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Start   >  Master's & postgraduate courses  >  Education  >  Master's degree in Railway System and Electrical Drive
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Information 2021-2022 edition
The 2021-2022 edition of the master's degree has already begun. Shortly we will publish updated information about the new edition of this programme.
12th Edition
60 ECTS (502 teaching hours)
Language of instruction
Payment of enrolment fee options

The enrolment fee can be paid:
- In a single payment to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
- In two instalments:

  • 60% of the amount payable, to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
  • Remaining 40% to be paid up to 90 days at the latest after the starting date of the programme.
- In four instalments, splitting the payment by direct debit:
  • 40% of the amount payable, to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
  • The remaining 60% will be divided into 3 direct debit payments, which will be distributed equidistantly between the beginning and end of classes.
  • The student must have and be the holder of a bank account with IBAN ESXX
Notes 0,7% campaign

Registration open until the beginning of the course or until end of vacancies.
Next course
October 2022
Friday: 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Taught at
EPSEVG - Escola Politècnica Superior d'Enginyeria de Vilanova i la Geltrú
Av. Víctor Balaguer, s/n
Vilanova i la Geltrú
Why this master's degree?
Spain’s railway system is one of the most advanced in the world. It is ranked first in high speed trains in Europe and third worldwide on currently operating UIC broad gauge. It is comprised of around 600 companies, invoices approximately 6.5 billion euros per year and employs 145,000 professionals, according to the report from the technical-scientific commission to study improvements in the railway sector spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Works. The Spanish railway industry is a worldwide leader and a referent in constant expansion, with a high degree of internationalisation and innovative technology.

In its nine years, the Master’s in Railway Systems and Electrical Traction has contributed to the specialised training of professionals in one of the most important sectors in the country. It is a benchmark in higher education in the technical aspects of railways: operating and running railway services, rolling stock and vehicle maintenance, electrification and energy, signage, communication and managing railway traffic. For this reason, the Master’s enlists contributions from the top and most experienced technical experts in railway systems and the current executives of the most representative companies in the sector. We offer training on par with the present and future needs of leading companies in the railway sector.

The Master has a clearly practical orientation. Proof of this are the visits made to factories, workshops, installations and control centres. The main accomplishment of the Master’s is unquestionably the high level of job placement for programme graduates. Around 70% of students, who had no previous professional experience, have found work in less than one year after completing the Master’s, while the 30% who already worked in the sector have been promoted to a higher position.

This programme provides its participants with the chance to do professional internships in recognised companies in the sector, such as RENFE, FGC and TMB.
  • To train professionals to join different business segments in the railway sector.
  • To examine aspects referring to electrification, signage, communications, rolling stock and management and operation of railway companies.
  • To offer specific studies on railway installations, vehicles and management.
  • To work with cutting-edge companies in this sector with the goal of training professionals who fit the market needs.
Who is it for?
  • Professionals in the railway sector.
  • Graduates and Industrial Engineers or Technical Engineers.
  • Graduates and Civil Engineers.
  • Graduates and Telecommunications Engineers.
  • Graduates and Computer Engineers.

Training Content

List of subjects
3 ECTS 30h
Railway Systems
  • The railway as a system. Basic concepts, subsystems and interrelations.
  • Organisation of the railway sector. Administrations and companies.
  • Railway geography of Catalonia, Spain and the rest of Europe.
  • Vehicles and trains. Basic characteristics and overview. Spanish trains.
  • The market and clients. Commercial needs and competitiveness of the railway.
  • Railway and environment.
  • The railway in the transport sector and in the national economy.
  • Lifecycle of the railway system.

*Visit: Railway Museum of Catalonia.
3 ECTS 30h
High Velocity Trains and Interurban Train Service
  • Scales and units employed in passenger transport.
  • Demand and market. Technical and financial details.
  • Supply. Products, trains and services.
  • Principles and advantages of high sped trains.
  • High velocity trains in Spain.
  • Technology specific to high speed train lines.
  • The aerodynamics of high velocity trains.
  • Rolling stock used for conventional medium and long distance service.
  • Rolling stock used for high speed service.
  • Technical and economic operation of high speed service.
  • Design and management of stations and terminals for passenger service.

*Visit: Regional Control Cdnter of the Zaragoza High Speed Train Line.
3 ECTS 30h
Local Trains, Regional Trains, Underground, Trams
  • Urban and metropolitan transport. Description.
  • Demand and the market.
  • Technical and financial exploitation of metropolitan and urban rail transport.
  • Local train service.
  • Underground.
  • Light rail and trams.
  • Stree trains.
  • Accessibility and intermodal transport.

*Visits: Commuter Train Control Centre of Catalonia in El Clot. ADIF Control Centre in Barcelona's Estació de França.
3 ECTS 30h
Merchandise and Logistics
  • Demand and the Market.
  • Train production. Transport plan.
  • Freight terminals.
  • Siding. Specific derivatives.
  • Transport logistics.

