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Encyclopedia > Passenger rail terminology

Various terms are used for passenger rail lines and equipment. Unfortunately the usage of these terms differs substantially between areas. 2005 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → Deaths in April • 26: Augusto Roa Bastos • 24: Ezer Weizman • 23: Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen • 23: John Mills • 16: Marla Ruzicka • 9: Andrea Dworkin • 6: Prince Rainier III • 5: Dale Messick • 5: Saul Bellow • 2: Pope John...

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Rapid transit

Originally, the term rapid transit was used in the 1800s to describe new forms of quick urban public transportation that had a right-of-way separated from street traffic. This set rapid transit apart from horsecars, trams, streetcars, omnibuses, and other forms of public transport. Metro redirects here. ... Skytrain Bangkok. ... A right-of-way is an easement or strip of land granted to a railroad company upon which to build a railroad. ... A horsecar was an animal-powered streetcar (or tram). ... Luas - tram system in Dublin, Ireland Volkswagen Cargo-Tram in Dresden on a section of grassed track. ... a historic postcard showing electric trolley-powered streetcars in Richmond, Virginia, where Frank J. Sprague successfully demonstrated his new system on the hills in 1888 A streetcar is a railway vehicle designed to carry passengers on tracks, usually laid in city streets. ... TheBus, established by Mayor Frank Fasi, is Honolulus only public transit system. ...


Though the term was almost always used to describe rail transportation, other forms of transit were sometimes described by their proponents as rapid transit, including local ferries in some cases. This is the top-level page of WikiProject trains Rail tracks Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ... The Pride of Burgundy, a P&O Ferries car ferry on the Dover-Calais route A ferry is a boat or a ship carrying passengers, and possibly their vehicles, on a relatively short-distance, regularly-scheduled service. ...


The term bus rapid transit has recently come into use to describe bus lines with features to speed their operation. These usually have more characteristics of light rail than rapid transit. Silver Line in Boston Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a broad term given to a variety of different transportation systems that, through infrastructural and scheduling improvements, attempt to use buses to provide a service that is of a higher quality than an ordinary bus line. ... TheBus, established by Mayor Frank Fasi, is Honolulus only public transit system. ... This article is about light rail systems in general. ...


Subway

Subway used in a transit sense refers to either a rapid transit system or (rarely) a light rail/streetcar system that goes underground. The term may refer only to the underground parts of the system, or to the full system. Metro redirects here. ... This article is about light rail systems in general. ... a historic postcard showing electric trolley-powered streetcars in Richmond, Virginia, where Frank J. Sprague successfully demonstrated his new system on the hills in 1888 A streetcar is a railway vehicle designed to carry passengers on tracks, usually laid in city streets. ...


Subway is most commonly used in the United States and some parts of Canada, though the term is also used elsewhere, such as to describe the subway line in Glasgow, Scotland and in translation of system names or descriptions in some Asian cities into English. A train arrives at West Street station. ... For other uses, see Glasgow (disambiguation). ... Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (English: No one provokes me with impunity) Scotlands location within Europe Scotlands location within the United Kingdom Languages English, Gaelic, Scots Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area - Total - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ... Asia is the largest and most populous region or continent depending on the definition. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Some lines described as subway use light rail equipment. Notably, the Newark City Subway and Boston's Green Line, each about half underground, originated from fully surface streetcar lines. Sometimes the term is qualified, such as in Philadelphia, where trolleys operate in an actual subway for part of their route and on city streets for the remainder. This is locally styled subway-surface. This article is about light rail systems in general. ... PCC car at Newark Penn Station in 2001 The Newark City Subway (NCS) in Newark, New Jersey is operated by New Jersey Transit. ... The Green Line is one of the four MBTA subway lines in the Boston, Massachusetts metro area. ... a historic postcard showing electric trolley-powered streetcars in Richmond, Virginia, where Frank J. Sprague successfully demonstrated his new system on the hills in 1888 A streetcar is a railway vehicle designed to carry passengers on tracks, usually laid in city streets. ... Philadelphia is a village located in Jefferson County, New York. ... A panorama of Sydney, Australia at night. ... Mike Skinner aka The Streets (born 27 November 1978) is a chav, a rapper and musician from Birmingham, England. ... Philadelphia Subway-Surface Trolley Lines map ©SEPTA 2004 There are five subway-surface lines within the SEPTA system. ...


