Information published on 22 October 2020 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr eNews.

Free Online Course for Rail Users and Professionals

  • Technology
  • Training
  • Promoting
  • Sustainability
  • An opportunity to study online at the time and place that suits you.
  • Join our growing community of over 17000 learners from 132 countries.

You may not be using train services as much as you used to at the moment, but considering the challenges ahead, why not take this opportunity to gain new insights into the underlying engineering and operational complexity behind a daily train ride?

This free online course from the Delft University of Technology offers train users and professionals around the world the opportunity to explore the science, engineering and technology behind the exciting world of rail.

“Millions of people use the train every day, so our research and education teams are continuously working to find ways to overcome the complex mobility challenges we face on a regional, national and international scale in a sustainable way. In this short online course, through the use of practical and familiar examples, we explain in an attractive and visual way the systems’ underlying complexity. We want to give participants an insight into all that happens behind their daily commute,” said Joris van Dijk, designer of this online course.

Broaden your knowledge of railway systems
Join us and learn what is needed to create and maintain a robust railway system and get trains on the correct platform at the scheduled time, as well as how to deal with disturbances and improve services over time.

With an increasing number of people using railways year on year, capacity challenges are a big priority. Using an accessible way of learning, this course helps you understand how to optimize the traffic flow to meet the demands of the user from an integrated approach, from both an engineering and operations point of view.

“In this course we talk about common problems that challenge railway infrastructure. We also cover the network components, different types of tracks and trains and the effects of interaction between them, as well as the importance of monitoring techniques, maintenance strategies and the decisions that come into play. Other aspects discussed are how to deal with and how to adapt the schedule in the event of a disturbance, how traffic flows influence the use and design of stations and how the railway network affects its environment (and vice versa),“ said Rolf Dollevoet, Professor of Railway Engineering.

Participants from over 130 countries
Since this course was launched, more than 17000 people from over 130 countries have joined. To make it valuable for international learners, we analyze differences and similarities of rail networks in different countries and use the diverse approaches to learn from each other. The course makes use of interactive images, animations and mini-lectures (knowledge clips) to explain complexity in a visual and understandable way.

Play and learn
The course also includes a purpose-built Serious Game, to guide learners through the decision-making process while they build their own railway network, which needs to be operated and maintained over time. The idea is to connect cities in an increasingly complex situation requiring learners to deal with wear, capacity, developments and disturbances. Participants will have to make choices and set priorities to influence the performance of the railway system under ever-changing circumstances.

"It was great to find these online courses in railway engineering as they are not available in my country. The interaction with peers from all over the world was invaluable in terms of looking at concepts from various perspectives. The courses provided me the opportunity to refresh my knowledge,” said Khalid Saleem, a participant from Australia.

Enroll for free at:

Watch our introduction video: (2 min)

If you need more information please contact Eduardo Landin from TU Delft Online Learning.