Transition curves are a useful tool for lateral alignment of railway segments. Their design is important to ensure safe and comfortable travel for passengers and cargo. Well designed transition curves can lead to reduced wear of tracks and vehicles, which is beneficial from a maintenance point of view. Extensive studies have been performed through decades to find transition curves that can replace existing railway segments for the purpose of enhancing certain properties. Those studies seek to form curves that satisfy desired evaluation criteria, which are often connected to geometric continuity between the curve segments, and vehicle dynamics, to secure a smooth ride. This research topic is still ongoing and active at present. Recent results and findings are in line with the developments on the topic of vehicle dynamics and within the railway industry. For this reason it is appropriate to collect and discuss the latest work, since there are no up-to-date detailed literature reviews available. This paper explores the present state-of-the-art of railway transition curves, and identifies some of the research challenges and future research opportunities in the field.
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