Civil Engineering MCQ – Railway Engineering

Here’s a set of 25 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) on Railway Engineering, suitable for civil engineering students preparing for exams like GATE, technical interviews, and other competitive examinations.

1. What is the primary purpose of railway engineering?

a) To design and construct residential buildings
b) To design, construct, and maintain railway systems
c) To manage air traffic control
d) To design electrical systems for cities

Answer:

b) To design, construct, and maintain railway systems

Explanation:

Railway engineering involves the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of railway infrastructure, including tracks, stations, and signaling systems, to ensure efficient and safe train operations.

2. What are 'sleepers' in railway tracks?

a) Rest areas for train drivers
b) Structural elements that support the rails
c) Lights along the railway track
d) Parts of the train engine

Answer:

b) Structural elements that support the rails

Explanation:

Sleepers, also known as ties, are the rectangular support elements placed beneath the rails in railway tracks. They help maintain track stability and gauge, and distribute the load to the track ballast and subgrade.

3. What is the primary function of a railway ballast?

a) To provide a surface for passengers to walk on
b) To decorate the railway tracks
c) To support the sleepers and distribute loads
d) To power the trains

Answer:

c) To support the sleepers and distribute loads

Explanation:

Ballast in railway tracks is a layer of crushed stone or other material that provides support for the sleepers, distributing loads from the rails, facilitating drainage, and helping maintain track alignment.

4. What is a 'railway gauge'?

a) The speed at which trains travel
b) The distance between the inner faces of the rails
c) A device to measure train fuel consumption
d) The height of a train

Answer:

b) The distance between the inner faces of the rails

Explanation:

The railway gauge is the spacing of the rails on a railway track. It is measured between the inner faces of the load-bearing rails and determines the size and stability of the railway vehicles.

5. What is the significance of 'super elevation' in railway tracks?

a) To elevate the status of the railway station
b) The banking of tracks at curves for safety
c) The height of signals above the tracks
d) The elevation of platforms

Answer:

b) The banking of tracks at curves for safety

Explanation:

Super elevation, or cant, in railway tracks is the practice of raising the outer rail in a curve above the inner rail. This counters the centrifugal force acting on the train, enhancing safety at higher speeds.

6. What are 'points and crossings' in railway engineering?

a) Locations for train stoppages
b) The meeting points of two different railway lines
c) Devices to change the route of a train from one track to another
d) The highest and lowest points on a railway track

Answer:

c) Devices to change the route of a train from one track to another

Explanation:

Points and crossings are integral components of railway tracks, allowing trains to move from one track to another. They consist of movable rails, known as points, and fixed crossing pieces that guide the wheels.

7. What is a 'signal' in railway systems?

a) A device for communication between passengers
b) A decorative element on trains
c) A device that provides information to the train driver about track conditions ahead
d) A part of the train engine

Answer:

c) A device that provides information to the train driver about track conditions ahead

Explanation:

Signals in railway systems are devices that convey information about track conditions, such as clearance, speed limits, and track occupancy, to the train driver, ensuring safe and efficient train operations.

8. What purpose do 'rail joints' serve in railway tracks?

a) To connect different trains together
b) To allow for thermal expansion and contraction of rails
c) To make the track look continuous
d) To reduce the noise of the train

Answer:

b) To allow for thermal expansion and contraction of rails

Explanation:

Rail joints are gaps or connections between rail sections that allow for thermal expansion and contraction of the rails due to temperature changes, preventing track buckling or breaks.

9. What is 'track stiffness' in railway engineering?

a) The flexibility of train schedules
b) The strength of the railway signals
c) The resistance of the track to deformation under load
d) The hardness of the train seats

Answer:

c) The resistance of the track to deformation under load

Explanation:

Track stiffness refers to the resistance of the railway track to vertical deformation under the load of passing trains. Adequate track stiffness is essential for track stability and durability.

10. What is a 'level crossing' in railway terms?

a) A point where the train changes levels
b) An elevated pedestrian pathway over the tracks
c) A point where a railway line and a road cross at the same level
d) The highest point on a railway track

Answer:

c) A point where a railway line and a road cross at the same level

Explanation:

A level crossing, also known as a grade crossing, is an intersection where a railway line crosses a road or path at the same level, as opposed to a railway bridge or tunnel.

11. What is the purpose of 'fishplates' in railway track construction?

a) To supply food to workers
b) To join two lengths of rail together
c) To indicate fishing areas near the track
d) To decorate the railway stations

Answer:

b) To join two lengths of rail together

Explanation:

Fishplates, or joint bars, are metal plates used to connect two lengths of railway track end-to-end, providing a continuous and smooth surface for the train wheels.

12. What is 'track geometry' in railway engineering?

a) The aesthetic design of railway stations
b) The layout and physical dimensions of the track
c) The graphic design of train tickets
d) The logo design for railway companies

Answer:

b) The layout and physical dimensions of the track

Explanation:

Track geometry refers to the alignment, elevation, curvature, and other physical dimensions of the railway track, which are crucial for safe and efficient train operations.

13. What does 'absolute block signaling' mean in railways?

a) A permanent stop signal
b) A method where only one train is allowed in a block section at a time
c) A signal that blocks all train movements
d) A decorative signal on the track

Answer:

b) A method where only one train is allowed in a block section at a time

Explanation:

Absolute block signaling is a system where a section of track, known as a block, is occupied by only one train at a time to ensure safety. It's a fundamental principle in railway signaling.

