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Basic Railroad Track Maintenance

When - Where

May 8 & 9, 2023

(8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time)


12 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) can be granted for this course.

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.



This workshop 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 participant will learn to identify:

  • the basic elements of railroad track,
  • maintenance issues,
  • principles of maintenance planning, and
  • maintenance approaches suited for various types of track.
  • Focus areas include drainage, turnouts and track crossings, crossties, continuous welded rail, and track geometry.


Persons with responsibility for or interest in track maintenance will benefit from this class. These include shortline, regional, and Class I railroads; transit railroads; railroad contractors and consultants; state and local government agencies associated with railroad operation, finance, and regulation; and consultants.


David B. Clarke, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Clarke, formerly Director of the University of Tennessee's Center for Transportation, brings nearly 40 years of experience encompassing a variety of railroad 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 active in railroad related committees of AREMA, ASCE and TRB.


Workshop begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. each day.

  • Introduction and overview
  • Track fundamentals
  • Assessing track condition
  • Track drainage
    • Ditching
    • Culverts
    • Storm sewer systems
  • Vegetation control
    • Herbicide application
    • Brush removal
  • Addressing roadbed issues
    • Geotextiles/geogrids
    • Soil stabilization
    • Drains
  • Ballast
    • Material properties
    • Application
    • Cleaning
    • Types
    • Requirements
    • Replacement methods
  • Rail
    • Wear/defects
    • Installation/replacement
    • Inspection and maintenance
    • Joints
    • Continuous welded rail
  • Turnouts and track crossings
    • Installation
    • Maintenance
    • Adjustment
  • Restoring track line and surface
  • Highway-railroad crossings
  • Estimating and scheduling track maintenance activities
  • Safety


The course registration of $665 includes workshop 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 workshop vicinity.

Register ONLINE here.


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