Click below to consult the terms in the lexicon.


Railway track between two locations (e.g. between two stations).

Shunt movements (or shunting)

Moving trains or cars on a certain railway terrain, for instance: turning a locomotive; train arrangement; adding cars, etc.

Signal box

Control centre for coordination of train traffic. This is where the signals and switches of a specific railway network region are being controlled in order for trains to safely and quickly reach their destination.

Signal cabin
See "Signal box".
Signalling equipment

Technology that provides the required instructions to the train drivers for safe driving. The light signals and signs form part of the signalling equipment.


Signals are located alongside the train track and give certain orders to the train driver. We distinguish light signals (comparable to traffic lights) and signs indicating the allowed speed.

Six-foot way

Space between running tracks.


Wooden or concrete beams that carry the rails.


Steeply sloping ground, very inclined, resulting from earth works.
Cutting slope: borders a railway line below.
Embankment slope: made of earth brought in and which rises above the ground.

Sound absorbing cassettes

Screens placed alongside the tracks to absorb noise, thus reducing noise pollution for local residents.

Sound barrier screens

Screens placed alongside the tracks to absorb noise, thus reducing noise pollution for local residents.

Sound-absorbing embankment

Sound-absorbing embankment alongside the railway track.

Special tender specifications

Detailed description of all works required to carry out a project. The specifications are generally drawn up on the basis of standard tender specifications containing all options, which can differ from on project to another. Besides a description of the works, including choice of materials, dimensions and exact techniques, they also contain so-called type plans, technical guidelines for carrying out works. As a whole, these specifications are the basis of the contract between the contract awarder and the contractor.


Self Propelled Modular Transporter. Platform vehicle with a large array of wheels.


Places where the train stops to load and off-load passengers.

Structural works

Engineering term. Man-made structures not intended for occupation, for instance: bridges, viaducts, locks, tunnels, etc.

Studded structure

Surface with a studded pattern, discernible when walked on. These surfaces are used to warn blind and visually impaired people of a potential danger (e.g. the platform edges at a station).


Electrical installation in the high-voltage power network.

Sunflower signal

A "sunflower" signal is a simplified signal (two colours) installed at ground level and not at a height as with conventional signals. This signal is used in track networks.

Support wall

Retaining wall that can withstand the pressure of higher ground. It allows for construction of a steep wall on a hill without a risk of the earth subsiding.


Railway element that, in accordance with its position, leads trains from one track onto another.

System Engineering (SE)

Branch of science (also referred to as system knowledge or system learning) which deals with analysing and developing technical and organisational systems based on thinking in systems, processes and control loops.