Keeping People and Products Moving

Our economy relies on effective rail transportation to move people and products to their destinations. For decades, Benesch has been helping our rail clients do just that.

Benesch has worked with every Class I railroad and numerous short lines, regional and commuter railroads across the United States and Canada. While the work is often complex, our approach to railroad infrastructure is simple: focus on practical, buildable solutions that maximize budgets and keep your trains rolling.

Committed to Safety

Safety is the foundation of Benesch’s approach when undertaking rail projects. From inspection and design through to construction, each project is carried out with the highest regard for the well-being of workers, engineers and the general public.

Paying careful attention to structural integrity, track alignment, signaling systems, grade crossings and more, our engineers not only protect communities, passengers and workers but also enhance the overall efficiency and longevity of the railroad system.

Aerial view of the construction phase at the I-240 MemFix4 CMGC in Tennessee
Aerial view of Richmond Autoport Facility in Wisconsin

A Record of Successful Agency Coordination

Rail projects typically involve numerous stakeholders, including government agencies, transportation authorities, local municipalities, environmental agencies and private entities.

Our extensive knowledge of local, state and federal regulations and our decades of experience gives us the ability to streamline approval processes, identify potential conflicts early and efficiently manage interactions between agencies. With a proven track record of successful agency coordination, Benesch can help your projects to proceed smoothly, achieve desired outcomes and deliver lasting benefits.

Value-Focused, Quality-Driven Solutions

Benesch railroad professionals are supported by environmental, civil, structural and civil/site experts. Together, we’ve been trusted by railroad clients across the country to help them recover from emergencies, expand their service capabilities and modernize aging infrastructure.

No matter the project size or scope, value, quality and safety remain top of mind.

aerial view of train passing over a new bridge spanning I-240 in Memphis as construction on the second bridge continues
Designed by Benesch, the I-240 MemFix4 CMGC project addressed an urgent need to replace or repair four deficient structures spanning I-240. In order to limit service disruptions during construction, two new 2.2-million-pound Norfolk Southern bridge superstructure sections were slid 35 feet into place, one track at a time—an engineering first on an active railroad bridge in Tennessee.
view of the new Milwaukee Train Shed with two trains passing by the fully ADA accessible platforms
As part of a joint venture, Benesch led structure, track and drainage designs to transform Milwaukee’s aging train shed into a modern fully ADA-accessible intermodal gateway to the city. A thorough constructability study allowed the project team to design a plan for maintaining both freight and passenger rail operations during construction, with particular focus on safety for station users.
view of a Metra train passing over a newly built grade separation as construction continues on the roadway below
To transform a major at-grade crossing bottleneck into a safer, streamlined intersection, Benesch designed a new intersection to grade separate rail traffic from Rollins Road and IL Route 83. A temporary shoofly kept freight and commuter trains moving through the construction site of the Rollins Road Gateway and the permanent rail bridge was designed to accommodate future rail expansion.
View of several new tracks on the North Central Metra line in Chicago heading toward the city, with an outdoor train station platform in the foreground
When the time came to expand Metra’s North Central Service, they turned to Benesch to provide preliminary engineering and final design services for the 26-mile corridor expansion. A multidisciplinary team handled extensive permitting, local agency coordination and staged construction plans to maintain service. The project included multiple bridges, parking lots, signal system upgrades and passenger shelters for new and existing stations.
view of a crowd at the ribbon cutting for a new train crossing over an highway interchange in Milwaukee
Reconstructing the final segment of Wisconsin’s oldest highway interchange required the construction of a temporary roll beam bridge to keep trains moving safely through the area as the new bridge was constructed on the existing alignment. On behalf of the Union Pacific Railroad, Benesch oversaw peer reviews, construction observation and steel superstructure shop inspections.
Aerial view of a new intermodal station in Wisconsin, showing several train lines running adjacent to a parking lot
Benesch worked alongside Canadian National for a 120-acre intermodal facility design project, starting with the very early planning stages through final design and construction. Our multidisciplinary team implemented a two-phase environmental permitting process to expedite construction activities at the site, which included two 2,500-foot sidings, detention and compensatory storage ponds, parking and facility structures.
Aerial view of new P&L bridge, which is made of concrete, running alonside its 100-year-old counterpart, a wooden truss bridge.
Replacing the 120-year-old J23.3 bridge in West Point Kentucky called for an innovative structural design to address mountainous terrain. Benesch designed a unique 80-foot-tall, seven-span replacement bridge utilizing long-span girders—typical of highway bridge construction—to lessen environmental impacts and reduce cost. A braced center pier helps to absorb longitudinal load.
View of a new bridge being put in place over a waterway following torrential rain which washed away the original structure
Following torrential rainfall which caused a deck bridge washout, Benesch engineers were given seven days to design a replacement structure to restore UPRR service. By sourcing local materials and coordinating with fabricators, the team delivered a new bridge—and restored service to the rail line—a day and a half ahead of schedule.
Photo of grade crossing sign

