Skip to Main Content

The University of Tennessee

Enter the name of your College, Department, or Unit Here

Frequently Used Tools:




Railroad Education & Training

The University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research has been a provider of education and training to the railroad industry for over 25 years. The list below describes courses currently offered, either on a regular or irregular basis. The Center will also develop and present courses on a custom basis to suit client needs. To schedule training sessions or for more information concerning Railroad Education & Training, please contact Dr. David B. Clarke at (865) 974-1812.

See currently scheduled classes at the TTAP training pages.

Railroad Track Inspection and Safety Standards

our most popular railroad workshop, focuses on the basic principles of track inspection.  The 4-1/2 day course focuses on requirements of the FRA Track Safety Standards, 49 CFR, Part 213, though contents are applicable to any railroad’s internal track standards.  Since 1992, more than 400 organizations–including Class 1s, shortlines, commuter agencies, industries, contractors, and consulting engineers–have sent employees to this outstanding program. In fact, many railroads use this program to meet the training and demonstration of knowledge requirements found in Part 213.7, designation of qualified persons. The course content is presented through a combination of classroom presentation and field exercises.  This workshop provides 30 professional development hours.


Railroad Track Inspection and Safety Standards for High Speed Rail

follows the same basic outline as our regular track inspection workshop but focuses on the federal Track Safety Standard requirements for track of Classes 6 through 9 (passenger train speeds above 90mph ).  The course covers 4-1/2 days and includes both classroom presentation and field exercises.  Due to the specialized nature of the content, this course is offered on demand.


Track Inspection and Safety Standards for Rail Transit Systems

is a customized workshop based upon our regularly held track workshop.  This program is intended to train transit system track inspectors and track supervisors.  Federal track safety standards do not generally apply to transit systems, so this course is tailored to the standards of the host transit system.  Due to the specialized nature of the content, this course is offered on demand.


Basic Railroad Track Maintenance

provides two days of classroom instruction on basic track maintenance practices, with an emphasis on shortline, branchline, and industrial freight track of FRA Class 1 or 2 (25 mph or less). The course presents the basic elements of railroad track, identifies maintenance issues, presents principles of maintenance planning, and discusses maintenance approaches suited for this type of track.  Focus areas include drainage, turnouts and track crossings, crossties, continuous welded rail, and track geometry.  This workshop provides 14 professional development hours.


Railroad Track Design

provides 2-1/2 days of classroom instruction on 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 affect design characteristics.  This workshop provides 18 professional development hours.  Attendees should have either an engineering or engineering technology background.


Advanced Railroad Track Geometry           

provides three days of classroom and field instruction focusing on track geometry concepts, the most complex aspect of track inspection and maintenance. The attendee will learn techniques for identifying, measuring, and correcting problems with track gage, alignment, and surface.  This workshop provides 22 professional development hours and is offered on demand.


Railroad Timber Bridge Inspection and Maintenance

is a 2 day workshop that presents the construction and behavior of timber bridges, explains common failure modes, describes techniques and practices for timber bridge inspection, identifies routine maintenance requirements, and explains how to perform common repairs.  The course includes both classroom and field activities.  No engineering experience is necessary.  Participants receive 14 professional development hours.


Railroad Steel Bridge Inspection and Maintenance

is a 2 day workshop that presents the basic types and construction of steel bridges, describes component function and behavior, addresses common problems and failure modes, describes techniques and practices for inspection, and provides recommended approaches to basic maintenance and the solution of common problems.  All aspects of bridge superstructure and substructure are covered.  No engineering experience is necessary.  Participants receive 14 professional development hours.


Railroad Bridge Worker Safety

is a half-day program, generally held as part of our bridge training, that covers the federal requirements for bridge worker safety found in 49 CFR, Part 214.


Railroad Security and Vulnerability Assessment           

is a 2-1/2 day workshop that focuses on the security of railroads in a post 9/11 world.  After attending the course, persons responsible for addressing security will better understand railroad vulnerabilities and threats.  The course describes the various elements of railroad infrastructure and equipment, discusses command and control systems, and examines railroad operations with the intent of presenting security issues and countermeasures.  The course includes both classroom and field content.


Railroad Freight Car Inspection for Interchange and Safety

is a 4-1/2 day workshop aimed at railroad train crews and mechanical forces who inspect freight cars as a part of the interchange process. This hands-on workshop focuses on the FRA and AAR regulations applicable to freight cars.  Participants receive a wide range of materials on the subject.  This workshop provides 34 professional development hours of training.


Roadway Worker Protection - An Overview

is a one-day workshop that addresses the basic requirements of 49 CFR, Part 214 Subpart C establishing safety requirements for roadway workers.  This course can be tailored to cover a railroad’s specific roadway worker safety plan developed in compliance with Part 214.