MS Degree Program in Railway Systems Engineering

Program Description

The MS Degree Program in ‘Railway Systems Engineering’ to be offered at the Center of Excellence in Railway Engineering, PAF-IAST, from fall 2021 has been designed to meet the increasing demand for rail related professionals who are desirous of acquiring technical know-how, learning about contemperory best practices and enhancing their analytical skills in integrated transport systems in general and rail systems in particular. Graduates who complete the MS Degree Program will be equipped to be professionally well – rounded railway engineers who would be aware of the complex nature of the integrated railway systems. They would be able to design, manage and operate the intricate and multifaceted railway systems on the existing and upgraded railway infrastructure in the future in Pakistan.

The program has been designed in a manner to enable the graduates to acquire relevant theoretical knowledge, backed by practical skills in the field of systems engineering; with a core focus on the railway industry and safe train operations. The program will equip the students with analytical, technical and decision-making abilities enabling them to become productive units of the railway system. The study of different subjects in the varied fields of civil, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecommunications engineering on the one hand and operations and rail economics on the other, would go a long way in giving a deep insight into the efficient and effective use of railway resources. The program will provide opportunities to students of working on research projects relating to infrastructure, geotechnics, rolling stock, train operation and traffic studies.

Why Study at PAF IAST?

Location and Ambience

PAF IAST is nestled in natural mountains that flank its campus from all sides, offering one even the ravishing view of snow-capped peaks of Nathiagali and natural winding trails. To its north-west is Tarbela Lake, a journey of only a few kilometers from the campus. Set in the middle of the campus is a natural lake, fed by the springs of surrounding mountains. The campus is just a 3-kilometer drive from the Hazara Motorway. The ideal setting equally conducive to academic activity and aesthetic sensibilities of the human eye is a serene island of its own kind, far from the chaos, congestion, and cacophony of metropolitan culture. The major cities like Islamabad, Abbottabad, are just an hour’s drive, while small towns like Wah, Hasanabadal, Taxila, and Swabi can be reached in just half an hour.

Technology Advancement and Foreign Partnership

This institute is an emerging center of excellences, with its own technology park. All faculty members hold PhD degrees in appropriate disciplines. By virtue of its wide array of facilities and the facilitation for its students to learn and benefit both from classroom teaching and faculty trained at premier Austrian universities/institutions, the institution is ideally cut out for imparting state-of–the-art engineering and allied education in Pakistan. The institute enjoys close linkages with top ranking universities in Austria and China. We have already concluded with them formal agreements regarding student and faculty exchange programs, provision of dual degrees in certain areas, and the training support from foreign faculty. cities like Islamabad, Abbottabad, are just an hour’s drive, while small towns like Wah, Hasanabadal, Taxila and Swabi can be reached in just half an hour.

Academia-Industry Relationship

There is a strong synergetic relationship between academia and industry which paves the way for job opportunities for students even in the midst of their studies. PAF IAST will serve as a welcome platform for the industry to share their requirements for a skilled workforce. This will enable the institute to incorporate their valuable inputs in practical vocational training and expose the students to industrial perspectives

On-Spot Industry Internship

It will be a mandatory requirement for every student to do an internship every semester in an appropriate industry. This will garner them practical experience related to their respective degree programs. To crown it all, Technology Park will afford them rare opportunities to apply themselves innovatively and become promising entrepreneurs.

Need and Merit-based Scholarships

Different types of local and foreign scholarship opportunities are available on need and merit base.


Transport Economics and Financials of Train Operations

  • Transport and railway policy formulation and implementation
  • Passenger and freight traffic analysis, forecasting and planning
  • Public finance and public accounting
  • Financial viability of train operations including capital and operational cost and revenues
  • Customer facilitation and management of terminal facilities
  • Marketing and customer facilitation through use IT
  • Dynamics of different commodities and dangerous goods transportation
  • Logistics and warehousing
  • Railway asset management
  • Rationalization of railway tariff  structures –passenger fare and freight rates
  • Public Private Partnership in railways
  • Field visits

Train Operations and Safety

  • Passenger and freight train operations
  • Time tabling and train scheduling
  • Safety regime and safety of train operations
  • Railway signaling and railway telematics
  • Line capacity management and control
  • Managing marshalling yards
  • Train loads, speed and braking distances
  • Safety of train operations in hilly terrain
  • Accident analysis and safety equipments
  • Open Access Track Regime
  • Different types of line and installation inspections
  • Field visits

