Principles of Track Engineering

Course Aims

This course is intended to provide delegates with an understanding of the history and development of the Permanent Way, its construction, maintenance and renewal.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course the delegates will: –

  • Be aware of the development of track
  • Be aware of the Network Rail Standards, Specifications and Track Work Instructions relating to the Permanent Way
  • Have a clear understanding of track construction, including:-

o Earthworks
o Track Drainage
o Formation
o Track Components
o Plain Line (Jointed & CWR)
o Switch and Crossings
o Longitudinal Timbers

  • Be aware of the principles of track geometry
  • Be aware of the basic design principles
  • Have an understanding of the basic maintenance and renewal techniques for both Plain Line and Switches & Crossings
  • Be aware of the need for structure gauging and the maintenance of clearances
  • Be aware of track defects and the remedies
  • Have an understanding of the impact Permanent Way has on other departments, and Providers of Services to the Rail Industry

Course Duration

Two days


There are no particular educational or competence pre-requisites required for this course.

Personal Protective Equipment

The course does not require the delegate to be on or near to track layouts and, therefore, PPE is not required.


At the end of the course each delegate will undertake a written assessment in order to confirm their level of understanding.

A Certificate of Training will be awarded on successful completion of the course.