Light Rail Bibliography
On this page are the results of a search by the TRB Library for all TRB reports, publications, and current projects that feature the subject of light rail from the years 1975-2019. Also, a history and timeline of Light Rail Conferences is included. (Prepared March 22, 2019.)
TRID Search 1) – All years of Source: TRB, Only Reports, Books, and Collections, Subject Areas: Passenger Transportation, Public Transportation, Railroads; Index terms: Light rail transit, Light rail transit grade crossings, Light rail vehicles, Street railroads, Streetcars
TRID Search 2) – All years of Source: TRB, Only Projects, Subject Areas: Passenger Transportation, Public Transportation, Railroads; Index terms: Light rail transit, Light rail transit grade crossings, Light rail vehicles, Street railroads, Streetcars
Eighty-six citations are listed below in relation to TRB Light Rail Publications and Projects. One is a current TRB project and eighty-five are TRB publications.
TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SA-43 - Transit Service Delivery Evaluation Standards
The goal of this study is to provide an overview of the purpose, use and application of performance measures, service evaluation standards and data collection methods at North American transit agencies. The report should explore common themes and common practices among agencies of different sizes, geographic locations and modes. Examples of these themes and practices may include reliability, passenger experience, efficiency, cost, and others identified by current or prior research. The expectation is that the consultant will look at how these metrics are used throughout all levels of the organization to determine service delivery. The scope of the review should include a variety of transit modes, such as demand-responsive transit, bus rapid transit and rail.
Information will be gathered by a literature review (e.g. agency reports, peer reviewed journal articles) and a survey on a broad range of at least 50 North American transit systems. The survey shall identify the performance measures they use to evaluate service, the definitions of those measures, and the standards based on those measures that are used to flag issues and inform decision-making. The report should include in-depth analysis of the following current practices:
- A. performance measures without automated data;
- B. performance measures with automated data;
- C. prioritizing between performance measures;
- D. deciding what their evaluation standards should be
The analysis should emphasize lessons learned, challenges, and gaps. The needs for future research should also be discussed.
Kim, Yail Jimmy. Proposed AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications for Light Rail Transit Loads. NCHRP Research Report, Issue 851, 2017, 208p
Abstract: This report provides proposed AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Bridge Design Specifications for bridges carrying light rail transit loading, including those subjected to both light rail and highway traffic loadings. The proposed specifications and design examples are based on comprehensive response monitoring of five bridges carrying light rail transit vehicles in Denver, Colorado, and analytical programs for investigating the behavior of light rail bridges, live loads and associated forces, rail–train–structure interaction, and load factor calibration to implement the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) method. A standard live load model was developed to generate uniform design outcomes, regardless of transit agency. Load factors are calibrated, particularly for the strength and fatigue limit states of light rail bridges.
13th National Light Rail and Streetcar Conference: Transforming Urban Areas. Transportation Research Circular, Issue E-C213, 2016, 484p
Abstract: This publication presents papers from the 13th National Light Rail and Streetcar Conference, held November 15-17, 2015, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference focused on how investments in light rail and streetcars can strengthen the entire transit network, contribute to regional mobility, and integrate successfully into the built environment. Sessions explored ways to plan, design, construct, maintain and operate light rail and streetcar systems. Positive results were showcased in metropolitan areas that have embraced light rail and streetcars. The conference highlighted the themes of “inserting” LRT and streetcars into urban street environments and tracking the reemergence of streetcars that was begun in the 2012 conference. A session was devoted to developments in Canada, and a special panel discussion on successful practices in Eastern and Western Europe closed the conference. In the circular, the papers are categorized under 10 headings: complete streets; state-of-the-art in vehicles; ensuring LRT and streetcar safety; lessons learned; procurement strategies; insertion of streetcars and LRT in urban street environments; state of good repair; LRT in the total transit system; infrastructure developments; and successful streetcar design in motorized cities.
Page, Sasha; Bishop, William L; Wong, Waiching. Guide to Value Capture Financing for Public Transportation Projects. TCRP Research Report, Issue 190, 2016, 115p
Abstract: Value capture is the public recovery of a portion of increased property and other value created as a result of public infrastructure investment. Capturing a portion of that value to fund transit projects is an increasingly viable and desirable option. This report is a resource for transit agencies, local governments, developers, and others interested in value capture as a strategy for funding and financing public transportation projects. The guide will be relevant to many public transportation modes, including bus rapid transit, light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail, and intercity passenger rail. Included in the guide are six case studies that provide practical examples of successful value capture from public transportation investments and illustrate the principles presented in the guide.
Public Transportation, Volume 2: Passenger Rail and Terminals. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2540, 2016, 152p
Abstract: This issue contains fifteen papers concerned the passenger rail and terminal aspects of public transportation. Specific topics addressed in this issue include the following: measuring station design quality for personal safety; group and single pedestrian behavior in crowd dynamics; agent-based crowd simulation of large-scale intermodal facilities; streetcar resurgence; proof-of-pavement versus pay-on-entry ticketing; short-turn operations; urban ring transit lines; integrated line planning and train scheduling; passenger delays; and standing passenger density in subway cars. Additional topics addressed in this issue include: train-level subway ridership flows; impact of platform edge doors on passenger boarding and alighting time and platform behavior; geographic information system concept of operations; tram safety in mixed traffic; and pedestrian catchment areas.
MacNeill, Robert; Kirkpatrick, Steven; Bocchieri, Robert. Development of a Prototype Retrofit Bumper for Improved Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) Safety. TRANSIT-IDEA Program Project Final Report, Issue 77, 2015, 30p
Abstract: In this project a novel coupler-mounted, segmented light rail vehicle (LRV) bumper design with different energy-absorbing characteristics for frontal and corner impacts was developed. The segmented bumper is designed to actuate at much lower forces in corner collisions with automobiles. The bumper design also includes an improved geometric profile, making the front-end less aggressive to automobiles and pedestrians. The retrofit bumper concept addressed by this project incorporates ASME RT-1 safety standard compliant LRV end design features, with respect to the protection of street vehicles. The bumper design includes a full width, smooth end enclosure with low ground clearance and is designed for optimized crash compatibility with road vehicles. By improving the collision compatibility, the bumper also reduces the LRV derailment potential in these impacts. The ability to retrofit the bumper onto existing LRV designs is also a key innovative feature of the bumper system. The goals of this research project were to adapt the conceptual bumper design onto the Sacramento Rapid Transit CAF LRV to demonstrate its crashworthiness and safety improvement through analysis and to develop a preliminary plan for future demonstration tests. The efficacy of the bumper system was evaluated through struck vehicle occupant injury assessments. Comparing all the scenarios analyzed and the resulting injury measures, it can be concluded that the bumper system adapted to the Sacramento RT CAF LRV significantly reduces struck vehicle occupant injury, compared with the current configuration without a bumper. While providing greatly enhanced safety performance, the design strikes a balance for other key design considerations such as weight, cost, producibility, and serviceability. Plans to build, demonstrate, and implement the system have been pursued. The team has recently been awarded FTA grant funding to execute a planned prototype demonstration program.
Public Transportation: Passenger Rail and Terminals, Volume 2. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2534, 2015, 123p
Abstract: This issue contains 14 papers on the passenger rail and terminal aspects of public transportation. Specific topics addressed in this issue include the following: bicycle sharing; transit-bicycle integration; walking access to transit stations; platform-train interface safety; train service costs; long-term upgrade strategy for light rail and regional rail; regenerative energy receptivity in metro transit systems; and modern-era streetcars. Additional topics covered in this issue include moving-block signaling; unattended train operations; shuttle connections to commuter rail; the Safe Routes to Transit program in California; passenger behavior in nonpayment areas at rail stations; and rapid transit park-and-ride facilities.
Fitzpatrick, Kay; Warner, Jeffery; Brewer, Marcus A; Bentzen, Billie Louise; Barlow, Janet M; Sperry, Benjamin. Guidebook on Pedestrian Crossings of Public Transit Rail Services. TCRP Report, Issue 175, 2015, 173p
Abstract: This report presents a wide array of engineering treatments to improve pedestrian safety for three types of public transit rail services: light rail, commuter rail, and streetcar. The Guidebook is a resource that addresses key pedestrian safety issues associated with public transit rail services; presents pedestrian crossing issues associated with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Americans with Disabilities Act; summarizes readily available decision flowcharts used to make decisions regarding pedestrian treatments at rail crossings; presents information for 34 pedestrian treatments used at rail crossings, grouped into eight appropriate categories; and includes four case studies that examine specific decisions with respect to pedestrian- rail crossings.
A National Training and Certification Program for Transit Vehicle Maintenance Instructors. TCRP Report, Transportation Learning Center; Educational Data Systems, Inc., Issue 178, 2015, 114p
Abstract: This report provides a proposed national program structure and plan for training and certifying transit bus and rail maintenance instructors. The report also provides best practices used in the public and private sectors to prepare and certify technical instructors, as well as the attributes and instructional delivery methods found most effective for maintenance instructors. The report is intended for use by maintenance operations managers, vehicle maintenance instructors, organized labor, and learning professionals.
