You can read the July/August edition of IRSE NEWS online – click here to view it (you will need to log-in).  You can also see all the recent editions on the “Recent Issues” page of the IRSE website. This edition contains articles on:

-       4th generation train control systems

-       30 years later, have we still forgotten the driver?

-       Improving the management of emerging and residual safety risks

-       Interview: David Waboso, Managing Director of the GB Digital Railway Programme

-       Smart motorways

Presidential Programme Technical Meeting

14 September, Paris

The second technical meeting of our President’s Programme of Technical Papers will be held in Paris on 14th September, starting at 17.00. The exact location is Alstom HQ, 48 rue Albert, Dalhenne 93482, Saint-Ouen, Paris (a map is available on the IRSE website).

The event features both a paper on the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to railway signalling, and a practical demonstration of a 3D modelled environment.

BIM (Building Information Modelling) originated as an architectural and civil engineering tool that may appear ill-suited to use for railway signalling.  But in practice it is being increasingly used for a wide range of engineering projects, and it offers significant opportunities, both in its engineering processes and in delivering a project.  BIM offers an opportunity to bring together all those involved in a project (designers, maintainers and operators), integrate the activities of the various engineering domains (civil engineering, signalling etc), and to rethink the implementation process, the tools and to drive the evolution from the former industrial world to the digital world. 

Click here for more information.  Please note that attendees other than members of the French Section of the IRSE must register in advance to attend the event, by email to

Presidential Programme Technical Meeting

Zurich, 26 October

Our third Presidential Programme Technical Meeting for 2018-19 comprises two papers, both exploring the subject of innovation on railways, organised by the IRSE Swiss Section. The first considers the basic mechanisms of innovation in the train control and communications field and explores its potential future. The second gives an outline of the core principles of the Smartrail 4.0 project of SBB, which aims at fundamentally changing train control.

The event takes place in Zurich on 26 October, starting at 15.00.  The two papers are to be presented by Prof. Dr. U. Weidmann (Swss Federal Inst. of Technology) and by Vice President Steffen Schmidt, Program Manager for Swiss Federal Railways.

Click here for more information.

CBTC Conference – Call for papers

29/30 November, Toronto

The sell-out success of the IRSE's "CBTC and Beyond" conferences in Toronto in the last two years has led us to decide to hold the conference for a third year. We are now calling for papers for the 2018 event.

This year’s CBTC conference will be held on November 29th and 30th at Fairmont Royal York, in the heart of downtown Toronto.  We encourage you to attend this year, and right now we welcome proposals for papers and presentations on the following or related topics: 

-       Papers providing project updates, specifically (but not only) for Canadian CBTC projects currently being implemented or planned;

-       Papers related to the application of CBTC on LRT, and commuter rail transit systems;

-       Papers providing lessons learned in implementing CBTC in a brownfield environment;

-       Papers on actual CBTC revenue service operating and maintenance experience;

-       Papers looking to the future; what are the user business needs?  What research & development is currently underway on new/improved technologies to further improve operating performance while reducing life cycle costs?"

Please submit your abstract to by September 28th.


IRSE Council and the Netherlands Section have agreed to hold ASPECT 2019 in Delft, Holland from Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 October 2019. The University of Delft will be the venue. There will be an introductory day on 22 October, followed by two days of technical papers. We are also intending to arrange technical visits on Friday 25 October, and social/ networking events will also be arranged for the evenings. We will launch the call for papers in October – click here for more information as it appears.

Revised IRSE Code of Professional Conduct

The IRSE’s Code of Professional Conduct, with which all members are required to comply as a condition of membership, has been revised to incorporate material drawn from:

-       The revised Statement of Ethical Principles produced by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and the UK Engineering Council in 2017.

-       The UK Engineering Council’s Guidance for Institution Codes of Professional Conduct issued in 2017;

-       The UK Engineering Council’s Guidance on Whistleblowing issued in 2015.

As the Code of Conduct was being updated, the opportunity was also taken to clarify some of the wording to reflect the IRSE’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy.

You can find the new Code of Professional Conduct on the “About” page of the IRSE website, or click here to view it directly.

