Rail Vehicle Engineering 101
4.1 (66 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,219 students enrolled
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Rail Vehicle Engineering 101

Learn the basics of rail vehicle engineering, for a career in rail or as a hobbyist.
4.1 (66 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,219 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2016
Price: Free
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • You will be able to classify rail vehicles and to know their fundamental differences to road vehicles. This will help you to formulate requirements for rail vehicles and their subsystems as well understand the operational restrictions the are subjected to.
  • You will know the structural elements of rail vehicles, so you can discuss technical features confidently.
  • The knowledge of longitudinal and lateral dynamics will provide you with important basics to perform your own calculations.
  • You will learn the basics of manufacturing rail vehicles, which will help you to understand the processes of rail vehicles.
View Curriculum
  • Basic Knowledge in Mathematics and Geometry is recommendedalso general
  • Basic Knowledge in Mechanical Engineering will be helpful

The rail industry is thriving worldwide and offers plenty of interesting jobs. The design and manufacturing of rail vehicles is different from other engineering tasks in several aspects. This course will introduce you to the most important differences in order to prepare you for a potential career in rail.

Learn the basics of rail vehicle engineering to work in sustainable transportation:

  • Learn to classify rail vehicles according to operation or vehicle type
  • Get to know the main differences between road and rail transport
  • Identify structural elements of rail vehicles and their requirements
  • Understand longitudinal and lateral dynamics of rail vehicles, including hunting movement and wheel rail contact
  • Find out how rail vehicles are manufactured

This course will help you find out why rail vehicles are designed as they are and how this links to operational requirements.

The course was developed based on introductory lectures held at Aachen university of applied sciences as part of the course on economics and technology of railways (in German). It provides you with a primer that helps you to acquire jobs in the booming and future oriented railway industry.

While there are several textbooks on the subject, I don't know of any online course to give you quick access. Even if you wish to use a textbook, this course will help you to enter the subject.

Who is the target audience?
  • The course is considered for anybody interested in finding out more about rail vehicle design and the technical details behind them. It will also help people who aim to change their careers towards rail to feel confident with their knowledge. Obviously, this course cannot cater for experienced professionals and senior students, however their feedback is appreciated!
Compare to Other Math & Science Courses
Curriculum For This Course
17 Lectures
1 Lecture 02:53

After talking about my motivation to work in the area of railways, I will walk you through the course contents.

System Overview
2 Lectures 05:53
Definition of a Rail Vehicle

Systematics of rail vehicles
Rail vehicle fundamentals
2 Lectures 12:34
Structural elements

Operating conditions
Train dynamics
5 Lectures 31:50
Coordinate system and forces

Train and track resistance

Train braking

Wheel-rail normal contact

Wheel-rail tangential contact
Track guidance
2 Lectures 10:28
Track gauges

Running stability: the hunting motion
Vehicle design
5 Lectures 20:11
Car body requirements

Main elements and design principles

Lightweight design

Design limitation

Running gear structure
About the Instructor
Prof. Dr. Raphael Pfaff
4.1 Average rating
66 Reviews
2,219 Students
1 Course
Professor of Rail Vehicle Engineering

Raphael studied Mathematics, Mechatronics and Control Engineering in Bochum, Hagen and Coventry, where he gained his PhD in 2013. He worked as a System Engineer for Siemens and Faiveley Transport, on projects  including Vectron Locomotive and the new high speed train ICE 4. As Manager Product Engineering, he was responsible for the development of coupler systems before receiving the call upon a  professorship for Rail Vehicle Engineering at Aachen University of  Applied Sciences in 2014. 

Research interests include digitisation of rail vehicles, reliability modelling and additive manufacturing.

Besides research and teaching, he employs his skills as assessor for rail vehicles and consultant.