What is OpenRail Designer?

OpenRail Designer introduces a new, comprehensive modeling environment for streamlined project delivery of rail network assets. This environment unifies design and construction from concept through commissioning and completion.
One software application for all your metro, light rail, commuter rail, or high-speed rail design project needs. Save time on the design and maintenance of track, station, and yard assets while significantly increasing productivity.

Perform conceptual or detailed rail designs of all sizes

OpenRail Designer is an all-in-one application that handles a wide variety of complex tasks such as yard/station design, tunnels, corridor modeling, turnout and switch placement, overhead line electrification, site development, sanitary and stormwater network design, subsurface utilities, and production of construction staking reports. You can configure the application to support a wide range of international standards providing you the flexibility and control necessary to deal with real-life design scenarios on global rail infrastructure projects. The application adapts to virtually any rail design and maintenance workflow and is suitable for light rail, metros (transit) heavy rail, high-speed rail, and MAG_LEV projects.

Design in context

Easily consume multiple data types to effectively understand site and existing conditions. Use photogrammetry, total station surveys, GPS LiDAR, point clouds, reality meshes, and more to analyze, and manipulate field data to better understand the as-built condition.

Quickly model design intent

Use design intent capabilities to build associations and relationships among civil elements to ensure the design project is reflective of engineering intent to improve design efficiency. The software also delivers comprehensive mathematical and associated cant transition algorithms to accommodate the horizontal transitions required on rail projects. A check integrity report locates discontinuities and highlights potential issues, such as nontangential curves, for resolution or correction.

Collaborate across multiple disciplines

Assimilate data from different disciplines to improve collaboration and ensure the latest model is used in all phases of the design. Working in one live model reduces risk by utilizing the data interactively and working among rail, road, bridge, drainage, subsurface utilities, geotechnical and other design teams to help identify conflicts earlier in the process and decrease construction errors and delays

Use model-based design approach

Reduce repetitive manual work using the 3D model as the hub for all data. Use parametric modeling tools to design and interactively model at the same time. Create profiles and cross sections, analyze rail track regressions, rail, and sleeper placement, and design and analyze rail and road corridors, as well as rail track drainage systems. All changes are reflected in elements in the model, as well as documentation for plan production.

Improve project deliverables

Produce project deliverables using design constraints, design-time visualization, dynamic annotation, and automated plan production based on the live model. This approach assures all project information is consistent and up to date to deliver the machine control guidance, models, drawings, and other data needed for today’s requirements. You can output standard formats for Trimble, Topcon, and Leica for machine-controlled grading and machine guidance.

Support BIM workflows

Ensure data-rich BIM deliverables to help advance BIM workflows in a digital twin authoring environment while also creating all traditional and digital design deliverables.

Visualizing designs

Experience design in real time and virtually drive the 3D corridor model and visually inspect it for any design deficiencies or physical conflicts. In 3D QA, you can fully view rail features from all angles to identify gaps or misalignments, look for utility conflicts, and check clearances. You can also visually evaluate rail and sleeper placement, overhead line structures, signal sighting, station designs as well as try out multiple aesthetic treatments to reach the desired result. OpenRail Designer seamlessly integrates with LumenRT to create models and high-impact visuals and animations to effectively communicate the project to stakeholders for project approvals.

Integrated CAD Capabilities

• Integrate data with OpenRail ConceptStation, MicroStation, ProjectWise, OpenBridge Modeler, OpenBuildings Designer, and other Bentley applications
• Support for managed workspaces
• Works across references files
• Include other engineering data (e.g. drainage) as referencing it to the DGN model
• Utilize an unlimited number of federated reference files
• Create and edit CAD elements
• Read and write to DGN and DWG files
• Supports design history
• Apply digital signatures using industry-standard encryption
• Secure digital rights definition for reviewing, printing, and editing
• Supports multiple raster formats
• Supports PostScript and HPGL2/RTL printing
• Use AccuDraw and AccuSnap navigation tools
• Track annotation
• Contour maps
- Import and analyze point-cloud data
- Merge surfaces automatically
- Update surface data dynamically