Setting the National Standard for Grade Crossing Engineering

Benesch provides highly specialized engineering services for various clients on thousands of complex highway/rail grade crossings across the country. Drawing on traffic, civil, electrical, railroad signal and traffic signal engineering skills, Benesch’s team of grade crossing engineers is uniquely suited to offer a suite of services including diagnostic inspections, railroad preemption, quiet zones and railroad signal design.

Photo of grade crossing

Through mentorship and a dedication to creating truly safer communities, we’ve built a team that can find solutions where others can’t.

Our approach combines both railroad signal and traffic signal expertise, ensuring we can deliver the most effective design for any grade crossing challenge.

Rick Campbell | Senior Technical Manager

As experts in their field, members of the team play active roles in promoting grade crossing safety nationwide. Spending the last 20 years in numerous organizations, including the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and Operation Lifesaver, Rick Campbell has provided over 100 training seminars and been instrumental in the creation of several national standards.

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Full-Service Capabilities

With our comprehensive range of services, we offer a seamless and integrated approach to rail project development. No matter the project type, our staff of rail, civil/site, geotechnical and structures experts come together to deliver solutions that meet your unique challenges and objectives.

Whether your project involves the backbone of a rail network or the crucial connecting tracks, we we know what it takes to find project success. With our comprehensive capabilities, we can craft holistic rail solutions, catering to the unique requirements of mainlines and sidings alike.

With an in-depth understanding of mainline design, we work to ensure efficient and safe transportation of freight and passengers across long distances. Recognizing the significance of sidings in optimizing rail operations, allowing for efficient train passing, and facilitating loading and unloading activities, our experts are committed to providing best-in-class services.

From small rail spurs to complex intermodal freight terminals, Benesch has the knowledge and experience to assist you with the planning, design and construction of your rail facilities. We understand that each project has specific needs and limitations, and we are prepared to address each issue we encounter while developing your rail project.

Our team provides comprehensive design services including track and site layout, pavement condition analysis and design, drainage, stormwater management, lighting, security and permitting, and more.

One of the most important factors when designing a rail yard is developing the safest, most efficient track layout that optimizes the use of available real estate. We assess surrounding roadways and how the expansion of an existing rail yard will accommodate movement. Benesch is experienced in coordinating with the community and, when necessary, providing mitigation solutions.

Our structural engineers have extensive experience in the design of all types of railroad structures, from deck plate girders to trusses. Whether you need an innovative solution to a complex challenge or a simple design that relies on industry best practices, our staff will find the right approach. We are experts in constructability and understand the importance of maintaining rail traffic while work is done.

No matter a bridge’s location, we have the capability to safely perform comprehensive inspections. Our certified inspectors use their FRA knowledge and extensive experience to identify areas for maintenance before they become a concern.

Rail station design is much more than the development of a structure along a track. Projects of this nature require consideration in areas that typical building design does not. At Benesch, our team understands the complexity of incorporating passenger needs, trackwork, signal design and structural engineering into a plan that best serves the needs of your project, the surrounding community and the projects’ stakeholders.

photo of San Juan Avenue grade crossing under construction as an Amtrak train passes through

Moving Your Public Projects Forward

Not only can we keep your public projects moving forward–we protect your interests along the way.

For years now, Benesch has been working on behalf of various railroad agencies to manage public project requests and administer the appropriate services to get the job done. Whether you’re looking for administration or funding assistance, structure and track review, local agency coordination or someone to lead construction observation, Benesch has the capacity and expertise to make it happen.