Houston, We Have Trains

At a Glance

  • Client(s)
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO)
  • Project Location(s)
  • Houston
LTK-designed railcarThirty years of rail support. 

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County was established in January 1979 and was tasked with transforming a broken bus fleet into a regional multimodal transportation system. By the late 1990s it was clear that Houston would benefit from rail transit as well. Houston METRO opened its 7.5-mile starter light rail transit (LRT) system in January 2004. Over the next 10 years METRO expanded its light rail system, now collectively known as METRORail, to 23 miles and 44 stations. The system uses three fleets of light rail vehicles (LRVs), totaling 76 cars.

LTK has supported Houston METRO for nearly three decades with various transit efforts, rail initiatives and projects. LTK provided systems engineering, rail vehicle engineering and project management support for METRO’s 7.5-mile starter system. Then, LTK developed the technical specifications, supported the procurement, design review and commissioning for all three fleets of METRO’s rail vehicles. During starter system implementation, LTK also supported traction power, overhead contact system, signals, communications, and corrosion control elements. LTK has provided fare collection and revenue service engineering support during various upgrade and replacement projects, and supported the agency with stray current coordination with numerous stakeholders.

Houston METRO’s very successful light rail system provides 1.5 million boardings per month on three lines, exceeding expectations. METRORail provides a fast, convenient way to travel to downtown, midtown, the Museum District, Texas Medical Center, Moody Park and areas north of the city.