Subscription renewals

You should by now have received your subscription renewal notice for 2018-19. Subscriptions were due to be paid by 1st July, and we very much hope that you will continue to be a member of the Institution.  Please pay your subscription now. 

There are various ways you can pay – online via the IRSE website, by credit or debit card, by bank transfer, or by cheque.  For UK members we also strongly recommend that, if you have not already done so, you set up a Direct Debit so that we can collect your payment on time each year.

Renewing your membership means that you will continue to receive IRSE News, information about events, e-bulletins and access to IRSE events around the world.  We also provide a range of other services to members, which you can find on our website

Please note that when you renew your membership you will be bound by our Membership Terms and Conditions.

Railway Safety and Control Systems Course (MSc / PGDip / PGCert)

Are you looking for a highly respected, intellectually challenging, rail-centric, post-graduate diploma that is equivalent in content to the syllabus of the IRSE Exam? 

What is the course qualification? It is a Post Graduate (PG) Diploma (Dip) Railway Safety and Control Systems (RSCS) Communications and Control Pathway – run by University of Birmingham in Collaboration with the University of York, UK.

Is it full-time or part-time? There are part-time and full-time study options available as well as a PG Certificate pathway embedded within the programme. Additionally, through satisfactory completion of an additional dissertation module (60 credits), your qualification can be extended to a MSc.

When does the next course start? 17th September 2018.  Full-time students will complete in April 2019, part-time students in February 2020.

How will this course benefit me? Railway safety and control systems are vitally important worldwide, not only to ensure the ongoing operation of existing railways, but also for the design and the development of new systems. Railways all over the world need qualified engineers to design and manage their systems – engineers with the expertise that this course helps to provide.

The course includes systems engineering and both theory and practice in railway control systems, with a practice-based module in signalling and control systems. It is well suited to help provide your career with a solid foundation.

The course is aligned with the syllabus of the IRSE’s professional Examination, and it is expected that the course will be soon approved as equivalent to taking the Exam for the purposes of IRSE membership. 

What is the course content?  Students will benefit from the expertise of two leading UK universities: the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education and York’s High Integrity Systems Engineering group. Apart from three modules taught at the University of York (indicated by a “Y” in the list below), all the modules are taught at the University of Birmingham. The modules are:

-       Terminology and Communication for Railways

-       Foundations of System Safety Thinking (Y)

-       Hazard and Risk Assessment (Y)

-       Railway Operations and Control Systems

-       Strategic Business Management for Railways

-       Principles of Railway Control Systems

-       Practical Ergonomics for Railway Systems

-       Rolling Stock and Infrastructure Interactions

-       Safety Management Systems, (Y)

-       Applications of Railway Control Systems

-       Systems Engineering and Integration for Dependability

What does it cost? UK/EU students – full-time course costs £9,600; part-time course costs £4,800 per year for 2 years; costs for non-EU international students are £12,780 (full-time) and £6,390 per year for 2 years (part-time).  Please note, all course costs are subject to review. Additional fees apply for students wishing to extend the course to gain an MSc.

What are the entry requirements? For more information entry requirements (normally a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant area – such as Mathematics, Engineering, Physics … plus 2-3 years in a relevant railway environment) contact Professor Felix Schmid, Programme Director on +44 (0)121 414 5138 or email Felix:  Felix can also help you if you want to find out more about the course content.

Where can I find out more and apply to join? For full module information and a link to the online application form, please contact Joy Grey on +44 (0)121 414 4342 or by email to:

For more information visit: or click here.


The following items will be of interest principally to members in Europe (inc. UK):

Minor railways Section: Cable testing workshop

22/23 September, Derby (UK)

With the kind support of Signet Solutions, TDJ and Greendragon Rail, the Minor Railways Section will be holding a technical workshop on S&T cable testing, to be run by Signet Solutions Ltd at their Derby training facility on the above dates.  This workshop is open to and aimed at individuals involved with S&T maintenance and installation in the heritage / minor railways sector.  The two days will cover a wide range of subjects of interest to both newcomers and the more experienced, both the theory and hands on.

This technical workshop will cost £95 per person and will be limited to no more than 12 places.  For more information, and to apply for a place, click here.