Railway Operations Class

Increasing the number and diversity of rail-focused courses is an important step in rebuilding America’s railway education infrastructure. Currently, most college level rail courses are on railway civil engineering topics. The Universities of Tennessee and South Carolina jointly developed a college class on railway operations. Providing engineering students with a better understanding of operations can improve infrastructure design and maintenance practices. The course also attracted business students interested in a career in railway management. The course goal was to present basic operating principles of North American freight and passenger railroading, including shared access corridors handling both services. Identified course topics included railway vehicle and infrastructure fundamentals; freight and passenger services; traffic planning and management; terminal and line haul operations; labor relations and management; and railway administration. The course content addressed operating differences based on railroad size or market (e.g., intercity passenger versus commuter rail, Class 1 freight railroad versus Class 3 short line). This document includes: course development, course delivery, outcomes, future steps, and a sample syllabus.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Center for Transportation Research
    Conference Center Building
    Knoxville, TN  United States  37996-4133

    National University Rail Center (NURail)

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 205 N. Mathews Avenue
    Urbana, IL  United States  61801

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Clarke, David B
  • Publication Date: 2020-5-31


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures;
  • Pagination: 15p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01744828
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NURail2013-UTK-E03
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC52 (Grant 2)
  • Created Date: Jun 25 2020 11:00AM