Rail Courseware

The Transportation Learning Center (the Center) organizes multiple national training consortia to develop standards-based national training courseware for frontline occupations in public transportation organizations.

Rail courseware is currently organized into three broad categories - “Rail Car Training Consortium Materials”, “Signals Training Consortium Materials”, and “Traction Power Training Consortium Materials”. Materials are based on the national rail vehicle maintenance training standards, rail signals maintenance training standards, and traction power maintenance training standards published by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).  Courseware Development Teams (CDTs), comprised of subject matter experts and instructional designers, hold regular webinars, site visits and in-person meetings to produce these materials.

Please use the navigation on the right to locate courseware of your interest. Access to full downloads and technical assistance for training and apprenticeship implementation is provided to members in good standing. Please contact our staff members listed under each consortium for information on membership.

Rail Car Training Consortium Materials

Started in late 2015, the National Rail Car Training Consortium (Rail Car Consortium or Consortium) has completed its initial scope of creating a full set of standardized national courseware to support training and apprenticeship programs for rail car technicians. The curriculum and courseware development teams are composed of over 40 rail car maintenance subject matter experts (SMEs) from 18 member agencies and unions from across the country along with instructional systems designers from the Transportation Learning Center. By joining the Rail Car Training Consortium, agencies and unions leverage industry resources to improve technician skills and prepare for new fleet implementation or upgrade internal capacity to refurbish existing fleet.

Consortium courses cover maintenance training of eleven rail vehicle subsystems: HVAC, Auxiliary Power Systems, Propulsion and Dynamic Braking, Doors, Friction Brakes, Current Collection & Distribution, Communication Systems, Automatic Train Control, Carbody, Trucks and Axles, and Couplers. Each course contains participant guides, instructor guides, Power Points (with Instructor notes), quizzes, instructional videos and hands-on learning activities. Additionally, the Rail Car Consortium has developed Overview to Rail Vehicle Subsystems, Troubleshooting and Diagnostics Principles and Rail Car Train-the-Trainer.

This page contains the course materials developed by the Rail Car Training Consortium. Previews to certain courses are free to the public. Full downloads are only available to Consortium members in good standing. Scroll down to browse all the courses or use the navigation links on the right for separate listings of the 100, 200 and 300 level courses. For additional information on joining the Rail Car Consortium, please contact Xinge Wang.

Rail Car Consortium Course Catalog

Tags: trainingrail car

Started in late 2015, the National Rail Car Training Consortium has moved forward with its mission to create standardized national training courseware for rail car technicians. The development team composed of over 40 rail car maintenance subject matter experts (SMEs) from 18 member agencies and unions from across the country along with instructional systems designers from the Transportation Learning Center, design curriculum and courseware for the rail and transit industry. By joining the Rail Car Training Consortium, agencies improve technician skills and prepare for new fleet implementation or upgrade internal capacity to refurbish existing fleet. To date, the Consortium has created 35 courses.

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Rail Vehicle Sub-System Primers

Tags: primer

​These materials provide a very preliminary introduction to the sub-systems of rail vehicles. These primers were developed with subject matter experts as part of the TCRP E-7 Project. Note that these primers will be expanded on and developed into instruction-ready courseware packets as part of the Rail Vehicle Training Consortium.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 12 Documents | More information »

Rail Car Train-the-Trainer

Tags: trainertrain-the-trainertrain the trainerteaching techniquest3gagneadult learning9 events of instruction

​​​This Train-the-Trainer course teaches basic adult learning principles using the context of the consortium developed courseware.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 30 Documents | More information »

Tracking Tools for On-the-Job Learning (Mentor/Supervisor Checklists, Learning Matrices, etc.)