Terrain Modeling

• Create intelligent, data-rich and lightweight terrain models
• No need for secondary terrain analysis to represent the terrain display. Includes context sensitive re-symbolization for triangles, contours, linear features, slope vectors, color code for slopes, elevation banding, and aspect
• Create terrain models from a variety of import sources
- Reality models
- 3D graphical data automatically using graphicalfilters
- ASCII/text data
- Legacy data formats of InRoads, GEOPAK, and MX
- Point clouds
- LandXML
- LiDAR data: ASCII and LAS
- USGS digital elevation model data
- Aerial data
- Raster files
• Ensure live, federated, and intelligent terrain models when stored as a DGN element
• Maintain terrain models through the preservation of relationships to source data
• Ensure correct entry with undo/redo capabilities
• Standardize displays via element templates
• Use across multiple disciplines via reference files in a comprehensive modeling environment
• Re-symbolization of display across multiple disciplines using a comprehensive modeling environment
• Control maximum length of triangles
• Control boundary conditions
• Create complex and clipped terrain models
• Interrogate the intelligent data rich 3D models
• Support for different features types including but not limited to boundaries, holes, voids, breaklines, inferred breaklines, and random points
• Model intelligent 3D real-world civil features (ditches, curbs, trees, and culverts)
• Context-sensitive intelligent editing of features
• Dynamic editing for
- Extend, trim, and intersect features
- Insert, move, and delete vertices
- Delete, partially delete, break, or join features
• Manage large LiDAR datasets
• Exclude non-DTM features from triangulation
• Control density of points on linear features for optimal surface presentation
• Display cut and fill delineation
• View and edit feature properties
• Contour smoothing
• Major, minor, and depression contours
• Automatic and manual contour labelling

Core Modeling

• Model multiple design scenarios
• Edit designs dynamically
• Automatic model updates driven by design intent
• Design time visualization with automatic material assignments
• Undo/redo capabilities
• Interactively interrogate federated 3D models with dynamic cross sections
• Manage 2D/3D models and display representation
• Rule-based superelevation control of the model
• Use enhanced clipping and point controls
• Integrate and utilize CAD graphical elements in the model
• Create model reports dynamically
• Generate plan ready cross sections
• Utilize WYSIWYG features – control display of cross sections by simply turning on/off reference files
• Adheres to regional design standards

Corridor Modeling

• Edit designs dynamically
• Blend horizontal and vertical geometry with 3D topography and typical sections
• Assign component control points to existing or designed features and geometry, controlling horizontal and/or vertical location
• Assign automatic overrides
• View plan, 3D model, profile, and cross section interactively
• Provides heads-up dynamic, interactive parametric design • Level of detail user definable output
• Surface priority definable by target aliasing
• Transition among disparate templates
• Apply exceptions for bridges, voids, and special end conditions
• Clip model capability
• Edit stations dynamically
• Apply superelevation text tables, customizable calculations, or AASHTO standards
• Allows dynamic editing of superelevation
• Assists problem resolution through intelligent color coding of transitions, and super runout
• Component meshes provide direct volumetrics from the 3D model based on level of detail
• Reflect edits automatically in quantities and volumes
• Control component display via rules

Subsurface Utilities

• 3D modeling
• Create 3D utility model relative to topography and alignments
• Support interconnected network of pipes, curved pipes, channels, culverts, manholes, pumps, catch basins, and inlets
• Create associative and dynamic model-based designs
• Create storm, sanitary, or combined hydraulic networks
• Build utility models directly from survey data
• Identify graphics as utilities and drape relative to DTM
• Display all network and utility objects in sections and profiles
• Display as realistic 3D models for effective collaboration
• Identify conflicts among utility elements as well as among utilities and other 3D data
• Label all attributions in any view or include in user-defined reports
• Create user-defined attributes for any required data
• Draw 3D models of utility structures as full 3D shapes for easy clash detection
• Hydraulic design and analysis
• Analyze and design using industry-standard theorems such as Mannings, Colebrook-White, Bernouli, and continuity equations
• Analyze and design based upon HEC 22, FHWA, HDS 5, 10, 13, Rational Method, Wallingford Procedure, and regression equations
• Analyze and design using steady state gradually varied flow, and run simulations using unsteady state time-varying flow
• Compute Tc using methods such as TR-55, HEC-22, and Kinematic Wave
• Compute losses using methods such as SCS CN, Green and Ampt, Horton, Initial, and Constant Rate
• Compute runoff using methods such as Rational, Modified Rational, ILSAX, SCS, and Unit Hydrograph
• Use demand and demographic tables
• Supports infiltration, population, peaking factors, and land usage
• Compute or specify flows
• Define custom intensity-duration-frequency tables
• Generate drainage queries and customized reports
• Color code based upon queries or styles
• Calculate pond volumes
• Create input and output hydrographs
• Design inlet and outlet control structures
• Use PondMaker for inflow/ storage/outflow optimization

Plan, Profiles and Cross Sections

• Create/generate plan, cross sections and profiles along alignments, graphics, or between points
• Create directly from 3D model and supports federated multidiscipline models
• Include vertical alignments and existing and proposed surfaces
• Automatic user-defined annotation of points and segments
• Additional annotation tools available for one-offs
• Cut cross sections orthogonally or at skew
• Create custom cross sections
• Dynamic update for cross sections and profiles via referencing

Quantity Management

• Extraction of quantity take-offs for estimating
• Element pay item attribution
• Report quantities by entire project or delineate by sheets, stations, area, or phase
• Generate linear, area, and volume quantities
• Modify sample reports or create custom reports through XML style sheets
• ODBC link capable for fully customizable reporting


