Professional Course

Railroad Signal Systems Fundamentals

PDHengineer, Online
5 hours
149.80 USD
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Start anytime! See details
Self-paced Online
5 hours
149.80 USD
Next course start
Start anytime! See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

engineer in tunnel

In Railroad Signal Systems Fundamentals, you'll learn ...

  • Why it’s important for utility engineers to learn the basics of railroad signaling
  • How EMI impacts railroad signal systems
  • The purpose and operation of wayside signal systems, crossing signals and cab signals
  • How a switch circuit controller is used to prevent train derailments


Credit: 5 PDH

Length: 64 pages

In this course you’ll learn the basics of railroad signaling, such as train detection and track circuit operation. The course is intended for power system engineers that build or maintain power line systems in railroad corridors. It is a good starter course to increase the knowledge of professional engineers that occasionally are asked to check and seal railroad signal plans. It is also beneficial for engineers that work on railroad construction and utility installation near railroad right-of-ways.

The equipment that makes up railroad signal systems is complex and can be susceptible to electrical interference from power lines and substations as well as damage from construction contractors.

The long right-of-ways of railroads are very inviting to installation of new power lines, buried optical cable, and pipe lines, so utility engineers frequently work with the railroad signal engineers. In spite of their best efforts, electromagnetic interference from powerlines and the digging up of signal cable and installations by trenching equipment has plagued the railroads for years.

Engineers at utilities that construct power lines or substations near railroad facilities should have a basic knowledge of railroad signal systems, their importance to the transportation industry, and their vulnerability to powerline interference. Understanding of railroad terms and the technical difficulties railroad signal engineers face helps to facilitate successful completion of shared projects. It is far better for engineers to do the job right the first time than to have lawyers hammering out who will pay the millions resulting from ignorance of potential conflicts.

This course is written with the power engineer in mind. However, anyone working in the railroad industry, from track maintenance to operating department executives should also have at least a basic knowledge of how such a vital component of their business operates.


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Who should attend?

Certificate of Completion

You will be able to immediately print a certificate of completion after passing a multiple-choice quiz consisting of 25 questions. PDH credits are not awarded until the course is completed and quiz is passed.

Training content

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Safety rules and work traditions required for visiting a railroad
  • Railroad associations and regulating agencies that affect their interaction with other industries
  • Basic railroad jargon necessary for communication with signal engineers
  • The design and operation of several train detection methods that use electric circuits on the rails
  • The fundamentals of railroad wayside signal design and operation
  • The rudiments of railroad highway crossing train detection devices
  • The effect of electromagnetic interference on train detection equipment


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77070 Houston Texas

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