Design of Plain Line

Course Aims

The course is intended to provide the delegate with the relevant skills and underpinning knowledge in the principles of Plain Line Design.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course the delegates will: –

  • Have a clear understanding of relevant standard drawings, Railway Group Standards, Network Rail Company Standards and Line Specifications relating to the design of plain line.
  • Be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of all component parts and track geometry relating to plain line.
  • Be able to establish a detailed design for track layout configuration from the specification and client’s requirements.
  • Be able to carry out a site assessment, complete a site survey and carry out design layout, including design calculations.
  • Be aware of the design constraints, including structures, maintenance considerations, site access, temporary works, level crossings, rolling stock and clearances, environment, health and safety and financial considerations.
  • Understand the department / functions that may be involved in plain line renewals and the need for clear and concise communication.
  • Have a clear understanding of all necessary information required for submission of design approval, including preparation of final drawings
  • Be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the principles of setting out and installing of a plain line scheme.

Course Duration

Five days.


There are no particular educational or competence pre-requisites for the course. However, the following factors will benefit the delegate: –

  • Prior technical experience in working in the Permanent Way environment.
  • A basic understanding of Track Re-alignment by the “Hallade” Method.
  • Good mathematical skills.
  • Be conversant with surveying methods and the use of surveying equipment.

Personal Protective Equipment

This course requires the delegate to be on or near the running line and therefore, he/she MUST be in possession of:-

  • Valid P. T. S. Card
  • Protective “all orange” High Visibility Clothing to BS EN 471:2003
  • Safety Footwear to BS EN ISO 20345:2004
  • Safety Helmet (white/blue) to BS EN 397:1995
  • General Purpose Gloves to BS EN388:2121
  • Safety Glasses BS EN 166 and of Optical Class 1 with Impact Resistance F


A certificate of technical competence will be awarded to delegates who can demonstrate clear understanding of Plain Line Design Principles.