Conti, Carl E. Light Rail Transit / Street Grade Crossing Safety System. TRANSIT-IDEA Program Project Final Report, 2014, 55p
Abstract: This Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) project developed and tested an intelligent Light Rail Transit/Street Grade Safety System that can be used by light rail transit systems. The concept investigated and being developed in this project is active, adaptive, alert, and improves recording of crossing incidents for the approaching light rail vehicle (LRV) operator and the pedestrian, motorist, and/or worker at the crossing. This report documents the results of this project. It includes the results of all stages of this project. The project has been performed in three contingent stages. Stage 1 was the survey and analysis of the solutions features and components and was completed in December 2012. Stage 2 focused on the system development, component procurement, development and refinement and was completed in April of 2013. Stage 3 has been focused on final packaging and component and system testing, and then ultimately a field test. The developed system can activate the crossing light/alarm from the vehicle given the preset “time to crossing” programmed to 20 seconds. At this point, the highway-rail crossing (HRC) package can then communicate to surface traffic controllers or gate mechanisms, or additional surface traffic lights/alarms via WiFi or cellular networks; or relay logic interface. The crossing alarm sequence is activated by any of the following (or any logical combination of these) inputs: a.) Automatic activation via LRV based on LRV “distance to crossing” arrival threshold; b.) Automatic activation via LRV based on LRV “time to crossing” arrival threshold; c.) “Motion within crossing” per camera image detection versus a static image; d.) “Occupancy within crossing” per camera image detection versus an empty crossing; e.) Manual activation via Train Operator touch-screen button; f.) Automatic activation via LRV after Cab alarm times out due to no braking command from Operator as measured by Master Controller position monitor; and g.) Automatic activation via LRV after Cab alarm times out due to no braking response of vehicle as measured by on-board accelerometer. A comprehensive record of events on the train and in the crossing, is achieved via an on-board Data Logger/Event Recorder along with a network video recorder (NVR) video record. The HRC package being compact, low profile and under 10lbs can easily be mounted on a battery / work area lighting cart for temporary work area applications. Since it has onboard GPS, it can report its location wherever it is set-up.
Transit 2014, Volume 5. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2419, 2014, 135p
Abstract: This issue contains 12 papers concerned with transit. Specific topics addressed include: real-time passenger information signs in rail stations; the performance of Australian light rail compared with U.S. trends; rail transit networks with ring lines; rail car seating design; the accommodation of long-term growth on North American commuter railroads; and the impact of light rail transit planning decisions on metropolitan transit performance. Other topics addressed in this issue include light rail transit urban insertion and safety; strategic station access planning for commuter rail; park-and-ride access station choice models for cross-regional commuting; public transit catchment areas; environmental and cost-saving impacts of park-and-rides; and social media applications in unplanned passenger rail disruptions.
Transit 2013, Volume 4. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2353, 2013, 114p
Abstract: This issue contains 10 papers regarding transit. Specific topics addressed include: accelerated transit operations; a railroad workforce planning model; disruption recovery in passenger railways; seating and standing behavior on subway cars in New York City; automatic data for applied railway management; performance measurement of subway service; and improving the use of existing railway lines in Alicante, Spain. The issue also addresses: light rail transit in Madrid, Spain; urban streetcar ridership; and the impact of crowding on streetcar dwell time.
Transit 2012, Volume 3. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2276, 2012, 171p
Abstract: This issue contains 19 papers that examine the following topics related to public transit: world transit research; optimal length of a transit network; location method for urban public transit networks; dynamic transit accessibility; stop aggregation model; analyzing smart card data for transit users' activities; creating bus timetables with multiple vehicle types; secondary benefits of transit priority; impact of bus transit centers on property values; transit-induced neighborhood change; transit stations catchment areas; transit station parking and transit-oriented design; metro-bus transfers; park-and-ride facilities locations; bicycle transfer demand at metro stations; light rail station locations impact on land values; mobility center optimal site selection; and ridership effects of real-time bus information on rail transit.
Transit 2012, Volume 2. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2275, 2012, 137p
Abstract: This issue contains 14 papers that examine the following topics related to public transit: light rail turf tracks; light rail crashes; streetcar dwell time; determinants of light rail mode choice; tram-train systems in Europe; urban rail in China; rail transit travel time reliability and estimation of passenger route choice behavior; proactive recovery from rail disruptions; optimization of rail transit alignments; personal rapid transit as feeder-distributor to rail; sketch-level feasibility analysis of commuter rail service; lessons learned from former electrified commuter railroads; competences gap in European railways education; and commuter rail level boarding.
Track Design Handbook for Light Rail Transit, Second Edition. TCRP Report, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Incorporated, Issue 155, 2012, v.p.
Abstract: This Handbook provides guidelines and descriptions for the design of various common types of light rail transit (LRT) track. The track structure types include ballasted track, direct fixation ("ballastless") track, and embedded track. The components of the various track types are discussed in detail. The guidelines consider the characteristics and interfaces of vehicle wheels and rail, tracks and wheel gauges, rail sections, alignments, speeds, and track moduli. The Handbook includes chapters on vehicles, alignment, track structures, track components, special trackwork, aerial structures/bridges, corrosion control, noise and vibration, signals, traction power, and the integration of LRT track into urban streets. These chapters provide insight into other systems that impact the track design and require interface coordination. In addition, the Handbook includes chapters on the construction and maintenance of LRT trackwork. This Handbook will be of interest to designers, operators, manufacturers, and those maintaining LRT systems.
Golembiewski, Gary; Sabra, Ziad; Pecheux, Kelley; Boorse, Jack. Operation of Light Rail Transit through Ungated Crossings at Speeds over 35 MPH. TCRP Web Document, Issue 53, 2011, 124p
Abstract: This document presents the findings and results of the investigation conducted in support of TCRP Project A-32, “Operation of Light Rail Transit through Ungated Crossings at Speeds over 35 MPH.” In addition, this report presents the findings of the micro-simulation modeling conducted as an alternative to an evaluation of the impacts of higher light rail vehicle speeds on selected locations in San Jose. The report is presented in five chapters and five appendices. Chapter 1 provides an introduction. Chapter 2 provides a summary of interviews conducted with four transit agencies operating light rail transit, lists the primary criteria used to select a corridor with crossings suitable for study under the TCRP A-32 project, presents characteristics of the candidate study corridor resulting from the interviews, and recommends three crossings along the North First St. corridor in San Jose, CA, as test sites for the demonstration project. Chapter 3 provides an in-depth look at the recommended test sites along North First St. in San Jose. Chapter 4 describes the methodology and results of the micro-simulation study. Chapter 5 presents the risk analysis conducted for the TCRP A-32 project. The appendices contain supporting documentation for the project.
Sustainable Public Transportation: Environmentally Friendly Mobility. TCRP Research Results Digest, Issue 103, 2011, 20p
Abstract: This digest summarizes the results of an International Transit Studies Program (ITSP) mission performed from April 1 through April 16, 2011. The digest includes information on the organizations and facilities visited. The mission explored how public transportation systems in India and China have implemented plans, policies, technologies, and strategies for creating more livable communities through bus, metro, bus rapid transit, rail, and light rail systems. The digest is based on individual reports provided by the mission team members, and it reflects the observations of the team members concerning three critical factors: environmental aspects, economic aspects, and social issues.
Transit 2011, Volume 4. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2219, 2011, 111p
Abstract: The 12 papers in this issue address the following aspects of transit: traffic control devices at signalized intersection interfacing with light rail transit; managing trams and traffic at intersections with hook turns; safety issues at curbside tram stops; overhead-wire-free light rail systems; context-sensitive design concepts for streetcar electrification; rail transit safety; benefits and costs of rail transit; transit ridership evaluation; regional rapid transit; unrestricted shared use at U.S. commuter railroads; electric power supply for commuter rail; and driving distance to and travel demand for suburban rail stations.
Joint International Light Rail Conference: Growth and Renewal, April 19-21, 2009, Los Angeles, California. Transportation Research Circular, Issue E-C145, 2010, 382p
Abstract: This circular contains the proceedings of the Joint International Light Rail Conference that was held in Los Angeles, California, on April 19-21, 2009. The conference focused on the demands of rapidly growing light rail systems. With 15 sessions, five tours, a workshop, and a products and services showcase, the conference offered up-to-date information on planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operations involved in running a light rail system. The proceedings contain 24 peer-reviewed research papers, organized according to the following headings: Opening General Session; Controlling Capital Costs: Design and Delivery; Light Rail: A Tool to Improve Regional Transit Ridership; Energy, Environment, and Transit: Greener--Efficient; Traffic Engineering Issues: LRT Performance; BRT and LRT: What Is the Role for Each Mode?; Stations, Stops, and Arts in Transit; Operations Planning: Coping with Change; Regulations and Standards; Infrastructure Maintenance: Renewal and Refurbishment; Streetcar Circulators and the New Urbanism; Operations, Supervision, and Service Quality; and The Next Generation Vehicle.
