Subject Datasheet

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I. Subject Specification

1. Basic Data
1.1 Title
Railway Track Structures
1.2 Code
1.3 Type
Module with associated contact hours
1.4 Contact hours
Type Hours/week / (days)
Lecture 4
1.5 Evaluation
1.6 Credits
1.7 Coordinator
name Dr. Szabolcs FISCHER, Ph.D.
academic rank Associate professor
1.8 Department
Department of Highway and Railway Engineering
1.9 Website
1.10 Language of instruction
1.11 Curriculum requirements
Optional in the Infrastructure Engineering (MSc) programme
1.12 Prerequisites
1.13 Effective date
1 September 2022

2. Objectives and learning outcomes
2.1 Objectives
The aim of the course is to acquaint students with the latest developed railway track structures in the case of railways, subways and tramways. The students can listen case studies that are related to the most modern superstructures.
2.2 Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject, the student:
A. Knowledge
  1. knows the elements and mechanisms of ballasted and ballastless tracks, as well as jointed and CWR tracks,
  2. knows the railway track superstructure types and their properties, characteristics,
  3. knows the construction technologies of railway tracks (superstructures),
  4. knows the important calculation methods to determine mechanical stresses and deformations in railway permanent ways’ elements and layers,
  5. knows the types of railway bridges and the related railway track structures, as well as he/she is familiar with the interaction between railway track and railway bridge,
  6. knows the special set-up of transition zones,
  7. knows the multi-level shear box test and he/she is familiar with the railway granular materials and geosynthetic-reinforced railway granular materials (laboratory and field tests, as well as discrete element modelling),
  8. knows the modern tramway and subway superstructures,
  9. knows the superstructures of special railway tracks (turnouts, crossings, grade crossings, etc.), knows special case studies, e.g. crumbling examination of railway crushed stones by individual laboratory method and extra energy consumption due to speed restrictions, glued insulated rail joints with glass fibre-reinforced fishplates.
B. Skills
  1. is able to form an opinion on construction technologies of railway tracks (superstructures),
  2. is able to form an opinion on normal and special railway superstructure types,
  3. is be able to form an opinion on superstructure dimensioning procedures (methods),
  4. is able to determine the maximum inner forces in complex cases using the Zimmermann (and Zimmermann-Eisenmann) method,
  5. is able to determine the theoretical loads of the multilayer railway track structure,
  6. is able to compile rail gap tables,
  7. is able to perform track stability testing in simpler cases,
  8. is able to form an opinion on superstructure types of special railway tracks (turnouts, crossings, grade crossings, etc.),
  9. is able to form an opinion on case studies that are related to railway track structures.
C. Attitudes
  1. cooperates with the instructor in the preparation of partial performance assessments,
  2. strives for an accurate and error-free solution,
  3. strives for precise, professional wording in his/her oral and written statements,
  4. in his/her written performance appraisals, strive for orderly, engineering-quality and strives to produce orderly documentation of the quality and appearance expected at the engineering level during his/her written performance evaluations.
D. Autonomy and Responsibility
  1. prepare responsibly for the successful completion of tasks,
  2. carry out the independent sub-tasks, independently and to the best of his/her ability,
  3. openly accepts substantiated critical remarks.
2.3 Methods
Lectures with presentations, independently prepared home works, communication in writing and orally: performance appraisal, exam, and active participation in contact classes.
2.4 Course outline
WeekTopics of lectures and/or exercise classes
1.General studies 1. Introduction into railway permanent ways I. (Set-up of railway vehicles; Railway track and vehicle; Loading gauge and structural gauge; Cross-sectional dimensions of railway permanent ways; Railway traction force and resistances; Geometrical design of railway tracks in general)
2.General studies 2. Introduction into railway permanent ways II. (Railway track structures: ballasted and ballastless tracks; Elements of railway tracks I.)
3.General studies 3. Introduction into railway permanent ways III. (Elements of railway tracks II.)
4.General studies 4. Introduction into railway permanent ways IV. (Tracks with normal 'gapped' (fishplated) rail joints as well as CWR tracks; Set-up of substructure and supplementary layers)
5.General studies 5. Reserve week to supplement the missing information and lessons
6.Construction of ballasted railway tracks (construction technologies)
7.Calculation of mechanical stresses and deformations in railway permanent ways’ elements and layers
8.Interaction between railway track and railway bridge. Set-up of transition zones.
9.Laboratory tests with granular materials as well as field tests with geogrids
10.Modern tramway superstructures
11.Modern subway superstructures
12.Crumbling examination of railway crushed stones by individual laboratory method
13.Investigation of glued insulated rail joints
14.Extra energy consumption due to speed restrictions