Railway Rolling Stock Dynamics

  • Locomotive assembling, maintenance and operations
  • Passenger coaches design, construction and maintenance
  • Freight wagons design, construction/maintenance for different commodities
  • Mechatronics systems in rolling stock
  • Traction systems
  • Railway vehicle dynamics and braking systems
  • Workshop and equipment management
  • Fuel management and efficient fuel consumption
  • Power supply and head – end generation systems
  • Line inspection

Human Resourse Development in Railways

  • Recruitment, selection, training and retirement systems
  • Organizational structures and career development
  • Trade unionism and labor welfare
  • Leadership and team building
  • Change management
  • Litigation and Labor laws, Civil Servant Act, Factory Act, Workmen Compensation Act, Rules of Business, etc.
  • Personnel manual including leave rules, hours of employment rules, pension rules, etc.
  • Disciplinary action process and methodology
  • Pension management, Benevolent Fund and gratuity management
  • First aid and Civil Defense organization
  • Field visits


Objective of the MS Degree Program

The objective of the MS Degree Program is to attract graduate engineers from different disciplines working in the transport related sectors in Pakistan and abroad, and empower them with theoretical and practical knowledge about over- all railways working and to expose to modern techniques and contemperory best practices in the field of ‘Railway Systems Engineering’.

The academic team

The academic team would comprise of a vibrant mix of practitioners from the railway sector, professionals from transport field, dedicated researchers and academicians of transport and rail related economics. Their collective knowledge would enable the students to develop a comprehensive understanding of railway operations and engineering practices and enable them to conduct research through hands-on and field – based projects in collaboration with railway departments in Pakistan. The faculty would strive to enhance the students ability of therotical knowledge, principles and contemporary concepts taught during the course and be able to relate them to ground realities and link them to practical issues in the field.

Transport engineering

Transport engineering is a growing industry and railways is a field with a growing demand in Pakistan, specially with the up coming ML-1 uphowever there is a dearth of professionals who understand the dynamic of the sector as a whole. The MS Degree Program will emphasize on professional life in railways and employability skills, by focusing on enhanced techniques like communication, technological proficiency, teamwork and analytical skills.

MS Degree Program in ‘Railway Systems Engineering’

The MS Degree Program in ‘Railway Systems Engineering’ would fulfil the demand for specific higher education and training in the railway sector, and expose students to the various aspects of railway working. The MS Degree would generally follow the laid down of HEC parameters on the one hand and work closely with Beijing Jiaotong University, China so far as the curriculum and laboratory work is concerned. Moreover, the program will also offer a dual degree program, with the options to get a MS in Railway System Engineering from PAF- IAST after one and a half year, followed by another degree from Beijing Jiaotong University, China, after putting in another one year at Beijing.

Admission Requirements

Degree Requirement

  • 30 Credit hours (CR)
  • Core Courses: (4*3=12)
  • Elective Courses (4*3= 12)
  • Research Methodology 2CR (Mandatory)
  • Plan A: MS degree in Railway System Engineering (With Research)
  • 24 Credit hour Courses, 6 Credit hours thesis (1.5 year program)
  • Plan B: MS degree in Railway System Engineering (Without Research)
  • 30 Credit hour Courses (1.5 year program)

Entry Requirement

1) The eligibility criteria for admission in MS Program in Railway Systems Engineering is possession of a 16-year education in any discipline or a relevant/equivalent degree from a PEC/HEC recognized institution.
2) Applicants must have a minimum CGPA / Percentage for admission according to HEC/PEC criteria.
3) The GRE/GAT-General with a minimum 50% cumulative score will be required at the time of admission.

Industrial Linkages and Liaison centers

  • Ministry of Railways
  • Railway Walton Academy, Lahore
  • Beijing Jiatong University, China 

Semester-wise Course Break-up

Semester 1

Course Code

Course Name

Credit Hours


Train Operation & Safety



Railway Infrastructure



Railway Rolling Stock Dynamics



Transport Economics & Financials of Train Operations


Semester 2

Course Code

Course Name

Credit Hours


Railway Signaling, Telecommunication & Control



Human Resource Development in Railway



Elective – I



Elective – II


Semester 3

Course Code

Course Name

Credit Hours


Research Methodology (Non-Credit)



MS Thesis -1 or 2 Elective


Securing 3.0 Cga in (6*3)= 18 CH,  students will only allowed to Select Plan A (MS with Research)

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