Master thesis | RSE

If you are interested in a master thesis at VIA and you are enrolled in the specialization Railway Systems Engineering (RSE), please contact Mr. Felix Lampe ( with three topic preferences from the list and attach your transcript of records. The requests are collected until 24.09.2023. Subsequently, the topics will be distributed. If a request is submitted after this date, it will not be given the same priority as requests submitted by the deadline. Depending on demand, it cannot be guaranteed that a topic can be assigned.



Short description

1 Clustering stations in a Railway Network
  • Summarize used types of differentiation for stations in a railway network
  • Explore possible contributing factors and select some to include in a clustering algorithm
  • Develop a clustering algorithm that groups all stations in a given railway network into defined clusters
  • Implement the developed clustering algorithm in python and test it on given data
  • Knowledge of Python is required
2 Comparison of rule-based and process-oriented railway regulations

The German railway regulations (especially the "Fahrdienstvorschrift") are traditional rule-based and historically grown. By introducing ETCS many advantages would arise by introducing a new process-oriented regulations. Other European countries already have implemented such new regulation types like the UK. In this master thesis both regulation types are to be compared by showing specific operating scenarios and the dealing with them in each regulation type. Advantages for the German regulations are to be examined. The analysis of English and German literature is required.

3 Macroeconomic analysis of safety measurements for level crossings to minimize risks
  • Level crossings, as intersections between train and vehicle traffic, represent a significant portion of accidents with increased criticality
  • Describe different measures to reduce the risk.
  • Perform an overall quantitative analysis of the measures to reduce the overall risk, taking into account budgetary constraints
  • Evaluate and analyze the potential for early and efficient risk reduction in Germany
4 Analysis of the parameters influencing the wear of rail catenaries
  • Description of the structure and components of catenaries
  • Description of the different types of construction and systems (pros and cons)
  • Identification of the (critical) wear parts and their expected service life
  • Analysis of the costs and benefits for high speed lines
  • Analysis of the parameters influencing the degree of wear of the various components
5 Analysis of potential cost savings due to automated trains
  • Give an overview of the characteristics of an autonomous train
  • Description of the factors that can be reduced by train automisation
  • Describe the composition of the operating costs of a railroad company
  • Analysis of the potential for savings in wage costs
  • Consideration of the potential savings from staff shortages following accidents due to psychological problems
6 Modernisation of timetabling and capacity management considering the digitalisation of railway operations
  • Examination of current processes in timetabling and capacity management and investigation of the legal requirements
  • Analysis of the challenges and demands of various stakeholders
  • Recommendations for an adjusted schedule design process and implications for capacity management