Lateral torsional buckling should be taken into account during the design of overhanging steel beams. One special type of overhanging beam is the crane trolley monorail. Lateral buckling of overhanging monorails under idealized loading and boundary conditions has been studied in the past using classical mathematical procedures. This paper aims to present a detailed investigation of overhanging monorails using finite element analysis. Effects of different loading and boundary conditions were studied in detail. It was found out that the location of loading and supports on the cross section have significant effects on the buckling capacity. Beams having different warping and torsional properties were analyzed. The effects of cross section distortion on buckling capacity were investigated for beams with single and double overhangs. The reduction in capacity due to cross section distortion has been quantified. Based on the analysis results, simple design recommendations were developed for lateral buckling of overhanging monorails, and they are presented herein. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.