Tags: rail vehicleojtmentorship

A collection of the tools that can be used to track learner progress in On-the-Job Training (OJT) through a rail car apprenticeship program or a structured training program.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 6 Documents | More information »

Course 100: Introduction and Overview of Rail Vehicle Systems, Operation and Maintenance

Tags: rail vehiclerail caroperationmaintenanceintroduction

Course 100, Introduction and Overview of Rail Vehicle Systems, Operation and Maintenance course is to assist the participant in orientation to rail vehicles as well as general inspection and maintenance practices. This course is organized into five modules: 1. Introduction to the Rail Vehicle 2. Vehicle Worker Protection and Shop Safety 3. Introduction to Resources 4. Introduction to Rail Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance 5. Introduction to Rail Vehicle Systems.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 26 Documents | More information »

Course 300 Principles of Troubleshooting and Diagnostics

Tags: troubleshootinginstructorelectrical

Course 300, Principles of Troubleshooting and Diagnostics, presents participants with an orientation to troubleshooting best practices. This course is organized into three modules: 1. Principles of Troubleshooting, 2. Troubleshooting Electrical-Electronic Systems, 3. Monitoring and Diagnostics.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 21 Documents | More information »

Course 101: Introduction and Overview to Rail Vehicle Couplers

Tags: tomlinsonscharfenburgcouplersbus

Course 101, Introduction and Overview to Rail Vehicle Couplers, provides participants with an overview to the principles of couplers and their major components. This course addresses three specific types of couplers; Scharfenburg, Tomlinson and Buckeye. The course is designed so that instructors can engage participants in a series of activities that help them prepare for work on couplers in a rail vehicle maintenance facility. This course is organized into six modules: Overview, Scharfenburg Coupler, Tomlinson Coupler, Buckeye Coupler, Operating a Coupler, Inspection and Maintenance Tools.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 22 Documents | More information »

Course 201: Inspection and Maintenance of Rail Vehicle Couplers

Tags: pre-trippneumaticmechanicalmaintenanceinspectionelectricalcouplers

Course 201, Inspection and Maintenance of Rail Vehicle Couplers, is a two-module course that provides participants with the essential steps for inspecting and maintaining couplers on transit rail cars. Course participants engage in a series of learning applications and case study work that help them prepare to work on couplers in a maintenance facility for passenger rail cars. Content is supplemented with hands-on learning activities to support participants’ successful application of the course content.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 12 Documents | More information »

Course 301: Troubleshooting Rail Vehicle Couplers

Tags: uncouplepneumaticmechanicalfailureelectricalcouplercouple

Course 301: Troubleshooting Rail Vehicle Couplers is a one-module course that provides participants with an overview to troubleshooting procedures for rail vehicle couplers and components. Hands-on learning exercises are provided and strongly recommended to aid in learner retention of the content.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 11 Documents | More information »

Course 102: Introduction and Overview to Truck Systems

Tags: wheelstruckssuspensionprinciples of operationgearboxaxles

Course 102, Introduction and Overview to Truck Systems, provides participants with an overview to the principles of trucks and their major components. The course is designed so that instructors can engage participants in a series of activities that help them prepare for work on trucks in a rail vehicle maintenance facility. Course content is supplemented with instructional videos and real-world application of the course content to their work. This course is organized into five modules: Overview, Suspension, Gearboxes, Wheels and Axles, and Tools.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 22 Documents | More information »

Course 202: Inspection and Maintenance of Truck Systems

Tags: wheelstrucks,secondary suspensionprimary suspensionmaintenanceinspectionground brushgearboxbolsteraxles

Course 202, Inspection and Maintenance of Truck Systems, steps participants through performing inspection and maintenance on rail car trucks. This course has four modules that cover topics on the rail vehicle’s suspension, frame, bolster, gearbox, wheel, and axle systems.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 20 Documents | More information »

Course 302: Troubleshooting Truck Systems

Tags: truckstroubleshootingsuspensionground brush,gearboxbolsteraxles

Course 302, Troubleshooting Truck Systems, provides participants with an overview to troubleshooting railcar truck systems. This course examines probable causes of symptoms relating to the truck’s suspension, frame, bolster, gearboxes, wheels, and axles. Troubleshooting is presented within four categories of symptoms: Poor ride quality; air and oil leaks; ground brushes; and carbody leaning and incorrect car height.