• Walk/drive through interactively or along a defined path or corridor
• Visualize paths through the project relative to design control by offsets and vehicle speeds
• Predefined materials applied to components enabling realistic rendering
• Position sun for geographically defined locations to ensure realistic shadow patterns
• Animate vehicles in traffic lanes without additional software
• Populate 3D objects along linear paths and within designated areas
• Apply traffic paint striping plans to the 3D model
• Use sample vehicle library and plantings
• Image draping on DTM or 3D objects
• MicroStation®-based rendering
• Real-life textures
• Lighting effects
• Elevation and perspectives
• Creation of fly-throughs and animations
• Creation of 3D PDFs
• Support for engineering data, point cloud, reality meshes
• Seamless integration with LumenRT for real-time, immersive presentations
• Solar and shading analysis

Reporting and Project Deliverables

• Live documentation capable
• Automate project delivery process with drafting and drawing preparation tools
• User definable annotation tools for plan, profile, and section labeling
• Extract sections, drawings, and reports directly from completed 3D model
• Automate sheet generation for plans, profiles, and cross sections
• Select from more than 550 included report formats
• Modify included reports easily in any text or XML editor
• Provide standard reports for bridges, superelevation, clearances, data collection, geometry, sections, DTM, legal descriptions, design, visibility, and more
• Compute volumes by surface to surface (triangulated surface comparison)
• Compute volumes by 3D objects


• Export directly to machine guidance
• Supports iModel creation (includes 2D and 3D geometry and business data)
• Support industry standards, such as LandXML
• Export alignments, surfaces, and other pertinent design information to other systems via XML
• Generate PDFs and 3D PDFs
• Direct plotting
• Integrate with Google Earth

Integration with Bentley Content Management and Publishing Solutions

• Component-level integration with ProjectWise for collaborative design and engineering project management
• Integration with ProjectWise InterPlot for automated plot set generation and web-based access to plot archives
• Integration with Bentley® Navigator for design review, construction simulation, or automated clash resolution
• Geotechnical integration
• Directly interface with gINT database
• Visualize and annotate borings in 2D
• Visualize and annotate borings with separate strata in 3D
• Create subsurface terrains from boring data

Rail Modeling Specialist Rail Geometry

• Support for rail geometry definitions: Clothoid, Cubic Parabola, Bi-quadratic Parabola, Bloss, Sinusoid, and Cosine
• Support for rail transitions defined transition length or the spiral constant


• Single, Double, Diamond Crossings, Single Slip, Double Slip
• Built in Libraries; Austria, Germany (heavy and light rail), Holland, India, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom,, United States, and Canada
• Custom libraries can be defined
• Turnout application on curves, turnout bending
• Rule based application, automatic healing of geometry and connections
• Easy design of complex connections and geometries with civil geometry


• Least squares method to calculate best-fit alignments
• Dynamic regression analysis
• Automatic sorting of point readings
• Horizontal and vertical regression
• Curvature diagram to help users identify curves, tangents, and spirals
• Convert rail readings to centreline, calculate existing vertical and cant
• Easy selection tools for regression points both on plan and curvature view
• Automatic placement of spirals

Speed Tables

• Speed tables, speed assignment for different sections of the track
• Speed transitions
• Alternative speed selection; commuter rail, freight rail, express…
• Automatic or manual creation, based on geometry and design standards


• Cant calculation; equilibrium cant, applied cant, cant deficiency, rate of change of applied cant, rate of change of cant deficiency, and cant gradient
• Cant diagram
• Automatic identification of design problems
• Virtual transitions

Rail/Sleeper Calculation

• Precise rail calculations based on curvature and cant
• Track widening application
• Rail joints
• Sleeper placement, long sleepers on turnout areas

Swept Envelope Analysis

• Custom train definitions, with articulation and bogie definitions
• Swept envelope using curvature and cant values
• 3D representation of envelope for clash detection
• 2D projection of swept envelope

Overhead Line Electrification

• Design rules and geometry based calculations to determine foundation locations
• Span equation and span lookup tables
• 3, 4, 5 span overlap definitions. Insulated, uninsulated overlaps and natural sections
• Simple and stitched wire runs. Precise contact, catenary and dropper wire height and length calculations
• Cant and geometry based stagger calculations
• Return and feeder wire placement
• Parametric 3D cells for structure calculations
• Moment calculations for mast and foundation selection
• Foundations, masts, single or multiple cantilever sets, and portal definitions
• Automated placement of additional OLE equipment; end wire tensioning, mid wire tensioning, jumpers, anchorage…
• Full 3D model with structures and wires
• Schematic 2D representation of OLE system
• Profile drawings and quantity reports
• Cross sections with dimension and quantity annotation for manufacturing

Rail Signals

• Rail signal library with asset tags
• 2D and 3D representation of signals
• Signal sighting analysis