Transit 2010, Volume 2. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2144, 2010, 204p
Abstract: This issue contains 21 papers concerned with the following aspects of transit: the spatial impacts of public transport on traffic congestion relief; attractiveness of light rail; the effect of gas prices on transit ridership; measuring the gap between car and transit accessibility; the monocentric city with discrete transit stations; impact of an urban partnership agreement on transit user perception of express bus service; estimating transit accessibility; impact of bus rapid transit stations on surrounding home values; transit fare restructuring; encouraging drive-alone commuters to try transit; the success of shuttles; customer loyalty in public transportation context; public response to transit systems with particular service and place-making attributes; printed transit information and its impact on customer satisfaction; using transit smart card data to analyze travel time and transfers; wayfinding-oriented design of passenger guidance signs for transit centers; bicycling and transit; art in transportation; intermodal transfer between bicycles and rail transit; and project construction scheduling for intermodal terminal planning problems.
Transit 2010, Volume 4. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2146, 2010, 140p
Abstract: This issue contains 16 papers concerned with the following aspects of transit: an innovative transport solution for suburban areas; how to expand subway and urban railway networks; track geometry for light rail systems; vehicle and pedestrian safety at light rail stops; a solution to rail overcrowding; improving metro networks; service control on a high-frequency metro line; rail infrastructure development; personal rapid transit; Washington State Ferries' long-range planning; transit security awareness campaigns; organizational regimes for commuter rail; the impact of rail terminal design on transit service reliability; planning and implementation of a multijurisdictional, public-private partnership commuter rail project; and a commuter rail implementation study.
Golem, Ron; Smith-Heimer, Janet. Relationships Between Streetcars and the Built Environment. TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice, Issue 86, 2010, 60p
Abstract: This synthesis documents experience with selected streetcar and trolley projects and their relationship with the built environment. There appears to have been a resurgence of such systems in the United States. Their ability to spur growth and revitalization has not been adequately documented, whereas local potential for changes in land use are often used as justification for investment in them. Policymakers and planners seek a better understanding of how this mode of transportation interacts with the built environment. The report examines selected, built streetcar and trolley systems to trace their evolution, define significant factors, and identify commonalities among levels of success in impacting the built environment. This report presents an initial overview of published literature; a summary of an in-depth telephone survey of 13 of the 14 currently operating U.S. streetcar systems, a 93% response rate; and case studies of five systems with more details on the state of current knowledge and specific relationships of streetcars to their own built environments.
Ryus, Paul; Coffel, Kathryn; Parks, Jamie; Perk, Victoria; Cherrington, Linda; Arndt, Jeffrey; Nakanishi, Yuko; Gan, Albert. A Methodology for Performance Measurement and Peer Comparison in the Public Transportation Industry. TCRP Report, Issue 141, 2010, 120p
Abstract: This report is an important resource that will be of interest to transit managers, decision-makers, and others interested in using performance measurement and benchmarking as tools to (1) identify the strengths and weaknesses of their organization, (2) set goals or performance targets, and (3) identify best practices to improve performance. The research developed and tested a methodology for performance measurement and peer comparison for (a) all fixed-route components of a public transit system, (b) the motorbus mode specifically, and (c) major rail modes specifically (i.e., light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail). This report complements TCRP Report 88: "A Guidebook for Developing a Transit Performance-Measurement System," which describes how to implement and use performance measurement on an ongoing basis at a transit agency. This report describes the eight steps for conducting a benchmarking effort.
Shu, Xinggao; Wilson, Nicholas. Track-Related Research: Volume 7: Guidelines for Guard/Restraining Rail Installation. TCRP Report, Volume 7, Issue 71, 2010, 34p
Abstract: This report includes the results of a research task carried out under TCRP Project D-7, "Joint Rail Transit-Related Research with the Association of American Railroads/Transportation Technology Center, Inc." The report includes comparisons of two guard rail installation philosophies and the effects of vehicle types, wheel flange angle, wheel/rail (W/R) friction coefficient, curve radius, cant deficiency, and track perturbation on flange climb derailments that have been investigated through simulations. It offers guidance that transit agencies can follow in their W/R maintenance practices for both transit rail cars and light rail vehicles. This report should be of interest to engineers involved in the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of rail transit systems.
Cleghorn, Don; Clavelle, Allison; Boone, Jonathan; Masliah, Maurice; Levinson, Herbert S. Selected Appendices for TCRP Report 137: Improving Pedestrian and Motorist Safety Along Light Rail Alignments. TCRP Web Document, Issue 42, 2009, 341p
Abstract: This document contains appendices B through E of TCRP Report 137. The report examines pedestrian and motorist behaviors contributing to light rail transit safety, explores mitigating measures available designed to improve safety along light rail transit alignments, and more. The appendices are as follows: (B) LIterature Review - State of the Knowledge; (C1) Transit Agencies and Contact Information of the Persons Who Participated in the Survey; (C2) Treatment Usage as Reported by the Survey Participants; (C3) Survey Responses; (D) Site Visit Memos; and (E) Review of the Accident Data Collection Process.
Coffel, Kathryn; Parks, Jamie; Semler, Conor; Sampson, David J; Henry, Chris; Calves, Guillermo; Kachadoorian, Carol; Levinson, Herbert S; Schofer, Joseph L. Literature Review for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations. TCRP Web Document, Issue 44, 2009, 101p
Abstract: This report describes the results of the literature review associated with a project that is examining various alternatives for providing access to and from stations of new and mature high-capacity public transportation systems, including heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, and bus rapid transit.
Transit 2009, Volume 3. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2112, 2009, 149p
Abstract: These 17 papers are concerned with the following aspects of transit: the pedestrian intersection safety index applied in planning access to new rail stations; cluster-based hierarchical model for urban transit hub location planning; network analysis of world subway systems; benefits of advanced integrated rail service in a developing city; Metrorail recent ridership growth; a transit origin-destination table using the uncertainty maximization concept; estimating linked transit trips in New York City using entry-only automatic fare collection data; a public education campaign to improve driver compliance with streetcar transit lanes; control of public transportation operations to improve reliability; scheduling regional rail; business model for commingled operations of freight and passenger rail services; passenger environment survey; line length versus operational reliability - network design dilemma; transfer scheduling and control to reduce passenger waiting time; passenger choice models for impact analysis of real-time bus information on crowdedness; service-level classification of platforms in urban rail transit; and quantifying the impacts of transit reliability on user costs.
Cleghorn, Don; Clavelle, Allison; Boone, Jonathan; Masliah, Maurice; Levinson, Herbert S. Improving Pedestrian and Motorist Safety Along Light Rail Alignments. TCRP Report, Issue 137, 2009, 157p
Abstract: This report addresses pedestrian and motorist behaviors contributing to light rail transit (LRT) safety and describes mitigating measures available to improve safety along LRT alignments. The report also includes recommendations to facilitate the compilation of accident data in a coordinated and homogeneous manner across LRT systems. Finally, the report provides a catalog of existing and innovative safety devices, safety treatments, and practices to use along LRT alignments. The results of this research may be useful to transit operators, consultants, and state safety oversight agencies.
Shared Use of Railroad Infrastructure with Noncompliant Public Transit Rail Vehicles: A Practitioner's Guide. TCRP Report, Booz Allen Hamilton, Issue 130, 2009, 119p
Abstract: This Guide includes a business case for the shared use of non-Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)-compliant public transit rail vehicles (e.g., light rail vehicles) with freight operations and offers a suggested business model for such shared-use operations. The Guide also identifies the advantages and disadvantages of shared-use operations and the issues and barriers that can arise in the course of implementation. The Guide includes a section that identifies and evaluates available and emerging technology, operating procedures, and techniques that could be used to minimize the risks associated with sharing of track between non-FRA-compliant public transit rail vehicles and freight railroad operations. Finally, the Guide includes descriptions and sources of real-world examples of these applications. This Guide will be helpful to transit managers, transit operations planners, transportation consultants, state safety oversight agencies, and federal rail and transit oversight agencies.
Pecheux, Kelley Klaver; Saporta, Harry. Light Rail Vehicle Collisions with Vehicles at Signalized Intersections. TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice, Issue 79, 2009, 48p
Abstract: The objective of this synthesis is to report on the mitigation methods tested and used by transit agencies to reduce collisions between light rail vehicles (LRVs) and motor vehicles where light rail transit (LRT) runs through or adjacent to highway intersections controlled by conventional traffic signals. A particular focus is placed on collisions occurring between LRVs and vehicles making left-hand turns at these intersections. The synthesis offers success stories and specific actions taken to achieve positive results, as well as examples of unsuccessful actions. The issues addressed include a range of LRT operations and environments such as median-running, side-running, contra-flow, and mixed-use LRT alignments; urban and suburban setting; and a variety of U.S. geographic regions. This report was accomplished through a review of the relevant literature and surveys of LRT systems that took the form of structured telephone interviews. This was done, as directed by the expert topic panel, to obtain more detailed and comprehensive information about particular items and to allow the consultants to probe deeper for more complete responses. With the population for the synthesis survey being only 15 LRT systems, the consultants and expert topic panel members agreed that this would be the best approach.
Kirkpatrick, Steven W. Development of Crash Energy Management Performance Requirements for Light-Rail Vehicles. TCRP Web Document, Issue 40, 2008, 167p
Abstract: This report presents the results of a study to analyze potential crash scenarios for various light rail vehicle designs and apply the results to develop crash energy management guidelines. The crash scenarios involve both collisions between light rail vehicles of identical or dissimilar design and collisions between light rail vehicles and highway vehicles. The analyses were performed using detailed nonlinear dynamic finite element simulations of the collisions between the various vehicle types. Collision responses such as the crash force levels and crush lengths in the colliding light rail vehicles or the maximum crush in the struck highway vehicles were determined and can be used to define crash energy management requirements in a light rail safety standard.