*Visit: Best Port Terminal in Barcelona.
3 ECTS 30h
Electricity and Railway Mechanics
  • Kinematics, static and dynamic.
  • Aerodynamic resistance. Gravitational loads.
  • Introduction to the Railway Dynamics. Speed. Layout.
  • Mechanical Vibrations.
  • Wheel Kinematics and Dynamics.
  • Axis dynamics. Qualitative analysis. Equations.
3 ECTS 30h
Electric Traction
  • Basic principles.
  • Mechanical transmission.
  • Traction motors that use commutators and how to control them.
  • Synchronous traction motors and how to control them.
  • Asynchronous traction motors and how to control them.
  • Other traction motors.
  • Diesel/electric traction.
  • Electrical automobile traction.

*Visit: Siemens Factory in Cornellà de Llobregat.
3 ECTS 30h
Elements of Rolling Stock
  • The rolling stock in railway systems.
  • Main systems.
  • Shock and traction organs. Hitches.
  • Traction equipment.
  • Braking equipment.
  • Features required for trains.
  • Installations of the train system.
  • Other carrier systems.
  • Project considerations.

*Visit: Alstom factory in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda.
3 ECTS 30h
Engineering and Maintenance
  • Reliability.
  • Maintainability.
  • Availability.
  • Life cycle.
  • Project reliability.
  • Maintainability in design.
  • Overall maintenance management.
  • Technical maintenance management.
  • Improving maintenance efficiency.

*Visits: Renfe manufacturing and maintenance yards in Vilanova i la Geltrú.
Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya yards in Rubí.
3 ECTS 30h
Railway Infrastructure
  • Platform and track.
  • Station design. Accessibility.
  • Transport switches.
  • Gauges.
  • Bridges and tunnels.
  • Broad gauge switches.
  • General maintenance criteria in railway infrastructures.
3 ECTS 30h
Railways and Energy
  • Overview of energy and problems related to its use.
  • Energy and transport.
  • Types of traction and energy vectors in railways.
  • Dynamic braling and auxiliary train services.
  • Energy needed to move a train.
  • Energy demand of the train according to services and critical variables.
  • Overview of practices and measures used to reduce the energy demands of raliways.
  • Actions in the design of trains and lines.
  • Economical conducting and efficient traffic regulation.

*Visit: Practice at the Renfe training centre in L' Hospitalet de Llobregat on efficient conducting.
3 ECTS 30h
Substations and Networks
  • General elements of DC electricity.
  • Rectifier substations (DC).
  • Electronic calculations for DC power.
  • General elements of AC electricity.
  • AC substations.
  • Electronic calculations in AC.
  • Maintenance and use of electricity installations.

*Visit: TMB, Transport Metropolità de Barcelona substations in Badalona.
3 ECTS 30h
Electrification and Overhead Powerlines
  • Introduction.
  • Requirements and specifications.
  • Distribution of electrical currents and tensions.
  • Design of the aerial contact line.
  • Support of the aerial contact line.
  • Mechanical behaviour of the catenary line.
  • Posts and foundations.
  • Dynamic behaviour of the catenary line.
  • Planning to implement the catenary line.
  • Insulation and electrical safety.
  • Assembling the catenary line.
  • Maintenance of the catenary line.

*Visit: Transformation Centre installations at Espluga de Francolí.
3 ECTS 30h
Communications Applied to Railways
  • General principles of electricity
  • Fundamental elements of electronics.
  • Basic elements of communications.
  • Train-land communications (PMR, Tetra).
  • Other communications systems.
3 ECTS 30h
Railway Signalling
  • General analysis of signalling.
  • Signalling and its applications.
  • Different signalling devices and their applications in railways.
  • Specifications of the devices that need to be installed according to the width of the tracks and the Railway Administration regulations.
  • Analysis of reliable train detection systems.
  • Application of safety systems that control the circulation and movements of trains.
  • Study of the symbology involved in the creation of signalling schemes.
  • Application of Interlocking systems that function between different safeguard systems that control the circulation and movements of trains.
  • Analysis of the different forms of automatic formulation of itineraries and their annulment.
  • Methodology for application of systems that control safety systems.
  • Application of level crossings where roads and railways intersect.

*Visit: Sants Station in Barcelona.
3 ECTS 30h
Automatic Train Protection Systems (ATP)
  • General analysis of ATP systems.
  • ATP systems and their applications.
  • Different ATP systems and their application to railways.
  • Specifications of ATP devices that need to be installed according to the width of the tracks and the Railway Administration regulations.
  • Analysis of the systems used for reliable ATP use.
  • Application of ATP systems that control the circulation and movements of trains.
  • Study of the symbology involved in the creation of ATP schemes.
    Application of ATP systems that function between different safeguard systems that control the circulation and movements of trains.
  • Analysis of the different forms of automatic formulation of itineraries and their annulment according to the type of ATP system installed.
  • Methodology for application of systems that control safety systems.
  • Optimisation of ATP systems using ATO systems.

