (C-DAS)
- Energy-efficient speed control, a case study
- Traffic management for railways

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours126.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study is for pre-reading, taught session follow-up, self-directed study, preparation of coursework and exam revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Computer-based practical sessions will be used to monitor student progress, and provide feedback as well as through feedback on coursework and exams.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report2000 word report50.00
Group Project2500-word group report on a train signalling/control project50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/10/2023 16:57:39


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