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Rail Road Education & Training

Railroad Track Design

When - Where

May 22-24, 2019

(8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time)
ORNL Hardin Valley Campus 2nd floor meeting room
(formerly NTRC)
2360 Cherahala Blvd.
Knoxville, TN  37932
Tel: 865-946-1500 for directions

Register ONLINE here.


Register by fax or mail. Click here to download the brochure.

What this is about


This 2½ day class addresses the design of railroad track, including horizontal and vertical alignment, cross section, turnouts and crossings, component selection, earthwork, drainage, and clearances. The design approaches highlight applicable AREMA standards and general industry practices. The attendee will learn how traffic characteristics and operational requirements affect design. The coverage distinguishes between high-speed, conventional, rapid transit, and light-rail systems. The course includes exercises to provide experience with typical design procedures. On completion, this attendee may take credit for 15 professional development hours. An engineering or engineering technology background is preferred.


David B. Clarke, P.E.

Dr. Clarke is the Director the Center for Transportation Research and a research associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee. His over 30 years of experience encompass a variety of railroad related design, inspection, research and education activities. He has taught railway related courses including this one, to college students and professionals since 1990. Dr. Clarke is well versed in the Federal Track Safety Standards covered in this course, and is frequently engaged as an expert to assess track conditions. As a licensed civil engineer, Dr. Clarke prepares specifications and designs for railroad track construction and maintenance. He is a licensed civil engineer in South Carolina and Tennessee and is active in AREMA, ASCE and TRB.

Who Should Attend

Track inspection personnel from shortline, regional, and Class I railroads; railroad contractors and consultants; state and local government officials associated with railroad operation, finance, and regulation; and railway engineers have all benefited from attending this workshop.


(Workshop begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. each day. On the third day, the workshop ends at noon)

  • Overview and introduction
  • Design controls
  • Track location
  • Track engineering
    • Track structure
    • Loads
    • Track behavior
    • Stress analysis
      • Rail
      • Crossties/fasteners
      • Ballast
      • Subgrade
  • Basic geometric design
    • Horizontal alignment
      • Curves
      • Spirals
      • Superelevation
    • Vertical alignment
      • Grades
      • Vertical curves
  • Advanced geometric design
    • Turnouts and track crossings
    • Track spacing
    • Track junctions
    • Yard and terminal layout
    • Capacity and operational considerations
    • Rail-highway grade crossings
  • Railway structures
  • Drainage
  • Review and wrap-up


The course registration of $595 includes course materials and refreshments. Registration fees must be received at least two weeks prior to the workshop to guarantee your place in the class.

Attendees are responsible for meals and lodging. Registrants will be provided information on available lodging in the course vicinity.

PDHs Available

15 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are available for those completing the course. All attendees who successfully finish the course receive a certificate of completion.

Register ONLINE here.


Click here to download the brochure and fax or mail it in.



The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System