Track Design Handbook for Light Rail Transit, Second Edition

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - tram/light rail, infrastructure - track, place - north america


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


This Handbook provides guidelines and descriptions for the design of various common types of light rail transit (LRT) track. The track structure types include ballasted track, direct fixation ("ballastless") track, 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, tracks and wheel gauges, rail sections, alignments, speeds, and track moduli. The Handbook includes chapters on vehicles, alignment, track structures, track components, special trackwork, aerial structures/bridges, corrosion control, noise and vibration, signals, traction power, and the integration of LRT track into urban streets. These chapters provide insight into other systems that impact the track design and require interface coordination. In addition, the Handbook includes chapters on the construction and maintenance of LRT trackwork. This Handbook will be of interest to designers, operators, manufacturers, and those maintaining LRT systems.


Permission to publish the abstract and link to the report has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.