ENER20001 - Introduction to Railway Engineering

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will engage in a project that offers opportunities for you to explore issues in the design, modelling and analysis of railway vehicle/ track systems. Depending on your previous knowledge and experience, you may choose to investigate traction and braking, vehicle dynamics or structural engineering aspects. You will examine real-world problems and apply state-of-the-art simulation and analysis tools. In the context of a train system (large mining heavy haul, mixed freight or passenger rail) you may solve problems such as control, electrical machines, contact mechanics, multi-body dynamics, stress and strain and vibrations.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 12
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.25
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2021

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 3 - 2021

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Portfolio 100%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 50% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Students' emails and extension requests.
The problem with access to Simpack software on the Anydesk platform was reported by the students. The students were unable to connect to Anydesk due to a limited number of available connections.
Work with ITD to improve Anydesk performance and investigate alternative software solutions.
Action Taken
This year, two software solutions (Simpack and Gensys) were proposed to students.
Source: Moodle website
The disconnect was noticed between some students and a tutor, and this possibly brought down those students' performance outcomes.
To encourage students to use the Q&A forum on the website instead of personal emails and to recommend a tutor to provide a quick response to students' inquiries in future offerings.
Action Taken
A direct connection was established between the teaching team and students. The students were also actively notified about all activities through the Moodle website.
Source: Feedback from the teaching team and students
The issue with the licensing renewal of Simpack. It caused some uncertainties in work with Simpack software in Weeks 4-6.
To use the perpetual license file that will cover us until 2026 with the current Simpack versions.
Action Taken
Source: Feedback from students
The issue of student access to the Australian standard AS7509:2017 through the library system.
The information on how to access Australian standards through CQU's digital library subscription system should be provided to students during the Week 1 lecture.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Apply discipline knowledge to a complex rail engineering subsystem
  2. Conduct advanced analysis and sensitivity analysis of design parameter(s) in a design/ optimisation process
  3. Specify and justify effective design that meets stakeholder requirements
  4. Identify and use appropriate techniques to review a design
  5. Determine state-of-the-art rail engineering subsystems
  6. Reflect on the contribution of this project to your professional development.

The Learning Outcomes for this unit are linked with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Professional Engineers in the areas of 1. Knowledge and Skill Base, 2. Engineering Application Ability and 3. Professional and Personal Attributes at the following levels:
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline. (LO: 1N 2N 3N 4N 5N 6N )
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes. (LO: 1N 2N 3N 4N 5N 6N )
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects. (LO: 1N 2N 3N 4N 5N 6N )
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability. (LO: 1N 4N 6N )
3.4 Professional use and management of information. (LO: 1N 2N 4N 5N 6N )
3.5 Orderly management of self, and professional conduct. (LO: 1N 2N 4N 5N 6N )
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline. (LO: 1I 2I 3N 4N 5N 6N )
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline. (LO: 1I 2I 3N 4N 5I 6N )
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline. (LO: 1I 2I 3N 4N 5N 6N )
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains. (LO: 1I 2I 4N 5N 6N )
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour. (LO: 1I 2I 4N 6N )
1.1 Comprehensive, theory-based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline. (LO: 1A 2I 3I 4N 5N 6N )
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline. (LO: 1A 2I 3N 4N 5I 6N )
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving. (LO: 1A 2I 3N 4N 5N 6N )
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources. (LO: 1A 2I 3N 4N 5N 6N )

Note: LO refers to the Learning Outcome number(s) which link to the competency and the levels: N – Introductory, I – Intermediate and A - Advanced.
Refer to the Engineering Postgraduate Units Moodle site for further information on the Engineers Australia's Stage 1 Competency Standard for Professional Engineers and course level mapping information

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Portfolio
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Portfolio