Mini-Assignments Help

Mini-Assignments Help

Mini-Assignment 1 – Route Planning:

  • Use Digimap Roam to produce one or more maps of a proposed route alignment for your new railway line. Briefly discuss the issues you considered when choosing this alignment, the reasons for your final choice of alignment, and any significant constraints on the proposed alignment.
  • Produce a sketch of the longitudinal gradient profile for your proposed alignment, based on the contour and height information in Digimap Roam.
  • Use appropriate population, generalised journey time and fare elasticities, along with the values on your datasheet, to produce an estimate of the number of passengers using your new route in 2035. You should take account of changes in population, service interval and average fares, and assume that all passengers are travelling from the origin of the train service to the destination. You should show your calculations in full. There are also expected to be changes in car fuel costs, local employment levels and crowding (on board trains) over the period to 2035. State whether you think the elasticities of rail demand with respect to these variables would be positive or negative, giving reasons for your answer.

Mini- Assignment 2 – Trackbed design:

  1. Use the information given in the datasheet to estimate the annual number of vehicle passes (Ni) for your chosen route. Assume that services operate from 0500 to 2300, and that each train is made up of three vehicles. Describe this information in a suitable table and comment on the values (e.g. is this a busy route compared to say the Southampton to London commuter mainline?). Hint: an indicative estimate of the number of vehicle passes on the Southampton to London commuter route may be determined by consulting the timetable – number of trains per day multiplied by an estimate of the number of vehicles in each train

– perhaps 8.

  • Read the paper by Li and Selig “Method for railroad track foundation design I Development” which will have been presented / discussed during lectures. This is part one of two papers describing a two part design method. Note that this assignment only implements part 1 of the design method (to prevent subgrade progressive shear failure). When you have read the article turn to the appendix for the detailed guidance on implementing the method.
  • Using Geoindex ( explore the soil types present on your chosen route. The most appropriate data to show will be the top 10 to 15 metres of material present along your route. This should be visible using the data filters “Artificial Ground”, “Superficial deposits”, “Bedrock Geology”. For more local data click on some of the Borehole data and view this – note that individual borehole data will be of variable quality.

Summarise in a short paragraph the general characteristics of the predominant soils present on your route,

e.g. is the route largely on clay, silt, sand or something else. Each route will be different and it is possible for some routes to pass over a large range of soils. If this is the case for your route please select a short section where the underlying geology is similar and only characterise this section. Discuss whether the soil characterisation on your route could map to any of the four soil types described within the Li and Selig method.

  • Comment on why the method by Li and Selig does not cover granular subgrades (e.g. sands/gravels) or underlying rock. Describe how you might approach designing the trackbed on granular types of subgrade or for underlying rock? (hint – consider maintenance issues).

Note that for this assignment the majority of the submitted work will be in the form of calculations, tables and figures. For each of parts a, b, c and d the text submission (omitting the calculations, tables and figures) should not be more than half a page (i.e. two sides of text in total as a maximum). The page requirement for calculations, tables and figures will be in addition to this and the space/pages needed for this will depend on your presentation format.

Mini-Assignment 3 – Earthworks and Structures:

  • Select a loading gauge for your route. Suggest the implications that this may have for new or existing overhead structures such as overbridges and tunnels on your selected route. (250 words).
  • Choose an earthwork (embankment or cutting) slope from your route. Using the approach/charts described in the appendix and lecture slides, check the stability of an existing earthwork, or determine the stable slope angle for a new earthwork. Discuss briefly potential concerns that you may have with earthworks on your route, whether newly constructed, or of old construction. (250 words)

Mini-Assignment 4 – Rolling Stock:

a)    Design a train for your route, using the carriage design template given in Appendix 1. You should choose an appropriate number of carriages to cater for the expected passenger flows on your route, although it is not necessary for each carriage to be different (you may, for example, have two carriage designs and specify a three-carriage train comprising two of one design and one of the other). You should specify whether the train is a multiple-unit (with a driving cab at each end) or relies entirely on an additional locomotive for propulsion. You should also specify an appropriate propulsion type (diesel, overhead electric, third-rail electric, battery electric, hybrid or alternative fuel source). If your train relies on a separate locomotive, you are allowed to swap the locomotive from one type to another en-route if the station facilities and timetable for the route permit. Similarly, you are allowed to specify a multiple-unit which can be propelled by an additional locomotive for all or part of the route.

Provide a written explanation of and justification for your design, explaining why you have made the choices you have for your given route. It is not necessary for your train to include all possible features, but you should be mindful of the needs of the passengers on your route, paying particular attention to accessibility.

Mini-Assignment 5 – Noise:

  1. Calculate the speed profile of the trains on your proposed route departing from your terminus station. You should calculate the speed profile over at least a length of 2 km, starting at your terminus station and allowing for gradients.
  • Calculate the noise effects of your proposed route by determining the width of various (free field) noise contours
    • within the town where your terminus station is located (using the speed profile from (a) – assume that the trains travelling in both directions at a certain location would pass with the same speed);
    • at sensitive receptors elsewhere along the route (making suitable assumptions about train speed). In addition to the proposed passenger service, assume that one freight train per day runs in each direction, consisting of a diesel locomotive and 20 wagons and running at a constant speed of 50 km/h. Identify the most critical buildings along the route (from both i. and ii. above) and, according to the distance from the alignment, calculate noise levels for these buildings. Discuss the limitations of your calculations.
  • Compare the calculated noise levels at these buildings with the requirements specified in the UK Noise Insulation Regulations (NIRR). Identify any buildings requiring noise insulation and recommend suitable noise mitigation as necessary. Justify your choices.