Transit: Management, Technology, and Planning 2008. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2063, 2008, 192p
Abstract: This collection of 21 papers is concerned with the management, technology, and planning of public transit. Specific topics discussed are as follows: use of smart card data to define public transit use; innovative public/private cooperation for urban transport; modeling the impact of transit operator fleet size; bus deployment strategies and automatic vehicle location to improve bus service reliability; a fleet-size model for light rail and bus rapid transit systems; a data archiving and mining system for transit service improvements; a public transit simulation model for optimal synchronized transfers; smart card transaction data for transit demand modeling; smart parking linked to transit; identifying feasible locations for rail transit stations; a public transit system based on flexible routes; carsharing; a model for evaluating community suitability for transit investments; innovative planning and financing strategies for a downtown circulator bus route; links between transit ridership and gasoline prices; land use-based transit planning; transit-oriented development's effect on transit ridership; safety analysis of road surface transit; and transportation policy effect on public transit.
Transit: Intermodal Facilities and Capacity; Light Rail, Commuter Rail, and Rail Transit; and Major Activity Center Circulation Systems. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2042, 2008
Abstract: This collection of 12 papers is concerned with the following areas of transit: intermodal facilities and capacity; light rail, commuter rail, and rail transit; and major activity center circulation systems. The papers dealing with intermodal facilities and capacity examine airport ground access, consistency in transit passenger arrivals, and transit quality of service and employment accessibility. The rail transit papers discuss process management in public transit planning, active transit signal priority for streetcars, successful historic streetcar service, light rail cost functions and technical inefficiency, boarding and alighting experiments, bus-rail service integration, and commuter rail circulator route network design. The papers in the last section are concerned with new-generation personal rapid transit technologies and cluster-based optimization of urban transit hub locations.
Letts II, Miles H. Track Geometry/Design Testing for Transit Applications. TRANSIT-IDEA Program Project Final Report, 2007, 40p
Abstract: This Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) project developed and tested a concept to determine actual track geometry alignment and cross level in sharp curves and turnouts in rail transit systems. The improved track geometry testing system would utilize the current track design or a “best fit” track design as a baseline for testing rail rapid transit and light rail transit track. This concept would provide transit systems the ability to accurately identify track geometry defects based on their track design, thereby reducing maintenance time and cost. Transit agencies could also benefit by utilizing the “best fit” track design data generated by the track geometry system as an alternative to improve their current track design.
Audible Signals for Pedestrian Safety in LRT Environments. TCRP Research Results Digest, Issue 84, 2007, 22p
Abstract: This digest provides guidelines for the application of audible signals for pedestrian safety in light rail transit (LRT) environments. The guidelines include descriptions of audible signal systems and associated operating procedures, their integration with other crossing measures, criteria for their use, and their effectiveness and limitations. The guidelines are organized by location of audible warning devices and alignment type.
Appendixes to TCRP RRD 84: Audible Signals for Pedestrian Safety in LRT Environments. TCRP Web Document, Korve Engineering, Issue 35, 2007, 147p
Abstract: This document includes details of a survey that was used to produce TCRP Research Results Digest 84. Appendix A is a synopsis of prior research. Appendix B is a summary of the transit system survey, including the questionnaire and a summary of completed surveys. Appendix C contains an analysis of pedestrian/Light Rail Vehicle collision data and a review of accident data. Appendix D is the field test report.
Joint International Light Rail Conference: A World of Applications and Opportunities, April 9-11, 2006, St. Louis, Missouri. Transportation Research Circular, Issue E-C112, 2007, 854p
Abstract: This circular contains the proceedings of the Joint International Light Rail Conference that was held in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 9-11, 2006. The conference focused on planning and urban integration; vehicle design and innovation; infrastructure use; security and fare enforcement; new infrastructure design; the case for contracting; light rail transit and bus rapid transit; regulations and standards; accessibility; streetcars; financing and controlling capital costs; and operations, supervision, and service quality. The circular includes 26 papers presented at the conference.
Traffic Signal Systems and Regional Transportation Systems Management 2007. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2035, 2007, 225p
Abstract: This collection of 23 papers addresses the subject of traffic signal systems and regional transportation systems management. Specific topics discussed include the following: data-driven algorithms for coordinated traffic signal systems; precedence graphs for traffic signal operations modeling; coordinated traffic signals during transition; diamond interchanges at closely spaced intersections; advance preempt with gate-down confirmation for railroad grade crossings; video detection system impacts on signalized intersections; genetic algorithm optimization of signal timings; real-time prediction of delay and queue length at signalized intersections; lane-by-lane detection at actuated controlled intersections; dilemma zone design; actuated controller performance measures; detector configurations on high-speed approaches to traffic signals; interrelationship between passage time and detection zone length at intersections; empirical observations of dilemma zones; hardware-in-the-loop simulation; light rail transit priority at grade crossings; cycle length optimization; traffic signal transition strategies for exit preemption control; traffic simulation for decision support in real-time regional traffic management; opening the new Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge; uncertainty in benefit-cost evaluations of intelligent transportation systems; traffic operations for hurricane evacuation; and effects of toll strategies on route diversion and travel time.
Transit: Intermodal and Capacity; Light Rail, Commuter Rail, and Rail Transit; and Major Activity Center Circulation. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2006, 2007, 129p
Abstract: This collection of 13 papers addresses the subject of transit. The first three papers are concerned with intermodal transfer facilities and transit capacity and quality of service. The next seven papers are focused on light rail, commuter rail, and rail transit, discussing the following: modernizing streetcar systems, trolley service, ridership on the Los Angeles Metro System Green Line (the "line to nowhere"), project delivery method for light rail, punctuality on suburban trains to and from Paris, passenger rail equipment specification for crash energy management, and urban rail operations simulation. The final three papers are focused on major activity center circulation systems, discussing personal rapid transit service and transit-oriented development.
Griffin, Trevor. Center Truck Performance on Low-Floor Light Rail Vehicles. TCRP Report, Issue 114, 2006, 84p
Abstract: This report should be of interest to engineers, manufacturers, maintainers, and others interested in low-floor light rail vehicle (LFLRV) center truck performance issues and their potential solutions for center trucks with unpowered, independently rotating wheels (IRWs). The report describes performance issues observed in the operation of LFLRV center trucks (focusing on 70% low-floor vehicles), such as excessive wheel wear and noise and occasional derailments, and provides guidance on how to minimize or avoid these issues. The report also includes guidance on LFLRV specifications, maintenance, and design, as well as on related infrastructure design and maintenance, to maximize performance of these LFLRV center trucks.
Transit: Intermodal Transfer Facilities and Ferry Transportation; Commuter Rail; Light Rail and Major Activity Center Circulation Systems; Capacity and Quality of Service. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 1955, 2006, 103p
Abstract: This Transportation Research Record contains 11 papers which discuss topics related to public transit. Among the topics addressed are the following: intermodal transfer facilities; ferry transportation; commuter rail; light rail transit; and service reliability and quality.
Furth, Peter G; Mekuria, Maaza C. NEU Bus Stop Spacing Analysis: A Tool for Evaluating and Optimizing Bus Stop Location Decisions. TRANSIT-IDEA Program Project Final Report, 2005, 62p
Abstract: This Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) project developed a prototype of a geographic information system (GIS)-based tool for evaluating bus stop spacing. There are three related products of this research. The first is a prototype software package for evaluating stop spacing impacts. The second is documentation of the program, which includes a formal, scientific description of the methodology used. This documentation is available on request. The third product is a pair of case studies, contained in this report, describing the GIS model's successful application to a bus route in the Albany, New York area and to a light rail line in Boston. These case studies include sample outputs and screenshots that show the software's capability, and demonstrate the feasibility of a stop spacing analysis based on the actual street network and actual land use patterns.
Transit: Intermodal Transfer Facilities, Rail, Commuter Rail, Light Rail, and Major Activity Center Circulation Systems. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 1930, 2005, 120p
Abstract: This Transportation Research Record contains 13 papers on public transit. Specific topics discussed include intermodal transfer facilities, rail transit and commuter rail, light rail, and personal rapid transit.
Transit: Planning, Management and Maintenance, Technology, Marketing and Fare Policy, and Capacity and Quality of Service. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 1927, 2005, 296p
Abstract: This Transportation Research Record contains 31 papers on transit. The papers address the following topics: planning of public transit, including bus rapid transit and light rail transit, as well as planning for transit station accessibility, park-and-ride facilities, job access, and mobility; transit management, including funding, contracting, terrorism preparedness, service integration, repair scheduling, fleet asset management, and support software use; technological innovations; marketing and fare policy; and transit capacity and quality of service.
