Eli Broad College of Business

Railway Motive Power and Alternative Propulsion

Available dates

Jan 29—31, 2020
3 days
Long Beach, California, United States
USD 1995
USD 665 per day


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About the course

Air quality and volatile diesel prices pose challenges to railways, particularly in urban areas. Traditional wayside power supply requires large capital investment and has visual impact. Emerging propulsion systems have the potential to address these concerns: (a) Rapidly developing battery technology with opportunity charging offers a suitable way forward for some railway services. (b) Hydrogen fuel cell systems offer zero-emission, longer range, flexibility, and lower capital cost than electrification. Knowledge and understanding of these technologies is essential to increase the effectiveness of capital investment, fleet modernization, and to avoid investment in stranded assets.

Classroom instruction by MSU Faculty and Industry subject matter experts, with a site visit included.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the impact of duty cycles on propulsion system design and motive power technology selection
  • Know drive trains of various architectures, such as diesel, electric, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, their advantages and limitations
  • Understand design and operational issues related to wayside power supply
  • Understand the drivers for alternative propulsion systems and the impact on technology selection
  • Assess suitability of motive power technologies to address environmental, fuel consumption, and capital cost concerns
  • Know emerging research and applications of Hydrail

Who should attend

  • Managers considering new networks and extensions
  • Railway consultants
  • Government representatives and policy advisors responsible for air quality or public transportation
  • Rail transportation managers for ports / port authorities
  • Rail motive power mangers considering technology changes / fleet renewal or refurbishment

Trust the experts

Andreas Hoffrichter

Dr. Andreas Hoffrichter is the Burkhardt Professor in Railway Management and the Executive Director of the Center for Railway Research and Education in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Andreas studied Transport Management at Aston University, England, and completed the ...


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