Train and track interactions during services normally generate substantial forces on railway tracks. Such forces are transient by nature and of relatively large magnitude and are referred to as impact loading. There has been no comprehensive review of the typical characteristics of the loading conditions for railway track structures, in particular, impact loads due to the wheel/rail interaction, published in the literature. This paper presents a review of basic design concepts for railway tracks, abnormalities on tracks, and a variety of typical dynamic impact loadings imparted by wheel/rail interaction and irregularities. The characteristics of typical impact loads due to wheel and rail irregularities, e.g. rail corrugation, wheel flats and shells, worn wheel and rail profiles, bad welds or joints, and track imperfections, are presented with particular emphasis on the typical shapes of the impact load waveforms generally found on railway tracks.