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AH2026 Railway Traffic - Market and Planning, Basic Course 7.5 credits

This course will give knowledge about the market of railway traffic, demand and planning of efficient train traffic, transport of passenger and freight by rail. It will also include the organisation and political framework for the future possibilities of railway. It will include traffic for both passenger and freight but also cooperation with other transport modes.

About course offering

For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Target group

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Part of programme

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P3 (7.5 hp)


14 Jan 2025
16 Mar 2025

Pace of study


Form of study

Normal Daytime

Language of instruction


Course location

KTH Campus

Number of places

Min: 5

Planned modular schedule


For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Application code



For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students


Anders Lindahl;


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Course coordinator

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus AH2026 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course disposition

The course is carried out with twelve days of lectures by the basic knowledge needed to understand the area of railway and railway operation. This is supplemented with exercises, project tasks data, and study visits to provide applications on the subject. See course schedule for dates and times of lectures and examination.

Course contents

  • The market of train traffic. An overview over travel and transport in Europe and how the development will be in the future.
  • Deregulation, restructuring and new operators of the railway. Cooperation between the different transport companies and interoperability in Europe.
  • Railway and environment. The advantages and disadvantages compared with other types of transport concerning for example environment and health effects.
  • Infrastructure. How to plan and build the railway. Social-economic analyses and environmental impact analyses.
  • How the signalling systems work, how to create timetables for the trains. Train operation, capacity analysis and simulation of train traffic.
  • Traffic systems for passenger travel in a general perspective. What should the operator think of when choosing strategies for traffic, vehicles and stations ?
  • Long term passenger traffic planning. Demand and valuations of the traveller. Investigation methods to know what the market requirements including prediction models. Some successful examples of passenger transport projects.
  • Freight traffic. The demand and supply of the Freight transport customer. Traffic systems and vehicles for freight transport.
  • Analyses of freight transports and comparison between road and rail transports.
  • A vision for future transports. The railway system of yesterday, today and in the future.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to give basic knowledge of train traffic and its market, infrastructure, economy and planning.

After this course the student should be able to explain:

  • The competition and cooperation with other transport modes on the market.
  • The process of planning and building of a new railway.
  • Assess environmental impacts and discuss sustainability aspects for rail and train traffic in comparison with other means of transport
  • How to build a timetable for the railway and the process behind it.
  • Different signaling systems and train operation on a railway.
  • The capacity of a railway and different possibilities to analyse it.
  • And make an economical analyse of passenger and freight transport on the railway.
  • About demand and market requirements of transports.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

  • At least 120 university credits (hp) in engineering or economics.
  • English language proficiency equivalent to (the Swedish upper secondary school) English course B/6.

Recommended prerequisites

Experience within traffic planning is recommended.


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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Project, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Written examination (TEN1; 3 credits) and exercise (ÖVN1; 4,5 credits).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

AH202X Degree project in railway operation


Anders Lindahl;