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Course 103: Introduction and Overview to Propulsion and Dynamic Braking Systems

Tags: propulsiondynamic brakingdc motorsac motors

Course 103, Introduction and Overview to Propulsion and Dynamic Braking Systems, is a five-module course that provides participants with an overview to the principles of propulsion systems as they prepare to work on those systems in a transit rail maintenance facility. NOTE: Module 2 is dedicated to AC motors and Module 3 to DC motors. The course instructor can choose to use one or both of these modules depending on their training needs. As such, this course has pre-course and post-course assessments for either of the two topics. Please contact Xinge Wang at the Transportation Learning Center for more information regarding the delivery of this course.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 33 Documents | More information »

Course 203: Inspection and Maintenance of Propulsion and Dynamic Braking Systems

Tags: video demonstrationpropulsionmaintenanceinspectiondynamic braking

Course 203, Inspection and Maintenance of Propulsion and Dynamic Braking Systems, provides participants with an the essential steps in inspecting and maintaining propulsion systems as well as preparing to work on those systems in a transit rail car maintenance facility. This course has three modules and comes with 45 minutes of video demonstration of inspection of a rail vehicle’s propulsion and dynamic braking systems.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 32 Documents | More information »

Course 303: Troubleshooting Propulsion and Dynamic Braking Systems

Tags: troubleshootingpropulsion diagnosticspropulsion blowermaster controllerdc traction motorsac traction motors

Course 303, Troubleshooting Propulsion and Dynamic Braking Systems, is a one-module course that provides participants with the essential steps to approach troubleshooting propulsion and dynamic braking systems on U.S. transit light and heavy rail vehicles. NOTE: This course can be taught with focus on AC traction motors or as DC traction motors. The course instructor can choose to use one or both of these sections depending on their training needs. As such, this course has pre-course and post-course assessments for either of the two topics. Please contact Xinge Wang at the Transportation Learning Center for more information regarding the delivery of this course

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 15 Documents | More information »

Course 104: Introduction and Overview to APS and Battery Systems

Tags: rail caroverviewintroductionbatterybatteriesauxiliary power supplyaps

​Course 104, Introduction and Overview to APS and Battery Systems, is a five-module course that provides participants with an overview to the principles of APS and battery systems and prepares to work on those systems in a transit rail car maintenance facility.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 24 Documents | More information »

Course 204: Inspection and Maintenance of APS and Battery Systems

Tags: rail carmaintenanceinspectionbatterybatteriesauxiliary power supplyaps

​Course 204, Inspection and Maintenance of APS and Battery Systems, is a three-module course that provides steps for participants to follow when inspecting and maintaining APS & Battery systems on transit rail cars. NOTE: This course does not have quizzes for each of its three modules.There are, however, pre- and post-assessment quizzes to be administered before and after the course.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 20 Documents | More information »

Course 304: Troubleshooting APS and Battery Systems

Tags: troubleshootingrail carrailnicdbatteriesaps

Course 304, Troubleshooting and Repair of Auxiliary Power Supply and Battery Systems, is a two-module course that provides participants with the essential steps in approaching troubleshooting and repair of APS and battery systems on U.S. transit light and heavy rail cars.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 19 Documents | More information »

Course 105: Introduction and Overview to Friction Braking Systems

Tags: pneumatic brakinghydraulic brakingfriction brakeselectronic hydraulic unitcalipers

This course presents an overview of the principles of friction braking systems and their major components to prepare the new maintenance technician for work on those systems. Course participants engage in a series of activities that help them prepare to work on friction brakes in a maintenance facility for passenger rail cars. Content is supplemented with examples to support participants’ successful application of the course content to their work. This course is organized into six modules. Please note that Module 2 is specific to pneumatic braking and Module 3 to hydraulic braking. The course instructor may choose to use one or both of these modules depending on their training needs.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 47 Documents | More information »

Course 205: Inspection and Maintenance of Friction Braking Systems

Tags: trainingpneumatic brakingmaintenancehydrauliccalipersbrake control unit

This course provides participants with the essential steps for inspecting and maintaining friction brakes on transit rail cars.Course participants engage in a series of activities that help them prepare to work on friction brakes in a maintenance facility for passenger rail cars. Content is supplemented with examples to support participants’ successful application of the course content to their work. This course is organized into six modules. Please note that Module 2 is specific to pneumatic braking and Module 3 to hydraulic braking. The course instructor may choose to use one or both of these modules depending on their training needs.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 36 Documents | More information »

