Track Design Handbook for Light Rail Transit

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - track, infrastructure - vehicle, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail


Alignment, Corrosion protection, Design, Guidelines, Handbooks, Light rail transit, Light rail vehicles, Noise, Railroad bridges, Railroad signals, Railroad tracks, Speed, Track components, Traction power, Train track dynamics, Vibration


This Handbook will be of interest to light rail track system design engineers, operations and maintenance professionals, vehicle design engineers and manufacturers, and others interested in the design of light rail track systems. The Handbook provides guidelines and descriptions for the design of various types of light rail transit track. The track structure types covered include ballasted, direct fixation ("ballastless"), and embedded track. The components of the various track types are discussed in detail. The guidelines consider the characteristics and interfaces of vehicle wheels and rail, track and wheel gauges, rail sections, alignments, speeds, and track moduli. The Handbook includes chapters on vehicles, alignment, track structures, track components, special trackwork, aerial structure/bridges, corrosion control, noise and vibration, signals, and traction power. These chapters provide insight into considerations that affect track design and require interface coordination.


Permission to link to report given by TRB.