Stanger, Richard. Maintenance Staffing Levels for Light Rail Transit. TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice, Issue 61, 2005, 49p
Abstract: This synthesis documents light rail maintenance staffing practices and factors important in their development at U.S. transit agencies. It covers the areas of maintenance functions, new light rail start-up, and management in attempting to give better insight into the variables affecting maintenance staffing. This topic is of interest to transit managers of existing light rail transit (LRT) operations and those involved in the planning or implementing of new LRT lines. It is also of interest to agency directors or general managers and executive or board members who need to understand how the industry accomplishes system maintenance. A survey was conducted to gather feedback from U.S. transit agency staff working in LRT maintenance. Based on survey results, topical case studies were developed to highlight specific policies and practices at four U.S. agencies--San Diego (CA) Trolley, Inc.; Utah Transit Authority; Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet); and the Greater Cleveland (OH) Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). These combine with supplemental information gleaned from the Federal Transit Administration's National Transit Database to update and expand on the operating characteristics of U.S. LRT systems.
Mullins, M C. VEHICLE DESIGN STANDARDS AND PROCUREMENT PRACTICES IN EUROPE. TCRP Research Results Digest, Transportation Research Board, Issue 68, 2004, 24 p.
Abstract: This digest is an overview of the May 6-21, 2004, mission that investigated vehicle design standards and procurement practices in Europe. It is based on individual reports provided by team members and reflects the views of the team members. It includes transportation information on the cities and facilities visited. The 2-week mission included site visits to Brussels and Bruges, Belgium; Stuttgart, Germany; Gothenburg, Sweden; and Reykjavik, Iceland.
Grossardt, Theodore H; Bailey, Keiron. Community Visualization of a Light Rail Transit Oriented Development. TRANSIT-IDEA Program Project Final Report, 2004, 26p
Abstract: This Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) project was aimed at enhancing community involvement in the design of proposed light rail transit oriented development. A combination of an advanced decision technique and virtual reality computer visualization were tested. This process is designed to enhance public input and cooperation in the planning process, and to provide recommendations for transit agencies, planners, and architects. The process was tested in Louisville, Kentucky, in cooperation with the local transit agency, Transit Authority of River City (TARC).
TRANSIT: INTERMODAL TRANSFER FACILITIES, RAIL TRANSIT, COMMUTER RAIL, LIGHT RAIL, FERRY, AND MAJOR ACTIVITY CENTER CIRCULATION SYSTEMS. Transportation Research Record, Transportation Research Board, Issue 1872, 2004, 87 p.
Abstract: This Transportation Research Record contains 9 papers. The papers discuss various topics related to transit, including the following: rail transit stations; transit trip transfer penalty; productivity analysis in the rail transit industry; rail access pricing in Europe; commuter rail service; light rail transit in Korea; automated people mover on a university campus; personal rapid transit shuttle and wireless commuting assistant; and ferry ridership forecasting.
Turnbull, K F; Pratt, R H; Evans IV, J E; Levinson, H S. TRAVELER RESPONSE TO TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM CHANGES. CHAPTER 3 - PARK-AND-RIDE/POOL. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board, Issue 95, 2004, 102 p.
Abstract: Park-and-ride and park-and-pool (Park-and-Ride/Pool) facilities range from multi-story parking garages with customer amenities to simple surface parking lots. They may vary in purpose from serving a major intermodal transportation center to simply facilitating carpools. This chapter covers travel demand and related aspects of providing and supporting park-and-ride and park-and-pool facilities. Specifically, this chapter addresses park-and-ride and park-and-pool facilities working together with supportive features and in coordination with high occupancy vehicle lanes; busways; bus rapid transit and other express bus services; and light rail transit, commuter rail and heavy rail transit facilities and services. This chapter, Chapter 3, will be of interest to transit and transportation planning practitioners; educators and researchers; and professionals across a broad spectrum of transportation agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and local, state, and federal government agencies.
TRANSIT CAPACITY AND QUALITY OF SERVICE MANUAL. 2ND EDITION. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Kittelson and Associates, Incorporated, Issue 100, 2003, 624 p.
Abstract: This manual is intended to be a fundamental reference document for public transit practitioners and policy makers. The manual contains background, statistics, and graphics on the various types of public transportation, and it provides a framework for measuring transit availability and quality of service from the passenger point of view. The manual contains quantitative techniques for calculating the capacity of bus, rail, and ferry transit services, and transit stops, stations, and terminals. Example problems are included. The manual is divided into nine parts: (1) Introduction and Concepts - summarizes the content and intended application of the manual and presents an overview of transit quality of service and capacity concepts; (2) Transit in North America - presents an overview of the various transit modes, services, and facilities provided in the United States and Canada; (3) Quality of Service - describes the factors that influence passengers' perceptions of their quality of travel on transit and provides quantitative methods for evaluating these factors; (4) Bus Transit Capacity - provides procedures for evaluating bus loading area (berth), stop, and facility (including busway, freeway high occupancy vehicle lane, arterial street bus lane, and mixed traffic lane) capacity; (5) Rail Transit Capacity - provides both generalized and more detailed procedures for evaluating the capacity of heavy rail (rapid) transit, light rail, commuter rail, automated guideway transit, and ropeways; (6) Ferry Capacity - addresses the capacity of passenger and auto ferries, focusing particularly on potential constraints at the dock; (7) Stop, Station, and Terminal Capacity - provides procedures to evaluate the capacity of and design passenger comfort level for various elements of bus stops, transit centers, transit stations, intermodal terminals, and similar facilities; (8) Glossary - presents a comprehensive glossary of terms used in the transit industry; and (9) Index - provides an overall index to the manual.
SECOND TRAIN COMING WARNING SIGN DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS. TCRP Research Results Digest, Transportation Research Board, Issue 51, 2002, 67 p.
Abstract: This digest provides the results of two demonstrations of active warning systems that could increase awareness of and compliance with the conditions of the second train coming phenomenon. The Los Angeles Metro Blue Line demonstration project was carried out to investigate the use of a train-activated warning sign as a means of reducing the added hazard for pedestrians of two trains in a highway-railroad intersection (HRI) at the same time. The demonstration project was conducted at one of the Metro Blue Line's most hazardous HRIs, on the south sidewalk at the Vernon Avenue intersection with the Metro Blue Line and Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks. The sidewalk crosses two light rail transit (LRT) tracks and two UPRR freight tracks. From the analysis of before and after video data, the demonstration project found that the warning sign was effective in reducing risky behavior by pedestrians. One of the most challenging aspects that the Maryland Mass Transit Administration's (MTA's) Baltimore Central Light Rail Line system has experienced is the "second train coming" (STC) phenomenon on double track crossings. The objective of this project was to test an active sign warning system that could increase motorists' awareness of and compliance with the conditions of an STC phenomenon. The employment of a 128-frame, animated light emitting diode sign at the Timonium Road crossing resulted in a significant reduction in risky behavior by drivers. The STC sign was well received and understood by motorists.
Mayville, R. SLEEVED COLUMN SYSTEM FOR CRASHWORTHINESS OF LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES. TRANSIT-IDEA Program Project Final Report, Transportation Research Board, 2001, 28 p.
Abstract: This Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) project determined the applicability of a new sleeved column energy absorber system for improving the crashworthiness of rail transit vehicles. The new technology is an efficient energy absorber with the potential for low weight, low cost, and easy replacement at low impact speeds using materials commonly employed in light rail transit vehicle construction. Energy is absorbed by the permanent compression of one or more relatively long core elements that are constrained against buckling by an outer sleeve. The assessment supports the applicability of the sleeved column energy absorption technology to rail vehicles. Review of light rail vehicle construction shows that the absorbers could be used as independent elements on each side of the coupler pocket or at the side of the vehicles, in which case the side sill structural elements could be used as the sleeves. This report provides information needed for practitioners in the rail vehicle industry to design sleeved column energy absorbers.
McGean, T J. CONSENSUS STANDARDS FOR THE RAIL TRANSIT INDUSTRY. TCRP Research Results Digest, Transportation Research Board, Issue 44, 2001, 30 p.
Abstract: This digest provides information on the successful implementation of a comprehensive standards process for the rail transit industry using American National Standards Institute consensus procedures under the aegis of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. This effort, supported by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), has established, for the first time in the United States, a permanent and ongoing process for developing rail transit standards using the consensus process. This digest discusses findings from work performed under TCRP Project G-4 and its extension, G-4A. The objective of the projects was to design a process for developing physical, logical, and electrical consensus standards for system and subsystem interfaces for elements of light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail vehicles. In addition, the process was to be demonstrated through the production of one or more standards.
SUPPLEMENTING AND UPDATING TCRP REPORT 52: JOINT OPERATION OF LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT OR DIESEL MULTIPLE UNIT VEHICLES WITH RAILROADS. TCRP Research Results Digest, Transportation Research Board, Issue 43, 2001, 58 p.
Abstract: This digest updates information in Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 52 to recognize the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) joint statement of policy concerning shared use issued in July 2000, provides supplemental information concerning the international experience with joint operation, and updates a discussion of the key issues and conclusions. As in TCRP Report 52, this digest defines joint operation as commingled, simultaneous train operation on shared track by railroad trains (freight, passenger, or both) and rail transit vehicles that are not fully compliant with current FRA regulations. The summary of TCRP Report 52 is intended to provide continuity between the original report and this update. This digest is organized as follows: Preface: Background and Summary of TCRP Report 52; (Chapter 1) Introduction; (Chapter 2) Summary of FRA and FTA Joint Policy Statements; (Chapter 3) Supplemental Information Since TCRP Report 52; (Chapter 4) Track-Sharing Issues Updated; (Chapter 5) Updated and Refined Conclusions; Acknowledgments; Supplemental Bibliography; Glossary of Joint-Use Terms and Abbreviations; (Appendix A) Summation of New-Generation DMU Rail Cars; (Appendix B) Light Rail and Bus-Derivative Diesel Multiple Unit Cars; and (Appendix C) Representative Carriers Using New-Generation, Light Rail-Derivative Diesel Multiple Unit.
