In 1949 was at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Czech Technical University in Prague founded Institute of railway vehicles, from which in 1954 was founded Department of railway vehicles. The founder of Institute, the first head of the department as well as the founder of the field of study Rail vehicles was prof. Ing. Robert Nejepsa, DrSc. He created at the Department collective of well-researched highly qualified teachers and researchers, whether during the course of Prague, and later in Žilina. He has significantly contributed to the establishment of Experimental base Department of railway vehicles in Žilina, at that time in the premises on Sasinkova street. He published a number of lecture notes (and not only in the field of railway vehicles) and other publications, which were the basis of academic literature in this field and they are still popular.

As Head of Department from 1954 to this day held the professors and associate professors, under whose leadership institute achieved significant recognition in teaching and scientific research areas at home and abroad.

In 1956 the institute was transferred to the University of railway in Prague and then in 1962 at the University of Transport in Žilina. In 1980 was renamed as the University of Transport and Communications, where in 1992 was formed Faculty of Mechanical Engineering to the present form and since 1996 is an important component of the University of Žilina.

Due to structural changes at the Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering of VSD (University of Transport) in 1980 was from the Department of railway vehicles, Department of construction of machines and Department of Mechanical Engineering founded the Department of railway vehicles, engines and elevators, which existed under this name until 2004. In 2004 was into the structure of department included all existing employees and infrastructure of the Department of operation and maintenance of railway vehicles and the department was renamed to the Department of Transport and Handling Machines. In 2009 was into the structure of Faculty of Engineering included new Department, Department of Automotive Technology, which formed the basis of the staffing the engine of Department of Transport and Handling Machines.

Since 2009 continues active successful operation of the Department of Transport Engineering at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of University of Žilina in the education of bachelor students (first) level of university courses in the study program Vehicles and Engines, Master (second) level The rolling stock and Maintenance of vehicles, and Ph.D. (third) degree of Rail vehicles. The scientific focus of the department is directed to the construction, maintenance and testing of vehicles, with an emphasis on rail vehicles. For ensuring teaching and research activities department has specialized classrooms and professionally oriented heavy laboratories.