Program Description

A stand-alone module of our established and highly respected Railway Management Certificate Program, this five-day program in Chicago, IL, covers the strategy and management of railway operations for both freight and passenger railways. We combine classroom presentation of concepts with discussions led by rail industry subject matter experts, with site visits to see these topics in context. Railway Operations brings together many aspects of the complex railway ecosystem.



Chicago, operations models, capacity

Field visits

CREATE and CTCO visit, Non-US Operations, Amtrak

Railcars, Locomotives and Leasing, decision-making and analyst viewpoint

Rail growth discussion and Wrap-Up

For a copy of the latest schedule please email: littlen@msu.edu

Regional/short line railroad, major rail customer loading facilities, economic development sites (subject to availability.)


Key Learning Objectives

By the end of the program, participants will:

  • Better understand the importance of Chicago to today’s complex rail network and learn how traffic flow is managed
  • Learn about different operating models and practices, for dedicated and mixed traffic applications
  • Examine dispatch/control centers and communications
  • Visit passenger and freight operating venues in Chicago
  • Understand major freight customer requirements and operations integration
  • Learn about locomotive and railcar availability, maintenance, and design implications for managers
  • Improve understanding of lease vs. buy options
  • Learn how better decision-making improves performance
  • Hear first-hand from a Wall Street analyst about the current state of the freight rail industry.


Who Should Attend?

  • Railroad superintendents, trainmasters, and middle managers from engineering and support functions with capacity to perform at higher levels
  • Managers/leaders requiring learning opportunity beyond their experience who have had limited railway operations experience
  • Shippers needing to learn about the business of railroading to build better relationships to improve performance
  • Suppliers to the rail industry wishing to learn about the business of railroading to improve communication and understanding
  • Staff of rail agencies, regulators, policy bodies, and state/local government.


Additional Information

$5,000 – full tuition

Price includes instructional materials and site visits, faculty and staff support, overnight rooms, and daily breakfast and lunch. 

Transportation to and from the program, and dinner most nights are not included.

Discounts available for multiple participants from the same company.

To utilize the best in adult learning practices, class size will be limited to twenty-five students. 

For more information visit www.raileducation.com.


Applies Towards the Following Series

Register Now - Select an offering to register in
Offering Title
Railway Operations
In Person
M, T, W, Th
8:00AM to 5:00PM
Oct 28, 2024 to Oct 31, 2024
In Person
8:00AM to 11:30AM
Nov 01, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Program Fee(s)
Price non-credit $5,000.00
Withdrawal Request Deadline
Oct 13, 2024
Transfer Request Deadline
Oct 13, 2024
Offering Notes

Contact Nick Little via email at littlen@msu.edu or the Center for Railway Research and Education at crre@broad.msu.edu if you have any questions.

PPE required for all site visits - see your personalized logistics letter for each module.

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