14. What is the function of a 'traction substation' in electric railways?

a) To provide accommodation for staff
b) To supply electrical power to trains
c) To control train movements
d) To monitor weather conditions

Answer:

b) To supply electrical power to trains

Explanation:

A traction substation in electric railways is an installation that converts high-voltage electricity from the power grid to a suitable voltage for supplying to the overhead lines or third rail to power electric trains.

15. What is 'gauge widening' in railway tracks?

a) Making the railway station wider
b) Increasing the distance between the two rails at curves
c) Adding extra tracks to the railway line
d) Widening the doors of trains

Answer:

b) Increasing the distance between the two rails at curves

Explanation:

Gauge widening is the practice of increasing the distance between the two rails on curved sections of the track to compensate for the overhang of the train and to reduce wear on the outer rail and train wheels.

16. What is a 'railway embankment'?

a) A financial institution for railway employees
b) A raised bank constructed to carry the railway track
c) A type of train carriage
d) A decorative feature around the railway station

Answer:

b) A raised bank constructed to carry the railway track

Explanation:

A railway embankment is an artificially raised bank of earth or stone, constructed to support the railway track and ensure a level surface where the ground level varies.

17. What are 'cantilever signals' in railway signaling?

a) Signals that can swing in the wind
b) Signals mounted on a beam that extends over the track
c) The oldest type of railway signals
d) Signals used exclusively for high-speed trains

Answer:

b) Signals mounted on a beam that extends over the track

Explanation:

Cantilever signals are a type of railway signal where the signal head is mounted on an extended beam or structure that overhangs the track, providing clear visibility to train drivers.

18. What is the main purpose of 'interlocking' in railway systems?

a) To lock trains together
b) To ensure that signals and switches operate in a coordinated way for safety
c) To lock the railway tracks to the sleepers
d) To secure the doors of trains

Answer:

b) To ensure that signals and switches operate in a coordinated way for safety

Explanation:

Interlocking in railway systems is a technique used to prevent conflicting movements of trains through an arrangement of tracks, signals, and switches. It ensures that only safe combinations of these elements can be operated simultaneously.

19. What is 'ballastless track' technology in railways?

a) A track that uses no sleepers
b) A track built without any ballast
c) A track without any rails
d) A track made entirely of glass

Answer:

b) A track built without any ballast

Explanation:

Ballastless track technology refers to railway track construction that does not use traditional ballast (crushed stone) but instead relies on a solid foundation, like concrete, to support the sleepers and rails. This technology is often used in high-speed rail systems due to its stability and lower maintenance requirements.

20. Why are 'railway turnouts' important?

a) They are resting points for drivers
b) They allow trains to move from one track to another
c) They are used for turning the train around
d) They are scenic viewpoints along the railway

Answer:

b) They allow trains to move from one track to another

Explanation:

Railway turnouts, also known as switches, are mechanical installations that enable trains to move from one track to another at a junction, providing flexibility and connectivity in rail operations.

21. What is the purpose of 'rail stress' monitoring in railway engineering?

a) To ensure passenger comfort
b) To maintain the aesthetic appearance of the rail
c) To assess the condition of the rail and prevent failures
d) To monitor the stress levels of railway workers

Answer:

c) To assess the condition of the rail and prevent failures

Explanation:

Rail stress monitoring involves evaluating the stress and strain in the rails, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the railway track, preventing rail failures, and ensuring safe train operations.

22. How does 'track geometry measurement' benefit railway maintenance?

a) It is used for designing train interiors
b) It helps in the accurate measurement of train speed
c) It ensures the track is properly aligned and in good condition
d) It measures the distance between stations

Answer:

c) It ensures the track is properly aligned and in good condition

Explanation:

Track geometry measurement is a key aspect of railway maintenance, involving the assessment of track alignment, elevation, curvature, and other geometrical parameters. Accurate measurements ensure the track is in good condition, enhancing safety and ride quality.

23. What is a 'rail profile grinder' used for?

a) To sharpen the edges of the rail
b) To grind the rail head to its correct shape
c) To clean the surface of the rail
d) To paint the rails

Answer:

b) To grind the rail head to its correct shape

Explanation:

A rail profile grinder is a machine used to grind the rail head to the desired profile or shape. This maintenance process is important for removing irregularities and ensuring optimal contact between the rail and train wheels.

24. What is the importance of 'railway signaling systems'?

a) To provide entertainment to passengers
b) To control the movement of trains and ensure safety
c) To indicate the start and end of a railway track
d) To decorate the railway stations

Answer:

b) To control the movement of trains and ensure safety

Explanation:

Railway signaling systems are crucial for safely managing train movements on the network. They provide signals to train drivers, controlling train speeds, routes, and ensuring safe distances between trains, thus preventing collisions and other accidents.

25. Why are 'anti-collision devices' (ACDs) used in railways?

a) To enhance the speed of trains
b) To prevent collisions between trains
c) To measure the weight of the train
d) To provide WiFi to passengers

Answer:

b) To prevent collisions between trains

Explanation:

Anti-collision devices are safety systems installed on trains to prevent collisions. They detect other trains on the track, analyze potential collision scenarios, and automatically take control to stop the train if necessary, enhancing safety.

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