Our Story

Why LTK?

We've provided outstanding service to the passenger rail industry for 80 years

Dedication

Passenger rail is our sole focus. LTK provides highly-specialized technical and management expertise to meet our clients' toughest rail vehicle and rail systems engineering challenges.

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Origins

Founded as a one-person electrical engineering firm in 1921 by Louis Tobias Klauder, LTK is North America's largest consultant dedicated exclusively to the passenger rail industry.

Why LTK?

Our extensive project portfolio and deep resources make us the industry leader

Leadership

No other consultant can match LTK's laser focus on the passenger rail industry. None can match our overall experience, depth of talent, and ability to meet clients' expectations.

26,000

rail cars

39

Light Rail Transit systems in 19 cities

21

offices worldwide

280

rail vehicle and system engineers

60%

market share for rail vehicle engineering

Leader

in cutting edge simulation software

Why LTK?

LTK's comprehensive experience covers every type of passenger rail system, at every phase of project development.

Experience

LTK's market leadership is founded on the industry's largest portfolio of specialized rail project experience. Whether it's rail cars, signals, traction power supply and distribution, fare collection or simulating all rail operations, we provide clients with practical, efficient, economical solutions incorporating the best of both existing and state-of-the-art technologies.

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Milestones

LTK’s First Rail Engineering Venture

Building upon the firm’s electrical engineering expertise, LTK undertook our first rail project in 1935 to support construction of the “Bridge Line” between Philadelphia and Camden, NJ. We served as the Owner’s Representative to provide engineering oversight, support for the manufacture of 26 subway cars and the construction of power, signal and communication systems. This highly successful project was the predecessor to the PATCO High Speed Line – and pointed LTK in a new direction.

The 40-year Technology Jump

In 1966, LTK helped the Long Island Rail Road radically update the concept of the railroad electric multiple unit (EMU) car. The resulting “Metropolitan” M-1 car moved the LIRR from reliance on 1920’s technologies to a world of 100 mph performance, modern and efficient layout, provision for level boarding at all stations, comfortable contoured seats, automatic couplers, and standardized consists made up of married pairs. The M-1 was followed by numerous procurements of additional Metropolitan cars for LIRR and Metro-North, with each new Metropolitan car class incorporating then-current innovations in rail car design. LTK has supported the New York MTA railroads in every one of these procurements, spanning over 50 years and a total of 3341 cars.

Providing High Speed without High Cost

Opened in 1969, the PATCO High Speed Line expanded the Bridge Line into the heart of Southern New Jersey and updated its technology. LTK provided comprehensive design and engineering services for rail vehicles and fare collection, and helped to staff and manage the new operation in its infancy. This ground-breaking new system introduced many rail transit innovations to North America – 75 mph top speed with automatic train operation; self-service fare collection and speeds competitive with automobiles. In the face of funding limitations, LTK’s practical approach to the line’s operation and design features resulted in an efficient system that operated on a near break-even basis for decades.

Light Rail Rises in the City of Roses

In 1980, TriMet selected LTK to provide comprehensive engineering support in the design and construction of the Banfield LRT project. This was TriMet’s first foray into light rail, and it led to the establishment of LTK’s first office outside of the Philadelphia area. Responsible for vehicle and systems engineering, we paired robust engineering concepts with a keen appreciation for LRT’s aesthetic footprint to produce practical, efficient designs for all aspects of the LRT system. The Banfield received the NW Regional Project of The Year Award for 1986 from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Based on our success with the Banfield Project, LTK has served as TriMet’s systems engineering consultant for every subsequent expansion of the Portland-area LRT network.

The Big Apple Buys Big

Faced with the need to replace thousands of aging subway cars, NYCT turned to LTK in 1995 to provide comprehensive technical and management services to support “New Millennium” car procurement programs. Over 5 procurement programs, encompassing 3 different car types, LTK has helped NYCT incorporate major upgrades in on-board technologies, combining highly-efficient propulsion, electrical and braking systems with state-of-the-art passenger information and maintenance diagnostics systems. Our wide-ranging efforts included conceptual engineering, design oversight, inspection services, test witnessing, commissioning, and training and troubleshooting support. Over the past two decades, we have helped NYCT successfully procure 3,504 cars – by far the largest rail car procurements in the U.S. – and our work continues with today’s R179 and R188 car programs.

The Mile High City Embraces High Voltage

In 2009, Denver RTD embarked on the first mainline railroad electrification in decades. LTK analysis demonstrated the long-term economic and environmental benefits of a 25 kV/60 Hz electrified commuter rail system which could be achieved as part of RTD’s FastTracks regional transit expansion program. We then developed conceptual designs for both the traction power system and the overhead catenary system, and later provided comprehensive engineering oversight and test witnessing services during system construction and commissioning.

Why LTK?

LTK providers specialized expertise in every area of rail car and rail systems technology.

Expertise

LTK employs the industry's largest and most capable staff of rail vehicle and systems engineering experts. Our wide-ranging expertise helps clients address difficult technical challenges quickly and with confidence.

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Skills

Why LTK?

LTK consistently earns our clients' trust through successful project delivery

Integrity

We work hard every day to earn and maintain the respect and trust of our clients and employees. Our relationships are grounded in honesty, accountability and efficiency, and usually long-term. Our clients recognize our commitment to excellence and the outstanding results we achieve on their behalf, and they return to use with their most difficult problems. In the highly-competitive market for consulting services, both new and current clients consistently place their trust in LTK to meet the pressing challenges of their newest projects. Our employees enjoy a challenging and rewarding work environment, populated by highly skilled co-workers.

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Vision

"As we approach the 100th anniversary of LTK's founding, we look back with pride at our substantial accomplishments. At the same time, we look forward with great anticipation to our next century of support for the passenger rail industry, committed to the values and standards that remain our foundation."