Korve, H W; Ogden, B D; Siques, J T; Mansel, D M; Richards, H A; Gilbert, S; Boni, E; Butchko, M; Stutts, J C; Hughes, R G. LIGHT RAIL SERVICE: PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICULAR SAFETY. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Korve Engineering, Incorporated, Issue 69, 2001, 149 p.
Abstract: This report provides documentation and presents the results of a study to improve the safety of light rail transit (LRT) in semiexclusive rights-of-way where light rail vehicles operate at speeds greater than 35 mph through crossings with streets and pedestrians pathways. This report also presents the results of field tests conducted to improve the safety of higher speed LRT systems through grade crossing design. The results of a "before and after" evaluation of the effectiveness of presignals at highway-rail grade crossings on motorist behavior at two locations are discussed. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of presignals and were used to develop recommended guidelines for presignal installation. The guidelines may be considered in planning and designing of new LRT systems or in retrofitting and extending existing LRT systems. The report should be useful to LRT system designers, LRT operations and maintenance personnel, transit operations planners, traffic engineers, light rail safety officials, transit managers, and transit law enforcement officials.
WHEEL AND RAIL VIBRATION ABSORBER TESTING AND DEMONSTRATION. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Wilson, Ihrig and Associates, Issue 67, 2001, 51 p.
Abstract: This report will be of interest to engineers responsible for wheel/rail noise control in the design, construction, and operation of rail transit systems. It provides the results of field tests performed at two light rail transit systems to demonstrate the effectiveness of wheel and rail vibration absorbers in reducing rolling noise on tangent track and wheel squeal on curved track. Testing of wheel and rail vibration absorbers was conducted at the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Tri-Met). The wheel and rail vibration absorbers were tested individually, and in combination, on both tangent and curved track. Wheel vibration absorbers were also field tested on tangent and curved track at the New Jersey Transit Corporation's Newark subway system.
TRACK DESIGN HANDBOOK FOR LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Incorporated, Issue 57, 2000, v.p.
Abstract: This Handbook will be of interest to light rail track system design engineers, operations and maintenance professionals, vehicle design engineers and manufacturers, and others interested in the design of light rail track systems. The Handbook provides guidelines and descriptions for the design of various types of light rail transit track. The track structure types covered include ballasted, direct fixation ("ballastless"), and embedded track. The components of the various track types are discussed in detail. The guidelines consider the characteristics and interfaces of vehicle wheels and rail, track and wheel gauges, rail sections, alignments, speeds, and track moduli. The Handbook includes chapters on vehicles, alignment, track structures, track components, special track work, aerial structure/bridges, corrosion control, noise and vibration, signals, and traction power. These chapters provide insight into considerations that affect track design and require interface coordination.
LIGHT RAIL SERVICE: VEHICULAR AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY. TCRP Research Results Digest, Transportation Research Board, Issue 34, 1999, 56 p.
Abstract: This digest contains information to facilitate the safe, orderly, and integrated movement of all traffic, including light rail vehicles (LRVs), throughout the public highway system, but especially at light rail transit (LRT) crossings. This report is intended to assist those involved in the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of LRT systems by providing a consistent set of guidelines and standards for LRT operations through higher speed LRT crossings. The contents are organized in the following sections: (1) Overview; (2) Background; (3) Summary of Solutions; (4) System Design and Operations Guidelines; (5) Traffic Signal Preemption Guidelines; (6) Automatic Gate Placement Guidelines; (7) Pedestrian Control Guidelines; (8) Guidelines for Selecting Among Pedestrian Crossing Control Devices; and (9) Education and Enforcement Techniques.
Phraner, S D; Roberts, R T; Stangas, P K; Korach, K A; Shortreed, J H; THOMPSON, G J. JOINT OPERATION OF LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT OR DIESEL MULTIPLE UNIT VEHICLES WITH RAILROADS. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Edwards and Kelcey, Incorporated, Issue 52, 1999, 457 p.
Abstract: This report will be of interest to transit managers, planning and operations professionals, policy makers, and others interested in the potential for joint operation of light rail transit (LRT) or lightweight diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicles with freight and/or passenger railroads. For the purposes of this report, joint operation is defined as co-mingled, simultaneous train operation on shared track by railroad trains (freight and/or passenger) and rail transit vehicles that are not fully compliant with current Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations. The report identifies and discusses issues associated with such joint operation, focusing on the current regulatory and institutional environment, railroad and rail transit operations, infrastructure, and rolling stock. In addition, substantial information concerning joint operation overseas is presented and discussed. A risk analysis guide is also provided to assist decision makers in assessing the appropriateness of applying joint operation to particular circumstances. The report concludes that there is sufficient evidence that joint operation can be applied in the North American environment on a case-by-case basis, conditioned on satisfactory risk analyses accompanied by appropriate safeguards.
Pine, R; Niemeyer, J; CHISHOLM, R. TRANSIT SCHEDULING: BASIC AND ADVANCED MANUALS. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Transportation Management and Design, Issue 30, 1998, 250 p.
Abstract: This manual will be of interest to new transit schedulers, experienced schedulers, transit planners, operating staff, and others who need to be conversant with the scheduling process. The materials clearly describe all steps in the bus and light rail scheduling process. The manual consists of two sections: a basic treament and an advanced section. The basic-level section is in an instructional format designed primarily for novice schedulers and other transit staff. The advanced section covers more complex scheduling requirements. Each section may be used sequentially or independently and is designed to integrate with agency apprenticeship and on-the-job training.
IMPROVED METHODS FOR INCREASING WHEEL/RAIL ADHESION IN THE PRESENCE OF NATURAL CONTAMINANTS. TCRP Research Results Digest, Transportation Research Board, Issue 17, 1997, 5 p.
Abstract: This digest summarizes the findings from Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project C-6, "Improved Methods for Increasing Wheel/Rail Adhesion in the Presence of Natural Contaminants," which was conducted by Tranergy Corporation. This research, completed in 1996, evaluated current practices for the control of railhead contamination by moisture, ice, and leaves and other vegetation and identified new or modified alternatives to sanding that show promise for improving wheel/rail adhesion under these conditions. Among these alternatives are debris removal, wheel cleaning, hot air jets, and creep control. The research focused on light rail and commuter rail operations.
Lewalski, Z M. LIGHT RAIL VEHICLE COMPRESSION REQUIREMENTS. TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice, Transportation Research Board, Issue 25, 1997, 40 p.
Abstract: This synthesis will be of interest to transit agency general managers and their planning, operations, engineering, and design staff, as well as to other light rail vehicle (LRV) builders, operators, industry associations, and government organizations. Data summaries presented cover existing practice and include those related to design parameters. Compression test requirements are described, available information on the development of specifications and standards is presented, and examples of adjustments under particular circumstances are provided. This report of the Transportation Research Board makes use of existing surveys, reports, published literature, personal contacts, and interviews with experts in the field. It offers available LRV system information from North America, Europe, and Japan.
SEVENTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, NOVEMBER 12-15, 1995. VOLUME 2: WITH ASSOCIATED PAPERS ON ISSUES AND FUTURE OF RAIL TRANSIT. Transportation Research Board Conference Proceedings, Transportation Research Board, Volume 2, Issue 8, 1997, 211 p.
Abstract: The 1995 National Conference on Light Rail Transit (LRT), "Building on Success--Learning from Experience", emphasizes the lessons resulting from the maturing of North American LRT systems. The conference adds to the growing body of knowledge and real-world experiences with modern LRT applications. This volume, Volume 2, contains both conference papers and associated papers presented at the 1996 Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.
Korve, H W; Farran, J I; Mansel, D M; Levinson, H S; Chira-Chavala, T; Ragland, D R. INTEGRATION OF LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT INTO CITY STREETS. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Korve Engineering, Incorporated, Issue 17, 1996, 276 p.
