Design of Light Rail Transit

Railways were first built in North America over 150 years ago, and back then designers were simply striving to find the optimal path between two points. One option was to construct a shorter route with steep grades. The second option was to build a longer route with greater curvature along gentle sloping topography. Today, these challenges still exist for the designer as they must choose the better route based upon overall construction, operational and maintenance criteria.

This is where the software can help designers, by quickly accounting for the clearances a rail vehicle would potentially encounter along a designed route. What used to be hours of painstaking, manual work will now take mere minutes to check with the latest software from Transoft Solutions. This software is sure to become a designer’s best friend.

Suffice it to say that in today’s environment, the designer must also add to the decision model environmental concerns, politics, land use issues, economics, long-term traffic levels and other economic criteria far beyond what has traditionally been considered. These added considerations are well beyond what is normally the designer’s task of alignment design, but they all affect it. The designer will have to work with these issues occasionally, dependent upon the size and scope of the project. (Source: Railway Track Design, P 232, 2003, AREMA).

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