The eddy current brake is a type of braking system used for railway vehicles. Because rail heating is a problem in this type of brakes, they have not been put to practical use in Japan. Therefore we proposed using a linear induction motor (LIM) for dynamic braking in the eddy current brake systems. In this paper, we investigate the transverse edge effect on an eddy current brake using an LIM with the solid steel rail as a secondary conductor. The objectives of this investigation are to clarify the transverse edge effect on a rail and to make it easier to determine the characteristics of such an eddy current brake. We find that the lateral surface of a solid steel rail must be considered as an electromagnetic overhang, and that the transverse edge effect of the rail is approximately the same as that of a simple U-shaped steel plate or a wide, flat steel plate. These findings enable us to apply a simplified analysis method using a traditional modifying coefficient of the transverse edge effect, but from a new perspective. Because this simplified analysis method can easily evaluate the performance of eddy current brakes, it is useful in the early development stages of such brakes. © 2012 Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.