Course 305: Troubleshooting Friction Braking Systems

Tags: troubleshootingtransittrainingrail vehiclerailpneumatic brakinghydraulic braking

Course 305, Troubleshooting Friction Braking Systems, provides participants with the essential steps to approach troubleshooting and repair of friction braking systems on U.S. transit light and heavy rail vehicles. Course participants engage in a series of activities that help them prepare to troubleshoot friction brakes on passenger rail cars. This course is organized into four modules. Please note that Module 1 is specific to pneumatic braking and Module 2 to hydraulic braking. The course instructor may choose to use one or both of these modules depending on their training needs.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 31 Documents | More information »

Course 106: Introduction and Overview of HVAC Systems

Tags: rail carintroductionhvac

Course 106:Introduction and Overview of HVAC Systems is to provide participants with an orientation to rail car HVAC basic principles and key components. This course is organized into three modules: 1. Overview of Rail Car HVAC and General Safety Procedures 2. Background Knowledge 3. Tools

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 25 Documents | More information »

Course 206: Inspection and Maintenance of HVAC Systems

Tags: transitrail carmaintenancehvac

Rail Vehicle Course 206: Inspection and Maintenance of HVAC Systems provides participants with the essential knowledge and skills in inspecting and maintaining HVAC systems on U.S. transit light and heavy rail cars. This course is organized into four modules: 1. Motors 2. Refrigerant Handling 3. Refrigeration Components 4. Heaters, HVAC and Electronic Control

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 32 Documents | More information »

Course 306: Troubleshooting of HVAC Systems

Tags: troubleshootingrail vehiclerail carhvac

Course 306: Troubleshooting of HVAC Systems provides an overview to troubleshooting HVAC systems on railcars within the context of general troubleshooting and best practices. There is only one module for Course 306.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 12 Documents | More information »

Course 107: Introduction and Overview to Current Collection

Tags: third railrail caroverhead catenary systemmaintenanceinstructorcatenary

​Course 107, Introduction and Overview to Current Collection, is a four-module course that provides participants with an overview to the principles of current collection and prepares them to work those systems in a rail car maintenance facility.

05-29-2019 - Files updated with changes from Tech Editor.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 24 Documents | More information »

Course 207: Inspection and Maintenance of Current Collection Systems

Tags: third railpantographoverhead catenary systemmaintenanceinspectioncurrent collection

This one-day course provides participants with the essential steps to inspecting and maintaining current collection systems on rail vehicles. The class focuses on overhead centenary and third rail current collection systems and their major components. Participants engage in a series of activities that help them prepare to work on current collection systems in a maintenance facility for passenger rail cars. Content is supplemented with examples to support participants’ successful application of the course content to their work.

05-29-2019 - Files updated with changes from Tech Editor.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 24 Documents | More information »

Course 307: Troubleshooting Current Collection Systems

Tags: troubleshootingthird railrail vehicle trainingpantographoverhead catenary systemcurrent collection

​This half-day course provides participants with some essential steps to approach troubleshooting current collectors in overhead catenary and third rail systems. This course builds on Course 300 Principles of Troubleshooting and Diagnostics.

05-31-2017 - Files updated with changes from Tech Editor.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 10 Documents | More information »

Course 108 Introduction and Overview to Carbody

Tags: stanchionsrail caroperator cablightingexteriorcarbodyarticulation

Course 108, Introduction and Overview to Carbody, consists of four modules that provides participants with an overview to the principles of the carbody and they prepare to work on the rail car.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 23 Documents | More information »

Course 208 Inspection and Maintenance of the Carbody

Tags: operator cabmaintenanceinterior lightinginspectionarticulation

Course 208, Inspection and Maintenance of the Carbody, is a one-day course that consists of four modules that provide participants with tasks to follow, procedures, and the major components for inspection and maintenance when working on the rail car. Content is supplemented with activities and examples throughout the modules to enhance information retention for inspection and maintenance procedures for any regional transit authority. Assessments are provided to measure participants progress and growth.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 20 Documents | More information »

