About us

The Research Center Railways (RCR) was founded in 2017 by the Institute of Transport Science (VIA), the Institute of Rail Vehicles and Transport Systems (IFS) and the Institute of Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA) at RWTH Aachen University. Thereby, RCR comprises all three major fields of railway transportation engineering: rail vehicle engineering, railway infrastructure and -operation as well as electrical drives. The interdisciplinary cooperation aims to investigate and implement future research in the area of railway technology, lightweight construction, autonomous driving, digital networks, optimized railway operation as well as railway related drive and storage systems.

In 2020, with the Institute of Urban and Transport Planning (ISB) and the Institute of Automatic Control (IRT), two further associated members were added to the RCR. Thus, the portfolio of the virtual institute expands around the research focus on urban mobility, electromobility, assistance systems and sensors as well as networked information and communication technology. By launching the specialization course "Railway System Engineer", which is lectured in English as part of the M.Sc. course Transport Engineering and Mobility, and by setting up the biannual conference International Railway Symposium Aachen (IRSA), RCR has set the course for a long term study and development of railway technologies.


International Railway Symposium Aachen (IRSA)



The "International Railway Symposium Aachen" (IRSA) is an event organized by the Research Center Railways (RCR) that takes place every two years in Aachen. The IRSA was conceived to serve as a common platform where international experts working in the railway sector can come together for discussions and the exchange of ideas. Over a period of three days, the symposium offers an opportunity for you, as an expert from science, industry and politics to present results of ongoing research, monitor current developments in the industry and exchange views with your colleagues.

The next International Railway Symposium Aachen will take place from Nov. 22 - Nov. 23, 2023. The range of topics fully reflects the complexity of the railroad system, from infrastructure to vehicle and drive technology to operation. By covering a wide range of topics, we as the organizer want to continue to encourage an international and interdisciplinary exchange about current and future challenges faced by the railway industry even in times of pandemic. For more information, please visit the Website.

Railway Systems Engineer (RSE)

Master programm

Eisenbahn - Arbeiter

Many of today’s challenges in the railway industry require both interdisciplinary and international competencies. The new specialization "Railway Systems Engineer" for the master’s degree program Transport Engineering and Mobility has been preparing students for exactly these challenges since it was introduced in the winter semester of 2017/18 at the RWTH Aachen University.
This specialization is one of the first programs to be offered completely in English by the Faculty of Civil Engineering. It covers not only the infrastructural aspects but also vehicle engineering, electrical drive technologies and power supplys pertaining to railway systems, thus, offering an integrated approach to the entire railway system.
The interdisciplinary character of the course is realized through the close cooperation of all Research Center Railways (RCR) institutes. The Institute of Transportation Science and Chair of Railway Engineering and Transport Economics (VIA) focuses on the aspects of infrastructure and railway operation. Content related to rail vehicle technology are taught by the Institute of Rail Vehicles and Transport Systems (IFS).

Finally, the Chair and Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA) contributes with aspects of electrical drives and power supply. For mor information, please visit the Website.

Numerous courses from which each student can choose are offered to further enable the best possible education for each individual student. The examination regulations contain a detailed overview of these courses.

The admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering. A detailed overview of the content requirements that the preceding bachelor’s degree program should meet can be found in the examination regulations (only in German). Furthermore, an overview concerning recommended prior knowledge and focal points of the program can be found, in detail, on the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering.

Cooperation projects

Ben@Rail – Benefits at Rail (VIA, IFS). Auftraggeber: Europäische Kommission (10/2021 - 06/2022)
The project received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [Euratom research and training programme 2019-2020] under grant agreement No 101046258

FlexSbus-LR - Flexibler Schienenbus für den ländlichen Raum (IFS, ISEA). Auftraggeber: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK) (seit 06/2021)

Analyse der Hochschulausbildung im Schienenverkehrssektor in Zusammenarbeit mit der quattron management consulting GmbH und mehreren Lehrstühlen anderer Hochschulen aus dem Bereich des Eisenbahnwesens (VIA, IFS). Auftraggeber: Deutsches Zentrum für Schienenverkehrsforschung (DZSF) (07/2021 - 12/2021)

Untersuchung der Möglichkeiten und Anforderungen an ein digitales Testfeld für den Schienenverkehr (VIA, ISEA). Auftraggeber: Deutsches Zentrum für Schienenverkehrsforschung (DZSF) (06/2020 - 02/2021)

urbanANTS (VIA, ISB). Auftraggeber: Siemens AG (03/2018 - 09/2018)

ANTS 2 (VIA, IFS). Auftraggeber: Siemens AG (04/2018 - 08/2020)

Vorstudie zur Entwicklung eines Prototypen zur Bewertung der Ausfallwahrscheinlichkeit von Relais (VIA, ISEA). Auftraggeber: DB Netz AG (2018)

Bewertung der Ausfallwahrscheinlichkeit von Relais (VIA, ISEA). Auftraggeber: DB Netz AG (2017 - 2018)

Prüfung, Ergänzung und ggf. Berichtigung einer Anforderungswissensdatenbank (ABIM) und ihrer Anwendung auf ein neues System selbstfahrender Einzelschienenfahrzeuge (ANTS) (VIA, IFS, ISB). Auftraggeber: Siemens AG (06/2016 - 09/2017)


Jendrny, N., Hoang, A., Pfeifer, A., Schick, B., Nießen, N., Schindler, C., Carrillo Zanuy, A.:

"Wirksamkeit von EU-F&E-Programmen aus Sicht der Stakeholder des Eisenbahnsektors"

In: Eisenbahntechnische Rundschau, 71 (2022) 12

Büker, T., Nießen, N., Stoll, F., Schindler, C., Jagodzinski, N. et al.:

"Analyse der Hochschulausbildung im Schienenverkehrssektor: Kurzbericht"

In: Bericht des Deutschen Zentrums für Schienenverkehrsforschung (18) (2022), Projektnummer 2021-12-G-1202, DOI: 10.48755/dzsf.220002.02, Dresden, Januar 2022

de Doncker, R.W. (Editor), Nießen, N. (Editor), Friesen, N. (Editor), Schindler, C. (Editor):

"IRSA2021: Tagungsband, Proceedings: 3rd International Railway Symposium Aachen"

(2022), 21.11.2021-23.11.2021, Aachen, Deutschland, 592 Seiten

Büker, K., Büker, T., Stoll, F., Nießen, N. et al.:

"Untersuchungen der Möglichkeiten und Anforderungen an ein offenes digitales Testfeld für den Schienenverkehr"

In: Bericht 13 (2021) des Deutschen Zentrums für Schienenverkehrsforschung, Projektnummer 2019-I-5-1202, ISSN 2629-7973, Dresden, November 2021

Morast, A., Hampel, F., Laumen, P., Nießen, N., Schindler, C., Schlaht, J.:

"Betriebskonzepte zur Integration von autonomen Kleinfahrzeugen in den Eisenbahnbetrieb"

In: IRSA2019: Tagungsband, Proceedings: 2nd International Railway Symposium Aachen, 26.11.2019-28.11.2019, Aachen, Deutschland, S. 143-157

de Doncker, R. W. (Editor), Nießen, N. (Editor), Schindler, C. (Editor):

"IRSA2019: Tagungsband, Proceedings: 2nd International Railway Symposium Aachen"

(2020), 26.11.2019-28.11.2019, Aachen, Deutschland, 686 Seiten


Further publications of the institutes can be found at:


c/o Institute of Rail Vehicles and Transport Systems
Seffenter Weg 8
52074 Aachen, Germany

0241 80-25563
0241 80-22145