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Welcome to the Knowledge Area of the IRSE website. Our intention is to progressively improve the availability of information, particularly to IRSE Members but also to non-members. Traditionally, most informationwas printed, and copies of IRSE NEWS, the IRSE Annual Proceedings and other technical information were and still are in most cases sent to members by post, wherever they are in the world.

We now publish IRSE NEWS and the IRSE Proceedings on-line in addition to distributing the printed versions. You can also find in this area video broadcasts of technical meetings held in London. If there is something you would like to see in this Members Area, please let us know at

There is, in the right hand column of this page, an index of a large proportion of the IRSE material as published in the IRSE Proceedings, IRSE NEWS and many seminar and conference papers. It is available to download as an EXCEL spreadsheet and you can search that to find main topics or authors. The index is updated periodically.

Finally, the Institution publishes a number of text books about railway signalling, control and communications and these are available to members and non-members to purchase. Details and ordering information is available here

Fundamental Requirements For Train Control Systems

The IRSE has undertaken some work to define the fundamental requirements which describe the overall purpose of a train control system. They are an extended set of the requirements that were originally set out in the Institution’s Signalling Philosophy Review [2001], later revised in a paper to the IRSE on Signalling Philosophy, Principles and Practice by Francis How [2004] and they were subsequently reviewed and further revised by the IRSE’s Education and Professional Development Committee during 2013/14

The requirements are non-specific about the means by which they are achieved, and could include people, procedures and technology in any combination. They should, therefore, be applicable to any form of train control system no matter how elementary or sophisticated and no matter which country or network. These requirements are not mandated by the IRSE but nevertheless, the requirements are regarded as essential for any train control system.

A copy of the Fundamental Requirements for Train Control Systems and the accompanying document which gives a diagrammatic representation of the requirements can be found at the right side of this page in “Other Information.”  You can also view the Requirements in a searchable database form - click here.

night-time working: signal installation