*Visit: ATP and ATO sites in the FGC facilities.
3 ECTS 30h
Technical Exploitation of Railway Infrastructure
  • Technical operations. Blocking systems.
  • Scheduling railway service.
  • Movement charts.
  • Line capacity.
  • Assigning capacity to railway operators.
  • Integrated Control Centres (ICC).

*Visit: Integrated Control Centre in Rubí of the FGC, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya.
2 ECTS 18h
Dessing and Management of New Railway Lines
The guidelines and processes to undertake a project or study in the field of railways will be discussed. The importance of sound management of the equipment and key factors in railways such as innovation, sustainability, safety, accessibility, quality, competitiveness and client-orientation in both projects and services will be studied.
10 ECTS 4h
Master's Final Project
Students will undertake a final project which will put into practice the practical contents related to any of the modules or topics discussed in the programme or develop a cross-cutting theme from the course syllabus.
Special master's degree issued by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Issued pursuant to art. 34.1 of Organic Law 4/2007 of 12 April, amending Organic Law 6/2001 of 21 December, concerning Universities. To obtain it, is necessary to have an official university qualification. Otherwise, the student will receive a course completion certificate of the programme issued by the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya. (Ver datos que constan en el certificado).
Range of modules
The master's degree programme is organized into the following modules. If you don't wish to take the entire master's degree you can sign on one or several modules.
Master's degree:
relation Postgraduate courses:
relation Lifelong learning courses:

Learning methodology

The teaching methodology of the programme facilitates the student's learning and the achievement of the necessary competences.

Learning tools
Participatory lectures
A presentation of the conceptual foundations of the content to be taught, promoting interaction with the students to guide them in their learning of the different contents and the development of the established competences.
Practical classroom sessions
Knowledge is applied to a real or hypothetical environment, where specific aspects are identified and worked on to facilitate understanding, with the support from teaching staff.
Solving exercises
Solutions are worked on by practising routines, applying formulas and algorithms, and procedures are followed for transforming the available information and interpreting the results.
Case studies
Real or hypothetical situations are presented in which the students, in a completely participatory and practical way, examine the situation, consider the various hypotheses and share their own conclusions.
Success stories
Outstanding business knowledge and experiences with high added value acquired during an outstanding professional career are presented and shared.
These visits are to specialist centres, companies in the sector or outstanding and important locations in the sector, in order to obtain knowledge in situ of development, production and demonstration environments within the programme.
Problem-based learning (PBL)
An active learning methodology that enables the student to be involved from the beginning, and to acquire knowledge and skills by considering and resolving complex problems and situations.
Students are given technical support in the preparation of the final project, according to their specialisation and the subject matter of the project.
Assessment criteria
At least 80% attendance of teaching hours is required.
Level of participation
The student's active contribution to the various activities offered by the teaching team is assessed.
Solving exercises, questionnaires or exams
Individual tests aimed at assessing the degree of learning and the acquisition of competences.
Work out projects
Studies on a specific topic, by individuals or groups, in which the quality and depth of the work is assessed, among other factors.
Completion and presentation of the final project
Individual or group projects in which the contents taught in the programme are applied. The project can be based on real cases and include the identification of a problem, the design of the solution, its implementation or a business plan. The project will be presented and defended in public.
Work placements & employment service
Students can access job offers in their field of specialisation on the My_Tech_Space virtual campus. Applications made from this site will be treated confidentially. Hundreds of offers of the UPC School of Professional & Executive Development employment service appear annually. The offers range from formal contracts to work placement agreements.
Virtual campus
The students on this master's degree will have access to the My_ Tech_Space virtual campus - an effective platform for work and communication between the course's students, lecturers, directors and coordinators. My_Tech_Space provides the documentation for each training session before it starts, and enables students to work as a team, consult lecturers, check notes, etc.

