NURail banner

NURail Welcomed STEAM Summer Camp Students
July 3, 2015

On Friday, July 3 the NURail Center welcomed eleven students from the Next Generation School STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Summer Camp. This innovative summer program provides real-world experiences for students in grades 4-6 in the Champaign-Urbana area. Camp the week of June 29 was titled "Zoom Zoom Invent" and focused on transportation and scientific inventions of transportation technology. On the day the student spent at the NURail Center, they focused on railroad planning, construction and safety, as well as investigating the physics of rail transportation.

Spotlight on NURail partner Steve Schlickman
June 30, 2015

In an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members, the June 30, 2015 issue of the Passenger Transport e-newsletter spotlighted NURail Center partner, Stephen E. Schlickman, Executive Director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Click here to read the article.

Special Hay Seminar Series on Shared Rail Corridors
June 16, 2015

Ahmadreza Talebain

Sam Levy

Hamed Pouryousef

Chen-Yu Lin

William W. Hay Seminar listeners were treated to a special two part seminar series this semester when four NURail students, each representing a different partner university, gave presentations on their research related to Shared Rail Corridors. The special series started on Friday, April 3 with Hamed Pouryousef from Michigan Tech and his topic "Introducing Hybrid Optimization of Train Schedule (HOTS) Model as Timetable Management Technique". Next, Chen-Yu Lin from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign spoke on "Hazards Associated with Shared-Use Rail Corridor Operations". To listen to Hamed and Chen-Yu’s presentations click here.

On Friday, April 17, Sam Levy from MIT spoke along with Ahmadreza Talebian from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sam spoke on "Shared-use Passenger Corridors in California: HSR and the Peninsula Corridor” while Ahmadreza discussed "Capacity Allocation in Vertically Integrated Railway Systems: A Sequential Bargaining Game Approach with Focus on the US Context”. To listen to their presentations click here. This special series was well received by audience members and may be repeated in the future.

Samantha Chadwick Wins 3-Minute Thesis Competition
June 8, 2015

Samantha Chadwick, a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was the winner of the 3-Minute Thesis Competition at the 2015 NURail Annual Meeting. Four student researchers, each from a different NURail university, delivered brief overviews of their research to a panel of judges and meeting attendees during the evening reception on Wednesday, June 3. Each student presenter was allowed to speak a maximum of 3 minutes using a single PowerPoint slide. The winner was selected based on their presentation’s comprehension, content, engagement and communication.

2015 NURail Annual Meeting a Success
June 8, 2015

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) worked together to host the 2015 National University Rail Center (NURail) Annual Meeting held at UIC on June 3 - 4. Around 100 attended the NURail Annual Meeting, which was held at the UIC Student Center West. The theme of the 2015 meeting was “Delivering Results.” Academic researchers, industry professionals and student researchers from the seven NURail partner colleges and universities met to discuss current rail research, technology transfer, education and workforce development and other topics related to railway transportation in the United States.

Michigan Tech Student Reports

NURail in Action Panel

Click HERE for more news.

Featured Project

Summer Youth Program in Rail and Intermodal Transportation

Concrete Crosstie Fastener project

Since 2010, Michigan Technological University has offered a Summer Youth Program (SYP) in Rail and Intermodal Transportation. The program hosts a diverse group of students in grades 9-11 representing 17 states. The structure of the program consists of classwork, tours, and hands-on activities. The mission statement of the program is "a collaboration to attract a new generation." Click here to read the detailed brief.

Railroad Engineering Education Symposium (REES) 2012

Concrete Crosstie Fastener project

The Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) is intended to foster the participation of university faculty in railway engineering with the goal of encouraging and supporting their interest in adding railway engineering content to their engineering courses and curricula. REES 2012 was held June 11-13, 2012 in Overland Park, KS at the Johnson County Community College (JCCC). REES 2012 presented basic railway education materials, but also added more advanced material targeted toward professors who returned to REES to deepen their understanding of the railroad industry. Click here to read the detailed brief.

Railroad Projects at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Concrete Crosstie Fastener project

Three rail related projects were taken on as part of the year-long Senior Design Capstone class. Two rail projects were also part of the Freshman Design class. During the spring of 2014 students in the Railroad Engineering class designed and constructed a 60 foot section of track at the Wabash Valley Railroaders Museum. The track is used to display a WWII Pullman Troop Sleeper car. Click here to read the detailed brief.

Rail Highway Grade Crossing Roughness Quantitative Measurement Using 3D Technology

Concrete Crosstie Fastener project

This research reports on the development of an accurate, low cost and readily deployable sensor capable of rapidly collecting a 3D surface model of a rail crossing in its present state. This is seen as a first step towards automating the crossing inspection process, ultimately leading to the quantification and estimation of future performance of rail crossing. Click here to read the detailed brief.

Quantifying Rail-Highway Grade Crossing Roughness: Accelerations and Dynamic Modeling

Concrete Crosstie Fastener project

Quality of surface is an important aspect affecting both the safety and performance of rail-highway grade crossings. No quantitative method currently exists to assess the condition of rail crossings in order to evaluate the performance of crossings and set a quantitative trigger for their rehabilitation. This research reports on the use of LiDAR to collect a 3D surface point cloud as input to a customized vehicle dynamic model. Click here to read the detailed brief.

See more

Upcoming Events

Aug 12 - 13 2015

Urbana, IL
9th Annual TRB Summerail

Aug 19 - 20 2015
Oct 20 2015

11:00a.m. Houghton, MI
Michigan Tech Rail Day

Oct 20 2015

6:00p.m. Houghton, MI
Michigan Tech Railroad Night

Who We Are

The NURail Center is a rail-focused seven-university consortium led by the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

We are a Tier-1 University Transportation Center (UTC) under the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology (OST) program working to improve and expand rail education, research, workforce development, and technology transfer.

Members of the consortium are:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Chicago
    College of Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan Technological University
University of Kentucky
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


NURail Center
1239B Newmark Engineering Laboratory, MC-250
205 N. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Tel: (217) 244-4999
Fax: (217) 333-9464