Presidential Lecture

16th June 2020

"Techniques at the forefront of system safety and their application to railway signalling"

Dr Yuji Hirao will present the first Presidential series lecture on 16th June. The video will be made available online from 00:00 UK time on the 16th allowing plenty of time to view the lecture before a live Q&A session in the evening at 19:20 UK time.

Full joining details available soon on our events page.


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IRSE News June 2020

May's IRSE News is now available online.  

It includes features on Traffic Management by past President John Francis; a new instalment of the Back to Basics series from David Nicholson and ‚Äč"It's only a relic" sees the return of Ruth, first seen in issue 250.



The Convention committee and IRSE North American local section are working hard to reschedule the convention for 2021 in Toronto


Update for those with 2020 hotel reservations in Canada following Convention postponement

Many of you may have booked to stay at the Marriott in Toronto on the original 2020 dates. 

The latest update from the Marriott Group advises that guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, will be allowed to make full changes or cancellations without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival, so long as the change or cancellation is made by June 30, 2020.



Professional exam - October 2020

After due deliberation, the IRSE Education & Professional Development Committee  has decided that the Professional Examination held every year at centres across the world in October will take place as normal on 3 October where Covid-19 guidelines permit.  

If necessary the Exam will be cancelled at short notice at those regional centres where restrictions are still in place.   See here for full details including news about the exciting new stand-alone Module A ‘Certificate in Railway Control engineering Fundamentals’ qualification available for the first time this year.



IRSE Members' Lunch

With regret, Council have taken the decision to cancel the Members' Lunch for 2020 as a result of the current public health emergency.



IRSE Engage

IRSE Engage is an initiative to create online content with our members, for our members during this difficult time.  We invite all those willing to share their relevant expertise and experience to work with us in creating engaging online content for our member network.

This month includes lectures on Minimising Safety Risk and Crossrail Signalling from the London and South East Section; practical guidance on completing the IRSE Membership Application Form; the IRSE Strategy both in context and in detail — and a STEM workshop aimed at young rail enthusiasts from our Younger Members Section.

If you would like to be involved, or share a presentation based on your own area of industry expertise, please get in touch.

Click on the player tiles below to watch content online.


The IRSE Council are hard at work, with the calendar of regular meetings now moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Following on from the recent elections, we'll be introducing members of Council through the ebulletin each month so that you can better get to know those representing you in this important forum.


Harvinder Bhatia is  a professional engineer and business leader with extensive knowledge of both mainline and metro systems gained over a 25 year career in the railway industry. He serves on both the IRSE membership and London and South East section committees.

He is currently head of central engineering at Transport for London (TfL) managing many specialist teams including systems engineering, system performance, telecoms and digital engineering.


He joined  London Underground in 1989  working in variety of telecom related roles before joining Railtrack (now Network Rail)  in 1999 where he managed the National Telecoms Specialist team. 

At  Network Rail he was part of the National ERTMS Signalling Development Programme where he was the lead on defining the technical communications requirements for the signalling application and took part in European working groups to define the digital specifications for packet switching to support ETCS. 

Harvinder was appointed head of ICT engineering back at Transport for London in 2015.



Robert Cooke is a railway signalling engineer with over 29 years of experience. He is chairman of the IRSE Singaporean section a member of the IRSE International Technical Committee and chairman of the ASPECT committee.

He started his career with London Underground on the Central Line resignalling and Jubilee Line Extension projects.


At Invensys Rail (now Siemens) he worked on the generic principles of the Distance to Go Radio system now deployed on London Underground’s Victoria Line. After helping Invensys win the Downtown Line signalling contract, he moved to Singapore as the onshore Technical Authority for the project utilising Sirius Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) configured as a driverless unattended system.

He then joined the LTA in Singapore where he was involved in the NSEW resignalling and the new Thomson Line, both of which are using CBTC technology. He is currently deputy chief specialist, signalling with responsibilities for R&D, technical advice & professional development. He is a chartered engineer in Singapore with the IES and serves on the Railway Systems Sub-committee.


Younger members' exam preparation session- Module 2 Signalling the rapid transit layout (an online event)

06 Jun 2020, 09:30 - 13:00 BST; online

Preparing for this year's IRSE exam module 2? If you are a rapid transit candidate, this session is specifically for you. Much of the material in this session will be good background information for candidates attempting other modules or module 2 (mainline layout).

Please join this session live, or watch the recording afterwards.

The session will work through the steps to complete a Module 2 rapid transit layout to London Underground principles, including preparing a headway curve, signalling to meet headway and other signalling features.

Booking is essential! Please book via Eventbrite at only if you are going to attend as places are limited.

A video of this event, and other Younger Members' study days will be available at

Any questions? Please contact the Younger Members' section at


Younger members' online study day: Safety & Systems Engineering Day

13th June 2020, 09:30 - 1700 BST; online

A free online event sponsored by Atkins (a member of the SNC-Lavalin group), this event is aimed at people who have an interest in building their understanding of the topics ‘Safety of Railway Signalling and Communications’ and ‘Systems, Management and Engineering’.

During the workshop, participants are encouraged to consider the railway as a whole system, and how the internal interfaces between engineering disciplines, as well as the external interfaces to the outside world can affect the safe, reliable and efficient running of the rail network.

From an exam perspective it would suit those intending to sit Module 1 and/or Module 7 of the IRSE Exam in 2020. From 2021 onwards these syllabuses will be consolidated into Module B ‘Railway Safety and Systems Engineering’ so this workshop would also serve as good preparation for people planning to sit Module B in 2021.

The event features open discussion of exam questions, rapid-fire questions aimed at challenging participants current knowledge (which could help with preparing for the new Module A on-line test being introduced in 2020).

Spaces are limited! Please book via Eventbrite and give up your place if you are unable to attend.

For further information please contact:



Younger members' exam preparation session- Signalling equipment (useful for Module A and Module 5) (an online event)

20 Jun 2020, 09:30 - 13:00 BST; online 

Taking Module A or Module 5 this year? Please join this session live, or watch the recording afterwards. Topics include (but not limited to)

  • points
  • train detection

Booking is essential! Please book via Eventbrite at only if you are going to attend as places are limited.

A video of this event, and other Younger Members' study days will be available at

Any questions? Please contact the Younger Members' section at



London & South East section: Docklands light railway - an online event

25 Jun 2020, 18:00 - 20:00 BST; online

London & South East section's technical meeting with Geoff Mitchell discussing Docklands light railway. This fully automatic passenger railway went into traffic in August 1987 and has had many extensions and upgrades since then.

For further information and to register please book via Eventbrite at All are welcome to join us, members and non-members. Please do register individually so that we know how many are planning to attend.

This online presentation will be held via GoToMeeting. To test your computer and internet connection, use their system check at The simplest way to access the webinar is to follow the link to the GoToMeeting app: then enter the meeting ID (which will be given to you when you register for the presentation) and press the arrow. This process does not involve loading any software to your computer. Or you can phone into the presentation on +44(0)20 3713 5028 and enter the meeting ID (which will be given to you when you register for the presentation).

Any questions? Please contact the London and South East section on


Minor Railways Section Update:

AGM and technical visit to Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

27 Jun 2020 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  • The planned IRSE Minor Railway Section technical visit to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway has unfortunately been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 travel and social distancing restrictions.
  • The AGM has been rescheduled to 25 July and will be held online - please click here for further information including how to book your place.
  • The visit to the Dean Forest Railway previously postponed from March to October will now be rearranged in March 2021.

Minor Railways Section can be contacted at or


more info