Abstract: This report documents and presents the results of a study to improve the safety of light rail transit (LRT) operations in shared rights-of-way where LRT operates on, adjacent to, or across city streets at low to moderate speeds (35 mph or less). Safety problems and potential solutions were identified through a literature review, field observations, videotapes, and structured interviews with ten LRT properties in the U.S. and Canada. From the system surveys, an alignment classification scheme was developed, and an inventory of traffic control devices was compiled. Accident data were analyzed to examine where, how, and why conflicts between light rail vehicles, motor vehicles, and pedestrians arise. These conflicts were then correlated with traffic control and design features as well as the different types of operating environments. Measures of effectiveness were also identified, and methodologies for evaluating the effectiveness of traffic engineering treatments for LRT were developed. The principal findings of the study are recommendations and guidelines that should be considered in the design, retrofit, and extension of LRT systems: 1) LRT system design should respect and adapt to the existing urban environment (unless a specific urban design change is desired); 2) LRT system design should comply with motorist and pedestrian expectancy; 3) decisions by motorists and pedestrians who interact with LRT should be kept as simple as possible; 4) traffic control devices related to LRT operations should clearly communicate the level of risk associated with the LRT system environment; and 5) LRT system design should provide recovery opportunities for erratic motor vehicle and pedestrian movements. A major product of this research consists of recommended changes and additions to the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices" (New Part X, Light Rail-Highway Grade Crossings). Part X contains a set of uniform traffic control devices for LRT operations in shared rights-of-way and incorporates the above guidelines. This study suggests potential human factors research into two specific traffic control devices: 1) control of left turns across median LRT alignments where LRVs travel parallel to motor vehicle traffic, and 2) establishing an LRV activated, internally illuminated SECOND TRAIN - LOOK LEFT/RIGHT warning sign for pedestrian crossings of two or more tracks. This research would focus on determining whether the devices: 1) communicate the intended message in a brief period of time; 2) trigger the intended behavioral response; 3) are clearly distinguishable from other signs and signals in the environment; 4) communicate the level of risk if the device is disregarded; and 5) are effective for people of diverse cultural backgrounds and of different inherent abilities.
Seskin, S N; Cervero, R; Zupan, J. TRANSIT AND URBAN FORM. VOLUME 1. PART I: TRANSIT, URBAN FORM, AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: A SUMMARY OF KNOWLEDGE. PART II: COMMUTER AND LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT CORRIDORS: THE LAND USE CONNECTION. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Incorporated, Issue 16, 1996, 227 p.
Abstract: This report will be of interest to a broad cross section of individuals involved in transportation and land use planning and development. The research addressed many facets of the relationships between land use and public transportation. These relationships are reexamined, explained, evaluated, and documented to facilitate cost-effective multimodal public transportation investment decisions. Six reports were produced by the research team, four of which are published in this two-volume report. This volume, Volume 1, contains two of these reports. The first one synthesizes the overall findings and conclusions of TCRP Project H-1, An Examination of the Relationships Between Transit and Urban Form, and the existing body of literature on transit and urban form. The next report provides guidance on the land use characteristics that support new fixed-guideway transit services in a corridor. The work builds upon research conducted in the 1970s by Pushkarev and Zupan that established thresholds necessary to support transit in a cost-effective manner. That work is updated with data from current light rail and commuter rail cities and extended by considering the cost-efficiency (annual operating costs plus depreciation per vehicle mile) and effectiveness of service (daily passenger miles per line mile).
PARKINSON, T; FISHER, I. RAIL TRANSIT CAPACITY. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Transport Consulting Limited, Issue 13, 1996, 202 p.
Abstract: This study investigated and quantified the variables that affect the maximum passenger carrying capacity of rail transit in four categories--rail rapid transit (heavy rail), light rail transit, commuter rail, and automated guideway transit (AGT)--in North America. A comprehensive survey of existing literature on rail transit capacity was conducted. A survey of rail transit operators in Canada, Mexico and the United States determined the capacity and capacity constraints of each system. Appropriate data were collected from these agencies and in field visits. Quantitative analysis, narration and calibration to real life result in procedures for estimating rail transit capacity under a wide variety of conditions, including realistic operating margins. The procedures are divided into two sets, a basic simple method of estimation, and a comprehensive method that includes more variables. The results show that the maximum capacity on a double track urban rail transit line can be obtained with a moving-block signaling system which has the potential for a 30% increase in train throughput compared to conventional signaling. The single most important factor in maximizing capacity is to control and reduce dwell time through station and car design.
Pline, J L. LEFT-TURN TREATMENTS AT INTERSECTIONS. NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice, Transportation Research Board, Issue 225, 1996, 92 p.
Abstract: This synthesis will be of interest to traffic engineers in both the public and private sectors, as well as to design engineers, safety and law enforcement officials, traffic signal technicians, and others concerned with the accommodation of non-motorized transportation (pedestrians and bicycles) on the roadway. The synthesis describes the traffic conditions, signalization, signing, and geometric design issues associated with accommodating left-turning vehicles at intersections. This report of the Transportation Research Board discusses the basic concerns related to left-turn movements and the guidelines and requirements for handling these movements in the traffic stream. It also addresses the design criteria for left-turn treatments and the performance measures frequently applied to determine their effectiveness. The synthesis discusses the specific requirements for signing and pavement markings, and the various elements of traffic signal requirements, signal design and installation, phasing optimization, and lane-use controls. There is also a description of special applications such as U-turn control, pedestrian requirements, bicycles, and light rail transit interface.
Public transportation 1995: current research in operations. Transportation Research Record, Issue 1503, 1995, 145p
Abstract: No abstract provided.
Kulpa, J S; Schwartz, A D. REDUCING THE VISUAL IMPACT OF OVERHEAD CONTACT SYSTEMS. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board; Urbitran Associates, Incorporated, Issue 7, 1995, 95 p.
Abstract: This report defines Overhead Contact Systems (OCSs) and describes the function of OCSs for trolleybus and light rail systems. The report describes nonintrusive and intrusive designs, considering the overall visual impact of those designs on intersections or street segments and the complete effect that hardware has in any given location. It discusses the influence system design has on visual impact including the need for emergency wire and the use of one-way operation to minimize visual impact in trolleybus systems. Further, it investigates how the turning capability in trolleybus and light rail OCS design may have an effect on visual impact. The report considers the effect of curve design and the design of the electrical distribution systems on the appearance of light rail. An approach to evaluating the visual impact of trolleybus intersections is presented. This report concludes that the visual impact of OCSs can only be reduced if such reduction is made a specific goal throughout the design process.
SEVENTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, NOVEMBER 12-15, 1995. VOLUME 1. Transportation Research Board Conference Proceedings, Transportation Research Board, Volume 1, Issue 8, 1995, 349 p.
Abstract: The 1995 National Conference on Light Rail Transit (LRT), "Building on Success--Learning from Experience", emphasizes the lessons resulting from the maturing of North American LRT systems. The conference adds to the growing body of knowledge and real-world experiences with modern LRT applications. This volume, Volume 1, contains 36 conference papers, organized in four parts. Part 1, Policy and Planning for Light Rail Transit Systems, covers operating system status, updates on new systems and extensions, and urban design and aesthetics. Part 2, LRT Administration and General Management, addresses the question "How do others see us?" and the topics perspectives on standardization and joint use corridors. Part 3, Technical Issues, contains papers on light rail vehicles, Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) projects under way, Americans with Disabilities Act issues, and passenger security. Part 4, LRT Operations, papers discuss traffic engineering and safety, and operations and maintenance issues.
APPLICABILITY OF LOW-FLOOR LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES IN NORTH AMERICA. TCRP REPORT 2. Booz-Allen and Hamilton, Incorporated; Transit Cooperative Research Program; Federal Transit Administration, 1995, 179 p.
Abstract: This report will be of interest to transit managers, engineers, and policymakers considering the introduction of low-floor light rail vehicles (LRV) in existing or planned light rail systems. The report investigates the state-of-the-art of LRVs and assesses the applicability of their use in North America. Low-floor LRV categories have been developed to clarify the different types of vehicles and their applications. Critical factors that should be examined before considering low-floor LRVs are identified and discussed. The report describes the growing trend toward LRVs and the reasons for this growth. It provides an extensive compilation of data on low-floor LRVs, information on North American light rail system characteristics, and key issues relevant to the applicability of this technology in North America. The report also develops two illustrative examples to show, in a realistic North-American setting, the cost-effectiveness of using low-floor LRVs, the source of risk, and the trade-offs regarding the use of low-floor versus high-floor LRVs. The report concludes that low-floor LRVs provide improved accessibility and are more easily integrated into the existing environment than conventional light rail vehicles. An extensive database record of available European low-floor LRVs is provided in Appendix A. Appendix B provides light rail transit system descriptions of 14 North American cities. This report also provides a glossary of terms.
APPLICABILITY OF LOW-FLOOR LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES IN NORTH AMERICA. TCRP Report, Transportation Research Board, Issue 2, 1995, 179 p.
Abstract: This report will be of interest to transit managers, engineers, and policy makers considering the introduction of low-floor light rail vehicles in existing or planned light rail systems. The report investigates the state of the art of low-floor light rail vehicles and assesses the applicability of their use in North America. Low-floor light rail vehicle categories have been developed to facilitate the understanding of the different types of vehicles and their applications. The report describes the growing trend toward low-floor light rail vehicles and the reasons for this growth. It provides an extensive compilation of data on low-floor light rail vehicles, information on North American light rail system characteristics, and an analytical perspective on key issues relevant to the applicability of this technology in North America. The report also develops example applications to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of using low-floor light rail vehicles, the source of risk, and the trade-offs regarding the use of low-floor versus high-floor light rail vehicles.
Light rail transit: planning, design, and operating experience. Transportation Research Record, Issue 1361, 1992, 359p
Abstract: No abstract provided.
Cervenka, K J; Berry, R A. A LIGHT RAIL TRANSITWAY MALL FOR DOWNTOWN DALLAS: IMPACTS ON TRAFFIC OPERATIONS. IN: TRANSPORTATION PLANNING METHODS APPLICATIONS. PROCEEDINGS, THIRD NATIONAL CONFERENCE, DALLAS, TEXAS, APRIL 22-26, 1991. Transportation Research Board, 1991, 22 p.