Teaching team

Teaching staff
  • Altaba Marín, Iván
    View profile in Linkedin
    Industrial Engineer by the UPC. Director of the Electrical and Electromechanical Systems Service of Metro de Barcelona. He has accumulated an experience of more than 15 years in the field of project, management of work and maintenance of electrical systems for traction and railway installations, catenary, energy efficiency and electromechanical equipment.
  • Altesa Cabanas, Jaume

    R&D Engineer Alstom Transport.
  • Berrios Villalba, Antonio
    View profile in Linkedin
    Industrial Engineer in Electronics and Automation. Industrial Technical Engineer in Electronics and Electricity. Postgraduate Specialist in the UPM Directive. Assistant Director of Strategic Innovation ADIF and Chairman Energy Management Sector RSF. UIC Union Internacional de Ferrocarriles. Editor of the Via Lliure Técnica Magazine.
  • Borrell Botella, Jaime
    View profile in Linkedin
    Industrial Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). He is currently Director of Business Development and Institutional Relations at Alstom Spain and Portugal. He has dedicated his professional career to mobility, with an emphasis on rail. Initially as a researcher at UPM, then at Alstom with more than 10 years in engineering and design of systems and trains. Since 2011 he has held management positions at Alstom, including high-speed strategy management in the group. He collaborates in courses and masters of UPC, UPM, EOI, FFE, UIC and EDDM.
  • Enguix Peiró, Joan Carles
    View profile in Linkedin
    Degree in Geography, specializing in Transport Geography, from the University of Barcelona. Industrial Technical Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Advanced Course in Land Transport, FFE. Master's degree in Mobility Planning and Management from the UPC. Diploma in SME Management, FPE. European Financial Advisor, EFPA. Specialist in Rail Operation, currently at RENFE, added to the Dallas-Houston (Texas, USA) high-speed project as Chief Transportation & GCC Officer.
  • Esquius Rafat, Andreu

    Engineer of Paths, Channels and Ports by the UPC, with the specialties of Transports and Arrangement of the Territory. Program in Strategic Management of Public-Private Collaboration by ESADE. Member and director of MCRIT SL.
  • García Álvarez, Alberto

    Doctor in Economic and Business Sciences from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM). Doctor in Engineering and Transport Infrastructures from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Industrial Mechanical Engineer from the ICAI Higher Technical School of Engineering. Law degree UNED. IESE's Senior Business Management Program (PADE). Renfe's general director of development and strategy.
  • Geli Mollfulleda, Carles
    View profile in Linkedin
    Industrial Technical Engineer, Electronic Engineer and Telecommunications Engineer, all three from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. MBA from ESADE and Babson College (Boston, USA). Since 2013 he has been Chief Engineering Officer of Electrans, a world-leading company in railway signaling.
  • González Franco, Ignacio

    Doctor in Transport Engineering and Infrastructure from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Industrial Engineer from the University of Vigo and Master in Railway Systems from the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. Between 2009 and 2019 he worked as a researcher in the R + D + i area of the Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles, assuming the leadership of the R + D + i area. Currently, he works at Renfe as Head of Models and Exploitation Studies in the Study Services Area.
  • Montero Pascual, Juan José
    View profile in Linkedin
    Professor of Administrative Law at UNED. Doctor in European Law from the European University Institute (Florence) Part-time Professor at the Florence School of Regulation. Lawyer of Counsel at MLAB. Expert in regulated markets, especially rail transport, telecommunications and postal services, digitization of networked industries and regulation of digital platforms.
  • Riol Jurado, Ricard
    View profile in Linkedin

    Technical Engineer of Public Works, specialized in Transports and Urban Services, by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Currently, CT in the Department of Commuter Operations of Catalonia, at Renfe. Former President of the Association for the Promotion of Public Transport.

Associates entities

Strategic partners
  • Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya
    • Provides visits to its facilities of interest within the programme.
    • Offers professional internships for students on the programme.
    • Provides teachers and lecturers.
  • Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles- I+D+i-
    • Disseminates the programme in the professional sphere and area of expertise.
  • Fundación Talgo
    • Provides financial aid to the programme or grants for the registration of students.
  • Railgrup
    • Disseminates the programme in the professional sphere and area of expertise.
  • Renfe-Ministerio de Fomento
    • Provides financial aid to the programme or grants for the registration of students.
    • Provides visits to its facilities of interest within the programme.
    • Offers professional internships for students on the programme.
    • Provides teachers and lecturers.
  • Transports de Barcelona, S.A.
    • Provides teachers and lecturers.
    • Offers professional internships for students on the programme.
    • Provides visits to its facilities of interest within the programme.
Collaborating partners

Career opportunities

  • Responsible of operations of railways services.
  • Head of rail, electrification and energy infrastructures.
  • Responsible for the development and supply of railway equipment and services.
  • Consultant in railway engineering and service companies.

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How to start admission
To start the enrolment process for this programme you must complete and send the form that you will find at the bottom of these lines.

Next you will receive a welcome email detailing the three steps necessary to formalize the enrolment procedure:

1. Complete and confirm your personal details.

2. Validate your curriculum vitae and attach any additional required documentation, whenever this is necessary for admission.

3. Pay €110 in concept of the registration fee for the programme. This fee will be discounted from the total enrolment fee and will only be returned when a student isn't admitted on a programme.

Once the fee has been paid and we have all your documentation, we will assess your candidacy and, if you are admitted on the course, we will send you a letter of acceptance. This document will provide you with all the necessary information to formalize the enrolment process for the programme.

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