Review of Track Inspection and Maintenance Standards for Transit

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - north america, infrastructure - track, infrastructure - maintainance, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys


rail, track, maintenance, safety


Transportation Technology Center, Inc (TTCI) reviewed rail transit track inspection and maintenance standards in North America. These agency standards were benchmarked against similar protocols existing in other parts of the world. In addition, transit agencies were surveyed to document inspection, maintenance, and operating practices to understand variations in inspection and maintenance standards. Approximately 30 agencies participated in the survey which establishes a significant representative sample of North American transit operations. An analysis of track-related accidents was conducted to determine where changes might be required to existing standards and/or where potential gaps may exist. From this analysis, a prioritized list of recommendations was developed. The list consists of items that can be implemented immediately and also items requiring additional research and development. This research is part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) standards development program. The program is intended to improve the safety and efficiency of rail transit operations.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.