You will prepare and submit a term paper on Principles of Highway and Railway Planning. Your paper should be a minimum of 2250 words in length. The focus, however, is mainly on the transportation engineering side of these phases. Also, there are general principles, namely coordination, control, and routing that apply to all forms of transportation systems and also in ushering future ones (Ghosh & Lee, 2000). Furthermore, the basic concern is always to facilitate the movement of people and goods safely, cost-effectively, and efficiently.
In the overall scheme of the engineering process, planning is the initial stage of the project, the design is in the middle, and operation and maintenance takes place after highway or railway construction has been completed. This is roughly a linear process although there is some overlapping in practice. The whole process is illustrated below.
The planning stage is intricately tied to urban, suburban, and rural planning and also involves making technical forecast decisions and not only socio-economic but also political factors (Gopi). The need for the project is identified and ideally, the community is also involved so that the construction satisfies as many people and needs as possible. Also, the physical location and surroundings must be considered carefully during the planning. Detailed planning is also common during major modifications just as much as it is during new constructions or reconstructions. In this case, it could be due to improving capacity, safety, accessibility, structural repairs, etc. Major highways or railways are likely to involve planning at several levels of government and take longer to reach a consensus for its design. The decisions made during the planning stage are so important that they can affect the rest of the entire project and they limit the design options.
An important step before beginning on the design is to know exactly what type of highway or railway is to be designed.