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Rail Signalling & Control Fundamentals

2-Day Training Course: An Essential Guide to Signalling for Non-Signalling People.

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Learn to work more effectively with those who design signal systems through this entry-level training designed to build your awareness of base system architecture, the jargon, & operational aspects of signal & train control systems

Key Learning Objectives

  • Gain a working knowledge of fundamentals for railway train control and signalling systems for freight, intercity passenger and urban light rail transit operations
  • Learn how many of today’s train control and signalling systems are designed and operated to increase railway capacity, reliability, safety and competitiveness
  • Explore the merits of the different types of signalling and control systems
  • Hear the latest information about the methods and technologies being used in current rail signalling practice
  • Review the applicable rules, regulations, standards and specifications that govern the design and maintenance of various signalling systems

About the Course

This course provides participants with a sound basis in the theoretical and practical requirements in signalling and control systems in the rail environment.

The course begins with a critical historical exploration of signalling and control system so that participants grasp the underpinning lessons for change in system design (along with technology changes). These lessons are reflected in the remaining content.

The course then goes on to explore in increasing depth, the function, operation and design requirements of these two critical rail systems.

Covered throughout the course are the key concepts, terminology and types of signalling and control systems, along with plenty of discussions and activities to gain a firm understanding.

The course rounds out with an overview of the various design requirements, the key performance requirements and the nature of the tools and systems that guide contemporary system design.

Who Will Benefit

This is an entry level course. This will benefit those who interface with train control and signalling systems whose improved understanding of how they are designed and operated and the critical safety issues governing their design will improve project outcomes.

Job areas include engineering disciplines (eg. civil, structural, mechanical, project and design), operations management, maintenance, safety, track management, project management, graduates, technical sales, contractors, state and federal government, inspectors/technicians, public works professionals and signal engineers new to the field.

A CPD Course

For those who have a professional status and require Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to retain your status, you can use this course to fulfil the educational requirements. Contact your association to learn how.


Very well structured course that was useful and related to my current job, a very effective course. Leon was knowledgeable and had a relaxed, down to earth approach to the training. He answered questions and kept it as simple as possible.”
Rail Safety Officer, The Independent Transport Safety Regulator

I enjoyed learning about the control system elements and about control tables. It has given me a good base understanding of rail signalling and control fundamentals. The course was informative with good pace of lectures and a mix of exercises with the presentation.”
Senior Systems Engineer, Nova Systems

Terms & Conditions

To read the training course terms and conditions read more here

Course Outline

Evolution of signalling and control systems

  • The impact of incidents and accidents on design
  • How technology increased design options
  • Procedures and systems that are still used

What is a signalling system?

  • What is its purpose?
  • How does it work?
  • What can happen if it goes wrong?

What is a signalling control system?

  • What is its purpose?
  • How is it presented to the operator?
  • Can we have a signalling system without a control system?

How the signalling system works in an operational environment

    • Signalling principles
    • Signalling rules
    • Operational procedures
    • Activity: Hazard analysis: How safe are the signalling system and operational procedures?

Components in modern signalling and control systems

      • Line side equipment: Signals; points; level crossings; track circuits and axle counters; ATP (balises/AWS)
      • Interlocking: Relay and computer-based interlockings
      • On board systems: In-cab signalling systems; ATP
      • Train Control systems: Centralised/distributed
      • Communications: Data; voice
      • Support: Maintenance; fleet; timetable; staffing
      • Activity: Development of a simple control table

System safety

      • Fail safe and how they work in the real world (track faults, level crossings, signal rules)
      • Enforcing authority (train stops)
      • ATP (TPWS, AWS, Vigilance, ATP, ERTMS)

System performance requirements

      • Headways, dwell and transit times; moving block
      • Reliability and availability, degraded modes
      • Single points of failure, redundancy and diversity failure scenarios

Types of signalling control systems

      • Reviewing various control systems
      • How they work with associated equipment:
        • >Mechanical; relay; CBI; ERTMS; NX; CBTC; ATMS; ATC
      • Activity: Rank system performance against supplied architectures

Guiding system design

      • State and federal government regulations
      • The design authority
      • Proprietary design tools and methods
      • Budgets and timelines
      • Activity: Develop a signalling scheme

Future trends in signalling

Awareness of the local context

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.

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