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Basic Track Design

Course Aims

This course is intended to provide delegates with a good understanding of the geometrical, horizontal and vertical track parameters when designing a track scheme. It also covers design of the track substructure and the track interface with vehicles and infrastructure owned by other engineering functions. It provides the delegates with the opportunity to apply the learning outcomes in ‘hands-on’ development of track designs after undertaking site visits and surveys. The principles of hallade survey and longitudinal level plots are also covered and applied.


5 days

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course the delegates will: -
• Understand what is track design and why is it necessary for the whole life of the track (e.g. renewal, maintenance and refurbishment cycles)
• Identify track configurations such as curves, transitions, straights and geometric design issues like: cant, deficiency of cant, design speed, rate of change, virtual transitions etc, including formulae and mathematics
• Understand how track and substructure design links to Forces, vehicle ride, wear and the lifecycle of track
• Understand the differences between vertical and horizontal alignment and critical linkages between them
• Have an  in-depth understanding of the critical standards and guidelines involved with track and substructure design
• Understand basic surveying of track for vertical and horizontal alignment
• Understand survey and design principals of horizontal alignment using hallade system
• Undertake a survey of track  for vertical (level) and horizontal alignment (hallade)
• Understand how you can set out horizontal alignment using surveying systems and rules from standards
• Have knowledge of how to design straight gradients and vertical curves and where to apply grade compensation
• Understand the basics of designing S&C, replacing units and undertake design checks
• Understand the design interfaces (E.g. Gauging / Clearances) between other vehicles, structures, OHLE and signalling equipment.
• Understand trackbed and other substructure design and its linkage to track alignment design
• Identify the need to provide markers and other reference systems to perpetuate design through the track life cycle
• Have undertaken track design exercises (e.g. Plot and design surveys from site visit + Hallade and drainage exercises)

Pre Requisite Requirements

The following pre-requisites are required:
• Must have track experience and be involved in the track design process
• Should be in a technical or engineering role
• Should be progressing towards professional registration of an Engineering Institution

PPE Requirements

PPE is not required for this course.


A Certificate of Training will be awarded to the delegate on successful completion of the course. Certification has no expiry.