Thermal buckling of continuous welded rail (CWR) has been a long-standing challenge for the railroad industry because of the high derailment rate and the associated social, economic, and environmental impacts it causes. Rail buckling is generally attributed to excessive thermally-induced axial compressive stress developed in the rail from high temperatures. Knowing the rail thermal stress or its rail neutral temperature (RNT) is critical for safe and efficient rail system operation. There has been great interest and much work on the development of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques to estimate rail thermal stress and RNT in situ. This paper reviews the findings and conclusions from research about NDE approaches for estimating rail thermal stress or RNT, emphasizing the physical phenomena and performance interpretation related to each of the approaches. We identify the type of reference measurements each technique relies on and tabulate this information showing key assumptions, performance, and limitations for each technique.