High-Speed Rail Learning System: Education and Training Web Portal

The United States has begun moving towards developing a High-Speed Rail (HSR) network. However, the necessary workforce and expertise for planning, design, construction, and operations of the nascent HSR system are currently underdeveloped. The project team from Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) and the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) evaluated system workforce needs and developed a proof-of-concept web portal as a means of providing education and training to the future HSR workforce. Although the project concentrated on HSR related topics, the portal can also be expanded in the future to serve other areas of rail transportation. Building on an earlier study by MTI, this project assessed the current and future needs of the HSR workforce from a national perspective. Based on the needs assessment, the team investigated current offerings for educating and training the HSR industry workforce, both in the United States and in Europe, and the potential for using online technologies as part of the solution. The team learned that: the upcoming generation of potential workers is accustomed to the online virtual learning environment; online learning enables participation by a spatially diverse audience; and while use of online learning has been limited in rail education, the freight rail industry has realized substantial efficiencies and financial savings from computer-based training. In response to the identified needs, the team developed a proof-of-concept web portal to support online education and training of the future workforce. The portal offers introductory HSR materials developed as part of the project, as well as other materials such as recordings of HSR Workforce Symposium and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Rail Workforce Development Webinar presentations. With the proof-of-concept web portal in place, a new multi-year effort is planned to expand the learning system to address topics of interest proposed by various stakeholders such as State Departments of Transportation, universities, and K-12 schools.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 4p
  • Serial:
    • Research Results
    • Issue Number: RR 18-08
    • Publisher: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01670270
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 14 2018 12:39PM