The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) has the strongest academic program in railroad engineering of any university in North America, complemented by the largest and most diverse program of research on the topics. In the past 20 years, the academic program has grown from one course in railroad track engineering to multiple courses on a spectrum of railway transportation and engineering topics. The core railroad courses cover the fundamental topics of railway transportation and economics, track engineering, rail project design, and railway signaling and traffic control. The unique suite of three High-Speed Rail (HSR) courses (HSR Engineering, HSR Planning and HSR Construction Management) provide RailTEC with a HSR curriculum that is unmatched in North America and rivals that of leading rail education institutions in Europe and Asia. RailTEC has also formed a unique partnership with KTH Swedish Royal Institute of Technology to offer joint courses on railway mechanical and electrical engineering topics.
Illinois offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. programs in civil engineering with a railway transportation focus. In addition, the need for continuing education and distance learning options for the rail transportation community is filled by an annual Railway Engineering Short Course on the Illinois campus each summer, and online classes through the Illinois CEE Online program comprising an online Railroad Certificate and M.S. program. RailTEC also organizes and hosts numerous rail-focused conferences, workshops, seminars and other educational activities such as K-12 STEM outreach.
Illinois has been teaching and advancing the field of rail transportation engineering for over 100 years, and is committed to continuing in this role in the 21st century.