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Rail Electrification System Design Workshop
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Rail Electrification System Design Workshop

2-Day Training Course: THE Essential Guide to Managing a Rail Electrification Project. If you are involved with a rail electrification project, don’t miss this comprehensive 2 day course. An industry expert will teach you what you need to know about planning, designing, constructing & maintaining electrified railways, along with his advice & insights

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Understand the history of, and the business case for electrification over diesel
  • Examine the planning requirements of electrification including technical, political, operational, topographical, environmental and safety
  • Review the constraints of an electrified railway including cost, time, budget, route gauge, track access, required training, power availability, existing infrastructure and maintenance
  • Study electrification system design considerations, including:
    • Gain a working knowledge of standards, train requirements, materials, voltage systems
    • Understand climatic/wind conditions, aesthetics, conductor systems, traction distribution
    • Appreciate earthing and bonding, traction return systems and communications
    • Recognise network effects, testing, commissioning, interdependent infrastructure
    • Analyse the requirements of constructing and maintaining electric railways
    • Examine case studies of various electrification projects, at various stages of the lifecycle

About the Course

Electrification has many advantages over alternative forms of traction, but it requires significant capital expenditure for installation. This course will examine the business case for electrification over diesel traction, and the differences between various AC/DC systems.

It is important to understand the significance of electrification in terms of an overall rail project, its role, influence and the changes that are/have to be made to ensure it’s a worthwhile investment.

Requirements, constraints and considerations of an electrified railway from a project management perspective will be discussed. The planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining factors will be systematically discussed.

Case studies will be looked at throughout the course to help participants apply theory to practice – drawing from Roy’s vast international experience working on numerous electrification projects.

The course will spend time on electrification system design considerations such as environmental/aesthetic factors, system choice (AC/DC/ overhead, 3rd rail), train requirements, materials, voltage systems, traction distribution, earthing, bonding, network effects, testing and commissioning. It will also look at operational factors, such as train frequency, required performance, emergency/safety procedures and constructing and maintaining electric railways – the requirements and constraints.

Who Will Benefit

This course will benefit managers, planners, investors, engineers, technicians, construction staff or graduates from both inside and outside the railway industry that are, or maybe involved in current and/or future railway electrification projects.

There will be some technical elements referred to in the course specifically in the system design section; however they will be explained in context. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions to improve their understanding.


“The instructor’s overhead experience and knowledge is fantastic. Also, his practical examples of his experience were great, particularly where he explained novel and clever solutions”
Electrical Engineer, Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure

Terms & Conditions

To read the training course terms and conditions read more here

Course Outline

So you want an electrified railway?

  • Introduction
  • Course overview
  • Introduction of instructor and participants
  • Identification of specific outcomes/learning/expectations of participants – Can we tailor it to suit?
  • Core course elements of planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining an electrified railway

History of railway electrification

  • Choice after steam – diesel or electric?
  • Electric vs diesel power
  • The introduction and development of electrification
  • Different systems in different parts of the world
  • AC and DC systems – the differences
  • What we have in Australia State vs State
  • Development of ‘high speed’ railways – Australia next?

Requirements of an electrified railway


  • Political/economical drivers?
  • Available power supply?
  • Available route?
  • Required usage?
  • Type and frequency of trains?


  • Characteristics of rail electrification
  • Topography
  • Aesthetics


  • Available budget
  • Access
  • Plant
  • Available resource


  • Electrification – why?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of electrification over diesel traction
  • Environmentally friendly?
  • Other factors affecting suitability


  • Advantages and disadvantages of electrification over diesel traction
  • Other factors affecting suitability

Constraints of an electrified railway


  • Statutory regulations
  • Available power supply
  • Investment
  • Client goals and objectives
  • Type of rolling stock
  • Cost, time, budget factors
  • Required date in service
  • Route gauge – will it fit through existing tunnels and bridges?
  • Existing infrastructure – can we utilise what we’ve got?
  • Track access – can we work within the current possession regime?
  • Project management of electrification – Available plant and resource
  • Standards
  • Required training
  • Future requirements – Is this the start of something bigger?


  • Choice of system – AC or DC? Overhead or 3rd Rail?
  • Interface with existing infrastructure
  • Choice of support structures – steel or concrete?
  • Source of materials
  • Standards


  • Track access
  • Available plant and resource
  • Training
  • Required competencies and authorisation


  • What is the significance of electrification in terms of an overall rail project
  • Converting from diesel to electrification


  • Standards and procedures
  • Available resources
  • Training
  • Plant and tools

Now you have decided to electrify, what next?

Considerations for an electrification project


  • Time and budget
  • Power supply study
  • Tender procedure
  • Interface with other upgrade projects
  • Interface and impact on track and signals


  • Choice of system eg catenary, 3rd rail
  • Standards
  • Train requirements
  • Voltage systems
  • Signalling and communications
  • Appropriate wind loads
  • Climatic conditions
  • Conductor systems
  • Traction power distribution requirements
  • Earthing and bonding
  • Traction return systems
  • Network effects
  • Interface with other projects and infrastructure
  • Interface with existing and future infrastructure
  • Testing and commissioning
  • Case examples


  • Possession planning
  • Non possession works
  • Plant and resource
  • Training
  • Notifications
  • Public awareness


  • Train frequency
  • Right of way – track layouts, substations, signalling and communications
  • Required train performance
  • Safety standards and procedures
  • Emergency procedures


  • Standards and documentation
  • Periodical maintenance schedule

Case studies
Various case studies will intertwined with the course to help participants apply theory to practice – drawing from Roy’s vast international experience working on numerous electrification projects

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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