Abstract: The goal of this study was to estimate the year 2010 evening peak hour traffic impacts of a surface rail operation in the Dallas Central Business District. Traffic volume projections were developed from a CBG Micro TRIPS assignment model created from the MTAP system developed by the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The traffic analysis included both intersection capacity analyses and traffic simulation analysis. The study's conclusion was that the proposed surface rail system could operate with minimal traffic delay and queuing problems on Dallas Central Business District streets.
LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT: NEW SYSTEM SUCCESSES AT AFFORDABLE PRICES. Transportation Research Board Special Report, Transportation Research Board, Issue 221, 1989, 679 p.
Abstract: This report contains the papers presented at the National Conference on Light Rail Transit, held May 8-11, 1988, at San Jose, California, as well as six additional papers submitted to the Transportation Research Board. Together with the proceedings of previous conferences, this report documents the development of North America's Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems and serves as a reference text for technical questions. Papers are entered individually in the TRIS data base.
Rapid Rail Transit and Planning Tools. Transportation Research Record, Issue 1152, 1987, 58p
Abstract: This issue contains 8 papers concerned with rapid rail transit and planning tools. Specific topics addressed include: transit platforms; queuing delays; computer-aided design; subway extensions; streetcar operations; stray current control; direct fixation fasteners; and one-person operation of rapid transit trains.
Light rail transit: system design for cost-effectiveness. State-of-the-Art Report, Issue 2, 1985, 240P
Abstract: The emergence of light rail transit (LRT) as a cost-effective component of the urban-suburban transportation environment has reinforced the need to examine current issues of design, construction, and operation of LRT systems in a variety of settings and in comparison with other alternatives. The framework of the 1985 LRT Conference was structured to report on innovative solutions and alternative strategies in a wide variety of site-specific situations. Because the cost of constructing all varieties of fixed-guideways systems has increased in recent years, emphasis is being placed on justifying, constructing, and operating these systems in the most economical fashion. Because of its flexibility of design, operations characteristics, and physical placement, LRT has much potential to achieve cost-effectiveness. At the 1985 LRT Conference issues that arise when LRT is compared with other modal alternatives were explored and discussed. Systems design, technology applications, and implementation planning as the related to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of LRT were also considered. This State of the Art Report contains most of the papers that were presented at the 1985 LRT Conference as well as some that were presented at the 1985 TRB Annual Meeting.
Transit research developments. Transportation Research Record, Issue 992, 1984, 98p
Abstract: No abstract provided.
Uher, R A; SATHI, N. REDUCTION OF PEAK-POWER DEMAND FOR ELECTRIC RAIL TRANSIT SYSTEMS. NCTRP Report, Transportation Research Board, Issue 3, 1983, 142 p.
Abstract: Rail transit managers will find this report useful in assessing operation of their electrified systems. Energy cost reduction guidelines contain step-by-step procedures for energy load management by reducing peak power demand. Factors contributing to peak power demand were identified, energy use patterns were identified, and policies were examined. Data was collected and analyzed for four transit agencies so that the sensitivity of factors influencing power demand could be determined by using the Energy Management Model (EMM), a series of computer simulation programs. General findings were: (1) Reduction of peak-power demand in electric rate structures can be cost effective for transit agencies; (2) Costs and benefits of load management are site-specific; (3) Load management should be part of an overall energy management effort. Vehicle-performance modifications such as top-speed limits and coasting can produce immediate savings. More sophisticated strategies may be desirable for optimum cost reduction. As load management reduces peak demand, utility cost allocations are shifted to other customers and careful negotiation will be necessary to avoid higher rates in future years.
LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT: PLANNING, DESIGN, AND IMPLEMENTATION. Transportation Research Board Special Report, Transportation Research Board, Issue 195, 1982, 175 p.
Abstract: The papers included in these proceedings focus on key technical and institutional issues that are unique to implementation of the LRT mode. These papers are divided into four groups. Those in Part 1 and 2 provide an overview of light rail transit and policy and planning considerations. They treat issues such as institutional arrangements, community and citizen participation, feasibility factors, development constraints and energy considerations. The papers in Part 3 cover engineering design of LRT fixed facilities and railcar technology. Part 4 contains papers on operating issues, including such matters as surface operations, self-service fares, the interface with bus transportation, and general traffic considerations.
Light rail transit: planning and technology. Transportation Research Board Special Report, Transportation Research Board (TRB), Issue 182, 1978, 172p
Abstract: No abstract provided.
LRT NEWS. LRT NEWS, Transportation Research Board, 1978, 4-6 pp
Abstract: LRT News is published intermittently by the Transportation Research Board for the purpose of disseminating information on new developments in light-rail transit planning, technology, and operations. The newsletter reports on new studies, current literature, and conferences, Glen Bottoms, editor. Robert J. Landgraf, chairman, TRB Committee on Light-Rail Transit. W. Campbell Graeub, TRB staff. Submit news items to LRT News, Transportation Research Board, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418, telephone 202-334-2966. ISSN 0162-8429.
GLOSSARY OF URBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TERMS. Transportation Research Board Special Report, Transportation Research Board, Issue 179, 1978, 39 p.
Abstract: This glossary attempts to serve as a basic reference for persons interested in urban transit planning. It is designed to assist transit system operators to understand the analytical language of urban planners and the latter to understand the operational language of transit system operators. The glossary organizes and to some extent standardizes terms related to urban public transportation. The definitions are organized alphabetically by term. Acronyms and abbreviations are presented at the beginning of each alphabetical section.
THIS IS LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT. Transportation Research Board, 1977, 16 p.
Abstract: This illustrated brochure was prepared for distribution at the National Conference on Light Rail Transit in Boston. Its short illustrated sections discuss: What Is Light Rail Transit, Right-of-Way, Vehicles, Stations, Operations, Cost, Development, Advantages.
URBAN TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES: EVOLUTION OF FEDERAL POLICY. Transportation Research Board Special Report, Transportation Research Board, Issue 177, 1977, 38p
Abstract: The findings are presented of two successful conferences which formed the foundation of a unique process of federal rule-making, and the underlying process that culminated in the conferences is discussed. The availability of new funds for urban mass transportation in 1974 raised complex questions of equitable resource allocation. Reaching answers to these questions involved the developing of consensus on a series of compromise solutions that would best reconcile the competing demands of different claimants. The first conference in February 1975 reached agreement on five principles which dealt with regional multimodal strategy, incremental planning, managing of the existing system, framework for evaluation, and public involvement. Cost effectiveness and usable segments were other areas of Administration's (UMTA) description of the implementation of 1976 was to review the Urban Mass Transportation Administrations (UMTA) description of the implementation of the proposed policy as well as to review on the revised policy on Urban Mass Transportation Investment. A number of related issues were discussed at both conferences. Documents prepared by UMTA as background to the conferences are discussed.
Light rail transit. Transportation Research Board Special Report, Transportation Research Board (TRB), Issue 161, 1975, 173p
Abstract: No abstract provided.
History and timeline of Light Rail conferences
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) series on light rail that began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1975. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) became cosponsor in 1995. At the Philadelphia conference the technical sessions focused on introducing the concept of light rail transit (LRT) in North America. Light rail had evolved from traditional streetcar systems in many northern European cities into intermediated capacity and performance rail transit systems scaled for midsized urban areas. The purpose of the first light rail conference was to show local decision makers in North America that the concept had great promise for application in North American cities. The then-Urban Mass Transit Administration (now the Federal Transit Administration) jointly sponsored the first conference and offered financing for cities willing to implement light rail. At that time there were only eight legacy streetcar systems left in Canada and the United States.
The focus and related topics of the previous 13 national conferences have paralleled the development and reintroduction of LRT in North America:
- Introduction to LRT, 1st National Conference, Philadelphia, 1975
- Light Rail Transit: Planning and Technology, 2nd National Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, 1978
- Light Rail Transit: Planning, Design, and Implementation, 3rd National Conference; San Diego, California, 1982 (in July 1981, San Diego was the first all-bus urban area in the United States to open a new light rail system. In 1978, Edmonton, Alberta, was the first in North America)
- Light Rail Transit: System Design for Cost-Effectiveness, 4th National Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1985
- Light Rail Transit: New System Successes at Affordable Prices, 5th National Conference, San Jose, California, 1988
- Light Rail Transit: Design and Operating Experience, 6th National Conference, Calgary, Canada, 1992
- Building on Success, Learning from Experience, 7th National Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, 1995
- Light Rail: Investment for the Future, 8th National Conference, Dallas, Texas, 2000
- Light Rail: Experience, Economics, and Evolution: From Starter Lines to Growing Systems, 9th National Conference, Portland, Oregon, 2003
- Light Rail Transit: A World of Applications and Opportunities, 10th National Conference and First Joint International Light Rail Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, 2006
- Light Rail: Growth and Renewal, 11th National Light Rail Conference, Los Angeles, California, 2009
- Sustaining the Metropolis: LRT and Streetcars for Super Cities, 12th National Conference, Salt City, Utah, 2012
- Transforming Urban Areas: 13th National Light Rail and Streetcar Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2015
- Resurgence & Renewal: 14th National Light Rail & Streetcar Conference - Jersey City, New Jersey, 2019