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The University of Southampton

CENV6101 Passenger and Freight Transport System

Module Overview

This module introduces you to passenger and freight transport systems, their development, operating characteristics and settings, particularly focussed on developed countries. You will understand the concepts of privatisation and deregulation in the context of passenger transport and appreciate how technology and intelligent transport systems are utilised to ensure the efficient movement of people and goods.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to give students a sound understanding of historical developments in transport systems; the policies and practices which govern the ways in which bus and rail passenger transport systems operate; and the key technologies and systems which enable forward and reverse logistics operations, focussing on urban areas.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The historical development of transport systems.
  • Waste and reverse logistics operations and the role local authorities play in managing domestic waste arisings.
  • Last-mile logistics and the infrastructure and technology to support e-commerce.
  • Characteristics of, and influences on, transport network development
  • Policies and practices in passenger transport, including operational models relating to regulation, privatisation and commercial aspects.
  • The characteristics of bus and rail operations.
  • New technologies in passenger transport for information, control and management.
  • Infrastructure for passenger and freight transport systems.
  • The principles and characteristics of freight and logistics operations.
  • Intelligent Transport Systems in distribution and warehousing.
  • Port operations for freight and containerisation.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify information requirements and sources for scheme design and evaluation.
  • Recall information and ideas for use in the evaluation process.
  • Analyse alternative passenger and freight operations and options.
  • Examine and evaluate conventional and emerging passenger and freight management systems.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Time management
  • Learn and study/research independently
  • Collate and synthesise/prioritise information
  • Manipulate and analyse data
  • Communicate your work effectively
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand where to source technical information on passenger and freight systems.
  • Manage and organise time.
  • Support arguments with appropriate source references.


- An introduction to the development of passenger and freight systems worldwide - Introduction to rail systems - Passenger rail systems and interchanges: design, operations and modal integration - Regulation and privatisation in rail transport. - Regulation in the bus industry - Rail freight systems - Warehousing and stock management systems - Containerisation and port logistics processes - Intelligent Transport Systems for freight transport - Reverse logistics and waste logistics - Local authorities' role in public transport systems - Bus service operations - Last mile logistics and unattended/attended delivery solutions - Air freight

Special Features

This module has at its centre a series of visits to transport facilities that are used as examples in the lectures. The teaching philosophy is to describe the transport systems in lectures using images and film wherever possible and follow up each subject area with a physical visit to a local site. The visits are linked to the freight system elements of the course and are typically: - DPWorld Southampton (Southampton’s container terminal arrange a tour of the facility which includes a coach tour replicating the passage of a container from shore side to landside). - Associated British Ports Southampton (ABP organise a tour around the remaining parts of the docks which includes the cruise terminal, the car import/export business and the other trading areas). - Meachers Global Logistics (Meachers offer a tour of their warehousing and distribution facilities at their dedicated site in Nursling. This complements the warehousing lecture and gives the students an insight into the realities of consolidation, sortation and meeting client requirements). - Siemens Northam Traincare Depot (Siemens provide a tour of their train maintenance facilities which operate out of their Northam depot which complements the rail transport lectures) - Tour of the Sea City and Solent Sky museums (Two guided tours are arranged, particularly geared towards our overseas students, to complement the history of transport lectures and emphasise Southampton’s rich transport heritage).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Lectures (14 two hour lectures which include three guest lecturers and 4 two hour site visits). Learning activities include: Individual essay work and associated literature review/analysis, use of software, directed reading, student directed learning. Specific site visits are arranged which typically include: DPWorld Southampton (the container terminal), Siemens Rail Depot (Northam Southampton), Meachers Global Logistics (Nursling Southampton), The Sea City and Solent Sky museums, Southampton.

External visits8
Completion of assessment task114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

White, P (2001). Public Transport: Its planning management and operation. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 33%
Essay 34%
Essay 33%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 34%
Essay 33%
Essay 33%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

No additional costs to students for field trips – covered within programme costs.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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