One of the most prevalent issues in railroad safety, past and present, is train derailments. This makes preventing train derailments one of the most important factors of railroad engineering, to improve both safety and efficiency. The RailTEC research group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studies railroad track infrastructure in order to detect and predict catastrophic railroad infrastructure defects. In this seminar I will present information on railroad engineering fundamentals, real-world site data from the previous 12 months, and work which I have been involved with as an undergraduate research assistant with RailTEC. In particular, the interactions between fixed structures and steel rails will be discussed, as well as the importance of rail neutral temperature (RNT). Furthermore, I hope to demonstrate the significant overlap between physics and civil engineering through topics such as Newton’s third law and thermal equilibrium.