Mini-Assignment 6 – Signalling Systems:

  1. Design a track layout for your new route (e.g. single track, single track with passing loop(s) or double track) sufficient to provide the specified level of service without providing excessive capacity (i.e. an inefficient use of resources – it would be helpful to at least consider the timetabling requirements for the route, as required for Mini-Assignment 7, before finalising your layout). This track layout should include the whole of the new section of route, including the junction with the existing network.
  • Mark on this track layout the position and type of the signals required for safe and efficient operation of the line. Annotate the diagram to explain why you have placed these signals in these locations.
  • Discuss the need for interlocking on your route with reference to specific signals, points and other features shown in your signalling diagram

Mini-Assignment 7 – Capacity and timetabling

Based upon the service interval, route length and maximum line speed for the route, and the track layout developed as part of mini-assignment 6 (Signalling Systems):

  1. Develop an outline timetable for the new route (i.e. between the new station and the location at which the new route is linked to the existing network) for the proposed base year service, consistent with the following timetable planning values: minimum headways, junction margins and platform reoccupation times of five minutes, and minimum turnaround times of 10 minutes. (Note: for a train entering a passing loop, the standard junction margin should be maintained between it and a subsequent train passing in the opposite direction. However, the margin between the other train passing and the first train then leaving the loop can be reduced to a minimum value of one minute. This will be further illustrated and explained in the lectures). The timetable should show two services in each direction, and so the length of time included will depend upon the specified base year service interval. For the calculation of the journey times, ignore the effects of acceleration and deceleration, i.e. assume a constant average speed throughout a train’s journey between start and stop. The journey time on the new route should in general reflect the new route’s length as a proportion of the total route length covered by the service pattern, i.e.

new route journey time ≈ (base year total journey time) x (new route length) / (total route length)

However, the average speed used for the new route should not exceed 90% of its maximum line speed, to provide an allowance for recovery from delays and variations in train performance during day-to-day operations. You MUST use the base year total journey time from your data sheet. Do not attempt to calculate this based on the maximum line speed. The length of the existing route can be determined in Digimap Roam or by reference to the appropriate Sectional Appendix (see the detailed guidance for Mini- Assignment 6, below) or a railway atlas (note, however, that the distances and route lengths in these sources are likely to be expressed in terms of miles and chains: 1 mile = 80 chains, 1 chain = 22 yards).

Present the timetable in the form of a timetable graph (the use of Excel’s line drawing facilities is suggested for this purpose, as shown in Appendix A, and an Excel-based template will be made available on Blackboard, but other means of presentation can be used if preferred).

  • Based upon the developed timetable and the timetable planning values specified above in a), calculate the capacity utilisation index (CUI) value for the line for the time period including the two services in each direction (and taking account of the additional headway/margin/turnaround time following the last train included in the calculations), rounded up to the nearest whole hour, using the methods described in the lectures. If the line is single track throughout, a single CUI value should be calculated; if it is double track, the CUI value for one track should be calculated; if the line is single track with one or more passing loops, the line should be split at each loop, and a single CUI value calculated for the line section between the new station and the loop closest to it. Your calculations should be shown in full, and the compressed timetable should be presented in a second timetable graph.
  • Briefly describe the reasons for your choice of timetable and infrastructure layout, and comment upon the performance implications of your calculated CUI value.

Mini-Assignment 8 – Human Factors/Safety

  • Provide a synopsis for ONE accident case study of your choice. This should include an account of what happened, the key causes and contributory factors and any recommendations made as a result of the accident. You should ensure you distinguish between individual and systemic factors. You can choose the

case study discussed in the lecture, or the Crash at Kerang (using the Salmon et al. (2013) paper) OR the Ladbroke Grove rail crash (using the Lawton and Ward (2005) paper). [400 words]

  • Use your lecture notes, recommended readings (of all accidents), and what you have learnt from part a), to produce a list of potential or hypothetical Human Factors and Safety-related issues associated with your case study route and suggest mitigation strategies / recommendations to address these (e.g. from the perspective of design, training, equipment, procedures, organisational culture etc.). You may wish to present this section in a table. [400 words]

Mini-Assignment 9 – Organisation, regulation and governance

How will your new case study route be designed, built, financed and operated? Discuss with respect to ownership (public, private or hybrid), organisation (including the extent of horizontal and vertical integration), the degree of on-track and/or off-track competition and the extent of regulation (including fares, service quality, service quantity and safety). Relate your answer to recent new services in the UK (actual and proposed) and the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

Mini-Assignment 10 – Stations and Interchanges

  1. Based on the site chosen for the terminus of your line in Mini-Assignment 1, discuss whether or not it would be suitable as the basis for a transit-oriented development. This should include identification of potential opportunities for and constraints on such development. [~250 words]
  2. Use Digimap Roam to produce a detailed map of the area around your new station site, and mark on it any opportunities for interchange with other transport modes (e.g. bus, car, bicycle). If no such opportunities currently exist, briefly suggest (with reference to the map) what local transport investments might usefully be made to complement the new railway route. Discuss what facilities should be installed at the station to make the transfer between modes as seamless as possible, with reference to any specific constraints which exist at the site. [~350 words]
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