Course 308 Troubleshooting the Carbody

Tags: troubleshootinginterior lighting

Course 308, Troubleshooting the Rail Carbody, is a half-day course that consists of one module, providing participants with troubleshooting principles and strategies for working with components are areas of the rail vehicle. Content is supplemented with activities, discussions and examples that engage participants with their own learning and facilitate better recall of information. Assessments are provided to measure participant progress and growth.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 11 Documents | More information »

Course 109 Introduction and Overview to Rail Vehicle Doors

Tags: rail vehiclerailoverviewintroductiondoors

Course 109, Introduction and Overview of Rail Vehicle Doors, is a three-module course that provides participants with an overview of the principles of rail vehicle doors and their major components.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 22 Documents | More information »

Course 209 Inspection and Maintenance of Rail Vehicle Doors

Tags: transitrail vehiclemaintenanceinspection

Course 209, Inspection and Maintenance of Rail Vehicle Doors, is a three-module course that provides steps for participants to follow when inspecting and maintaining rail vehicle doors on transit rail cars. NOTE: A written assessment follows each module and hands-on learning activities are strongly recommended.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 20 Documents | More information »

Course 309 Troubleshooting of Rail Vehicle Doors

Tags: troubleshootingrail vehicle

Course 309, Troubleshooting of Rail Vehicle Doors, is a three-module course that provides participants with the essential steps to approach troubleshooting and replacing rail vehicle door components. NOTE: Module 3 does not have a written assessment.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 18 Documents | More information »

Course 110 Introduction and Overview to Rail Vehicle Communication Systems

Tags: toolsrail vehicleoverviewmaintenancecommunication

Course 110, Introduction and Overview to Rail Vehicle Communication Systems, is a three-module course that provides participants with an overview to the principles of operation to communication systems and major components as they prepare to work on those systems in a transit rail maintenance facility.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 18 Documents | More information »

Course 210: Inspection and Maintenance of Rail Vehicle Communication Systems

Tags: rail vehiclemaintenanceinspectioncommunication system

This two-module course provides participants with the essential steps for inspecting and maintaining communication systems on transit rail cars.Course participants engage in a series of learning applications and case study work that help them prepare to work on communication systems in a maintenance facility for passenger rail cars. Content is supplemented with hands-on learning activities to support participants’ successful application of the course content.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 12 Documents | More information »

Course 310 Troubleshooting Rail Vehicle Communication Systems

Tags: troubleshootingrail vehicleprocedurespa systemgpscommunication system

Course 310: Troubleshooting Rail Vehicle Communication Systems is a one-module course that provides participants with an overview to troubleshooting procedures for rail vehicle communication systems and components. Hands-on learning exercises are provided and strongly recommended to aid in learner retention of the content.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 12 Documents | More information »

Course 111: Introduction and Overview to Automatic Train Control

Tags: twcautomatic train controlatsatpato

Course 111: Introduction and Overview to Automatic Train Control, is a seven-module course that provides participants with an overview to the principles of operation and components of different Automatic Train Control systems. The Automatic Train Control systems presented in this course include: Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Operation (ATO), Train-to-Wayside Communication (TWC) and Automatic Train Supervision (ATS). This course has been developed so instructors may choose to use one or more modules, depending on their training needs.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 43 Documents | More information »

Course 211: Inspection and Maintenance of Automatic Train Control

Tags: twcautomatic train controlatsatpato

Course 211: Inspection and Maintenance of Automatic Train Control, is a four-module course that provides participants with an overview to the inspection and maintenance procedures of Automatic Train Control components. Hands-on learning exercises are provided and strongly encouraged to aid in learner retention of the content.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 21 Documents | More information »

Course 311 Troubleshooting Automatic Train Control

Tags: troubleshootingautomatic train control

Course 211: Troubleshooting Automatic Train Control, is a two-module course that provides participants with an overview to troubleshooting procedures for Automatic Train Control systems and components. Hands-on learning exercises are provided and strongly recommended to aid in learner retention of the content.

Rating: Not yet rated | Contains 12 Documents | More information »

Rail Car Consortium New Instructor Orientation

Tags: elearning

This eLearning module is intended for instructors new to delivering Center materials. Topics covered include: The Transportation Learning Center, Rail Car Consortium Courseware and the Development Process.

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