The layout design of the outdoor pipelines is a key and tough job for construction of the base for the vehicle of urban rail transit. The outdoor pipelines are always directly buried underground. But there are some problems with this approach in the stage of design, construction, operation and maintenance. Therefore, the installation of the utility tunnel provide an idea for solving this existing problems. Aiming at this related problems, the necessity and significance of setting up outdoor utility tunnel are described. The paper introduced the theoretical study about utility tunnel from many aspects, including the analysis of the type of pipelines, the layout principle of utility tunnel, the design of section, the design of special node and the auxiliary engineering of utility tunnel.