In some cities where subway is used, it refers to the entire system; in others, only to the portions that actually are underground. Naming practices often select one type of placement in a system where several are used; there are many subways with above-ground components, and on the other hand, the Vancouver SkyTrain and Chicago `L' include underground sections. The platform at Metrotown Station in Burnaby is one of the busiest in the SkyTrain system. ... A westbound Chicago L train crosses the south fork of the Chicago River The Chicago L (short for Chicago Elevated) is an urban rapid transit metro serving Chicago and eight of its adjacent suburbs. ...


Interestingly, when the Boston subway was originally built, the subway label was only used for sections into which streetcars operated, and the rapid transit sections were called tunnels. Also, in some countries, subway refers to systems built under roads (such as the Glasgow Subway or London's Metropolitan Line) and the informal term tube is used for the deep-underground tunnelled systems (such as London's Piccadilly Line) - in this usage, somewhat technical nowadays and not used much in London, underground is regardless the general term for both types of system. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is a quasi-governmental organization formed in 1964 that controls the subway, bus, commuter rail, and ferry systems in the Boston, Massachusetts area. ... a historic postcard showing electric trolley-powered streetcars in Richmond, Virginia, where Frank J. Sprague successfully demonstrated his new system on the hills in 1888 A streetcar is a railway vehicle designed to carry passengers on tracks, usually laid in city streets. ... A train arrives at West Street station. ... The Metropolitan Line is part of the London Underground. ... The Piccadilly Line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. ...


Bus subways are uncommon but do exist, though in these cases the non-underground portions of route are not called subways. Seattle, Washington has a bus subway downtown, in which dual-mode trolleybuses can operate on overhead wires when in the subway and via internal combustion when outdoors. Bus subways are sometimes built to provide an exclusive right-of-way for bus rapid transit lines, such as the MBTA Silver Line in Boston. These are usually called by the term bus rapid transit. TheBus, established by Mayor Frank Fasi, is Honolulus only public transit system. ... For the Suquamish chief, see Chief Seattle. ... Pioneer Square Station The Metro Bus Tunnel, also referred to as the (Downtown) Seattle Transit Tunnel is a 1. ... An internal combustion engine is an engine that is powered by the expansion of hot combustion products of fuel directly acting within an engine. ... Silver Line in Boston Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a broad term given to a variety of different transportation systems that, through infrastructural and scheduling improvements, attempt to use buses to provide a service that is of a higher quality than an ordinary bus line. ... Map The Silver Line is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authoritys (MBTAs) sole Bus Rapid Transit line, running in two, unconnected sections, from Dudley Square in Roxbury to downtown Boston, Massachusetts and from South Station to several points in South Boston and to Logan Airport in East Boston. ... Silver Line in Boston Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a broad term given to a variety of different transportation systems that, through infrastructural and scheduling improvements, attempt to use buses to provide a service that is of a higher quality than an ordinary bus line. ...


Underground and metro

The usage of underground is very similar to that of subway, describing an underground system. Similarly, metro usually refers to rapid transit. Underground as an adjective commonly refers to something that is either below the ground or outside of public consciousness. ... Metro may be: Relating to transport: Metro: a general term for a high-frequency urban public transport railway, synonymous with rapid transit, subway, or underground; from metropolitan railway A specific public transport system that style itself metro (e. ... Metro redirects here. ...


Many Germanic languages use the term U-Bahn, meaning underground railway, while many others use metro. In London, the word metro most commonly refers not to the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway, but to frequent suburban National Rail train services. Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Germanic languages form one of the branches of the Indo-European (IE) language family, spoken by the Germanic peoples who settled in northern Europe along the borders of the Roman Empire. ... For other uses, see London (disambiguation) and Defining London (below). ... The Tube redirects here. ... The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is a light-rail public transport metro for the redeveloped Docklands area of eastern London, England. ... A Connex commuter train stands by the platform in Melbourne, Australia Regional rail systems, or commuter rail systems, usually provide a rail service through a central business district area into suburbs or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a daily basis. ... National Rail uses the BR double-arrow logo National Rail is a brand name of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). ...


The Brussels Metro has three traditional rapid transit lines and two premetro lines which run trolleys but have enough width to be eventually converted to the bigger metro standards if the traffic warrants it. Map of the Brussels metro system A station in the Brussels Metro Brussels, Belgium, has a metro network with three lines of metro (two of which share a common section), two lines of premetro (underground sections used by otherwise open-air tramway lines and designed so as to be convertible...