The above programme is tentative and subject to changes due to calendar variations and other reasons specific to the actual semester. Consult the effective detailed course schedule of the course on the subject website.
2.5 Study materials
a) Textbooks:
  1. Lichtberger, B.: Track compendium, Eurailpress Tetzlaff-Hestra GmbH & Co. Publ., Hamburg, 2005
  2. Esveld, C.: Modern railway tracks, MRT Production, Zaltbommel, 2014
  3. Mundrey, JS: Railway Track Engineering, 5th Edition, Mc Graw Hill India, 2017
b) Online materials:
  1. Presentations: Fischer, S.: Railway track structures, BUTE, 2022
  2. Electronic lecture notes: Fischer, S., Eller, B., Kada, Z., Németh, A.: Railway engineering, Universitas-Győr Nonprofit Kft., Győr, 2015
2.6 Other information
  1. Attendance to lectures is compulsory. The signature and credits from the subject will be refused to students missing more than 4 (i.e. attending less 9 classes).
  2. Students are evaluated based on their actual individual performance. Students are required to show evidence of their own knowledge and skills. Submitting a work of others, obtaining or giving unauthorized help (e.g. during an exam or test) cheating and plagiarism in any form is unacceptable. Whoever violate the respective Regulations of the University will be given a failing grade (1), without the possibility of retake and repeat, and will be reported to the Dean’s Office.
2.7 Consultation

According to the information on the Dept.’s website.

This Subject Datasheet is valid for:
Inactive courses

II. Subject requirements

Assessment and evaluation of the learning outcomes
3.1 General rules
The assessment of the learning outcomes specified in clause 2.2. above and the evaluation of student performance occurs via tests, homework assignments and class work.
3.2 Assessment methods
Evaluation formAbbreviationAssessed learning outcomes
1. control testED1A.1-A.5; B.1-B.7; C.3-C.4; D.1
2. control testED2A.6-A.9; B.8-B.9; C.3-C.4; D.1
1. homeworkHF1A.1-A.4; B.3-B.5; C.1-C.2; D.2-D.3
2. homeworkHF2A.1-A.9; B.1-B.9; C.1-C.2; D.2-D.3
attendance and activityAA.1-A.9; B.1-B.9; C.1-C.2; D.1-D.3
written examinationVA.1-A.9; B.1-B.9; C.3-C.4; D.1

The dates of deadlines of assignments/homework can be found in the detailed course schedule on the subject’s website.
3.3 Evaluation system
Total achievable during the semester40%
ED1, ED2, HF1, HF2 are scoreless if they do not reach 50% of the available score.
Exam score less than 50% of the available score per exam question separately and together it results in a scoreless exam.
3.4 Requirements and validity of signature
The condition for obtaining the signature is that the score (based on 3.3) that can be obtained during the semester period (excluding exam period) according to achieve at least 50% of the points: both for each individual performance appraisal and for the cumulative in terms of score. In addition, attendance at 70% of the lectures is compulsory.
3.5 Grading system
GradePoints (P)
excellent (5)87.5%<=P
good (4)75%<=P<87.5%
satisfactory (3)62.5%<=P<75%
passed (2)50%<=P<62.5%
failed (1)P<50%
The grade of those who meet the conditions of attendance is determined according to the following criteria:
Control tests (ED1 and ED2) and homeworks (HF1 and HF2) are successful if the student has individually reached the 50% of the total score.
Completion of active participation is not obligatory, however, the semester grade is specified in Section 3.3. according to point weighted.
A semester is successful if the student has achieved at least the 50% of all the scores available in the semester, i.e. (ED1 + ED2 + HF1 + HF2 + A) × 50%.
In the written exam, several questions must be answered, each exam question must be answered separately and they have to reach the min. 50% of their score.
3.6 Retake and repeat
  1. Homework – in addition to paying the fee specified in the regulations – is delayed in the “Detailed semester schedule”.
  2. Due to its nature, active participation cannot be replaced or improved.
  3. The control tests (ED1 and ED2) can be replaced or improved for the first time (the date is according to the "Detailed semester schedule") free of charge. In case of correction (improvement), the new result overwrites the previous result in all cases.
  4. If the student is not able to obtain a grade other than insufficient (scoreless) even with the replacement according to point 3), so – in addition to paying the fee specified in the regulations – a second, repeated attempt can do to improve the first replacement of one of the failed control test in the 'replacement week'.
3.7 Estimated workload
contact hours14×4=56
preparation for the tests2×12=24
preparation of homeworks2×15=30
preparation for the examination40
3.8 Effective date
1 September 2022
This Subject Datasheet is valid for:
Inactive courses