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Railway Signals and Safety Short Course

Session 1:  April 30 – May 1, 2019
Tuesday: 8am-5pm; Wednesday 8am-12pm

Session 2:  May 1 – May 2, 2019
Wednesday 1pm-5pm; Thursday 8am-4pm

University of Delaware
Newark Campus 

This three day course consists of two 1.5 day sessions.  The first session will focus on the engineering aspects of the  “vital” safety systems used by U.S. rail operations, with an emphasis on transits.  The second session will address freight railroads primarily, both domestic and international, as to current and advanced operations including traffic control, traffic management and safety enforcement systems (Positive Train Control (PTC).

Each session can be completed individually or in combination. 

Session one will provide an overview of the freight rail industry as to operations and the use of both conventional and advanced technologies to advance both the safety and efficiency of freight operations in the U.S. as well as many railroads across the globe.

Session two provides an overview of operations, vital safety systems, autonomous railroading, and non-vital enforcement systems (e.g., Positive Train Control (PTC)) of freight railroads, both domestic and international. The core technologies required to operate railroads, i.e., communications, positioning, IT processing, and IT architecture, are addressed as to the paradigm shifts in each in the recent past that permit railroads to significantly advance the safety and efficiency of their operations.

Session 1 will focus on:

  • Glossary of terms used in the course
  • Overview of U.S. freight railroads: operations and statistics
  • Exposure and correction of common misunderstandings of railroad operations
  • Description of various types of conventional and advanced Train Control systems, both U.S. and international
  • Positive Train Control: functionality, design, implementation in U.S., and applicability in other rail markets.
  • Overview of advanced traffic management (including the paradigm shift by CSX, UP, and NS as to Precision Railroad Scheduling (PSR)) and other primary resources management
  • Advances in the Core Technologies required for railroad operations

Session 2 will focus on:

  • Review of Railway Safety
  • Review of Engineering Systems
  • Track and other Structures related to Signals
  • The Railway Signal System, Train Control, Purpose and General Description
  • Review of basic electric theory
  • Concept of Traction Power Circuit
  • Characteristics and Capabilities of HBLR ATC
  • Architecture of the HBLR ATC System
  • Operations and Maintenance Considerations

Ron Lindsey has 45 years in the rail industry, both as railroad management and as an independent consultant. As railroad management, he held the positions of Chief Engineer Communications at Conrail (when Class I) and Director of Advanced Train Control at CSX. In this latter position, he was the architect for the first overlay Positive Train Control (PTC) system that prevents train accidents due to human errors. His design provided the basis for the PTC systems being implemented on U.S. freight and passenger railroads due to a Federal mandate.

As an independent consultant for 25 years Ron has performed a wide variety of strategic and tactical marketing and technical engagements for major suppliers, Class I railroads, and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), including the following:

  • Architect of an advanced, integrated train control and PTC system, Virtual CTC (VCTC) for the Egyptian National Railways (ENR).
  • Architect of a VCTC solution for Kazakhstan’s railroad Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ):
  • Development of an Enterprise IT Architecture (EITA) for KTZ. This effort is unprecedented in the rail industry across the globe;
  • Designer of a Proactive Traffic Management Platform;
  • Suite of advanced railroad courses provided to suppliers and railroads, both domestically and internationally.

Ron is a frequent speaker at railroad conferences and has been published in Progressive Railroading, Journal of Transportation, and Railway Age for whom he is currently a Contributing Editor. He published his own quarterly journal, Full Spectrum, for 15 years that was subscribed to by railroads, suppliers, and the FRA. Ron’s blog, www.strategicrailroading.com provides a wide assortment of postings regarding the advancement of railroad operations via advancing technologies.

Ron has a BS-Metallurgy and  MBA.

Alfred Fazio has 40 years experience in freight and passenger rail. Born in Brooklyn, Al’s favorite transit system is the New York City Subway. He has worked for Amtrak, New Jersey Transit’s RiverLINE, and the Twenty First Century Rail located in Northern New Jersey, and has a particular expertise in DBOM models. Al holds a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Villanova University, a Master’s in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University, a Master’s in Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a registered Professional Engineer. He is a member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) as well as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He has also served as a member of the Engineering faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy and at Widener University.


The course is designed for the following:

  • PE’s that are looking to expand their horizons on railroad operations, both conventional and advanced based upon advancing technologies
  • Suppliers in the rail industry to expand the knowledge of both their sales force and engineering personnel
  • State-based Transportation Agencies that deal with freight railroads
  • Transits / Commuters who are dealing with PTC implementation
  • FTA, FRA, and NTSB personnel 
  • American Short Line Railroad Association
  • Other university personnel interested in the rail industry for their own purpose

Each session can be completed individually or in combination. 

Single session registration: $750
Session 1 AND 2 registration: $1350

  • Program fee includes course handouts, continental breakfasts, and University parking.Enrollment deadline: April 22, 2019
  • Cancellations and Substitutions: Refunds will be granted if the request is received in writing by March 29, 2019. Substitutions are permitted up through the first day of the course.
  • Registration Confirmation: A confirmation e-mail will be sent 5-7 days prior to the start of the program and will include directions to campus/parking.
  • Accommodations & Transportation: Participants are responsible for making their own housing and transportation arrangements. Air transportation should be arranged to either Philadelphia or Baltimore airport. Amtrak runs through Wilmington, DE and also has limited stops in Newark, DE.
  • Hotel Recommendations:
    • Courtyard by Marriott– UD Campus Hotel – 400 Pencader Way, Newark, DE, 1-302-737-0900 
    • Embassy Suites, Newark – 654 S. College Ave., Newark, DE. 1-302-368-8000 
    • Homewood Suites – 640 S. College Ave., Newark, DE, 1-855-605-0320