Elevated

Elevated is a shortened form of elevated railway, a railway built on supports over other rights of way, generally city streets. They are also called els.

The Liverpool Overhead Railway opened the February 4, 1893. ...

At-grade urban rail transit

Streetcar

The U.S. term streetcar is generic to most forms of common carrier rail transit that runs or has run on streets, providing a local service and picking up and discharging passengers at any street corner, unless otherwise marked. A common carrier is an organization that transports a product or service using its facilities, or those of other carriers, and offers its services to the general public. ... track Rail tracks are used on railways (or railroads), which, together with railroad switches (or points), guide trains without the need for steering. ... In the United States of America, transit describes local area common carrier passenger transportation configured to provide scheduled service on fixed routes on a non-reservation basis. ...


More specific terms for some streetcar technologies include horsecar, trolley and cable car. A horsecar was an animal-powered streetcar (or tram). ... This article refers to the mass transit vehicle running on rails. ... Cable car can mean: a street railway system using a cable in the road to pull the cars along; see cable car (railway). ...


In the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire, the term streetcar is used allegorically to refer to Blanche duBois' promiscuousness and inability to form permanent relationships, as in the sarcastic phrase: "Men (or women) are like streetcars. There'll be another one along any minute." There was actually a streetcar line in New Orleans named Desire Street and simply signed Desire. It is mentioned in the book and an actual New Orleans streetcar with that signage is seen at the beginning of the Marlon Brando-Vivien Leigh film. Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), better known by the pen name Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright and one of the prominent playwriters in the twentieth century. ... A Streetcar Named Desire is a famous American play written by Tennessee Williams. ... An allegory (from Greek αλλος, allos, other, and αγορευειν, agoreuein, to speak in public) is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than and in addition to the literal. ... Promiscuity is the practice of making relatively unselective, casual and indiscriminate choices. ... Sarcasm is sneering, jesting, or mocking a person, situation or thing. ... Marlon Brando, Jr. ... Vivien Leigh photographed in 1958 Vivien Leigh (November 5, 1913 – July 8, 1967) was an English actress who achieved outstanding success in theatre and cinema. ... This article is about motion pictures. ...


Tram

The name tram is from Low German traam, meaning the "beam (of a wheelbarrow)", although some sources claim inaccurately that it is derived from the name of engineer Benjamin Outram. It is typically used in Europe to describe any [whatever we decide to call stuff below rapid transit] system. Low German (also called Plattdeutsch, Plattdüütsch or Low Saxon) is a name for the regional language varieties of the Low Germanic languages spoken mainly in northern Germany, southern Denmark and eastern Netherlands. ... A common wheelbarrow Older wheelbarrow A wheelbarrow is a small one or two-wheeled cart designed to be pushed by a single person using two handles to the rear. ... Benjamin Outram (1 April 1764 - 22 May 1805) was an English civil engineer. ... Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one. ...


In the U.S. the word tram frequently refers to a tourist bus with the appearance of a heritage streetcar, cable car, or rubber-tired people-mover. They are frequently used for parking lot shuttles at theme parks and major events or transportation within theme parks. Trolley can sometimes carry similar meaning, as in the RiverCity Trolley in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The use of the term trolley for trams and light rail vehicles is derived from the trolley pole and connected trolley wheel that was used as an electric current pickup in early systems. The United States of America — also referred to as the United States, the U.S.A., the U.S., America, the States, or (archaically) Columbia—is a federal republic of 50 states located primarily in central North America (with the exception of two states: Alaska and Hawaii). ... A tourist boat travels the River Seine in Paris, France Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act. ... TheBus, established by Mayor Frank Fasi, is Honolulus only public transit system. ... A scene on a heritage railway. ... Cable car can mean: a street railway system using a cable in the road to pull the cars along; see cable car (railway). ... This article refers to the mass transit vehicle running on rails. ... Nickname: City of Lakes Motto: En Avant Official website: http://www. ... Trolley poles are usually tapered cylindrical poles of wood or metal, used to transfer electricity from a live overhead wire to the control and propulsion equipment of a trolley car, tram or trolley bus. ...


Interurban

In the U.S., interurban refers to a higher-speed rural streetcar line. Interurbans are all but gone, with two of the remaining (Norristown High Speed Line, IRT Dyre Avenue Line) having been upgraded to rapid transit specifications. The South Shore Line, which runs from Chicago's Randolph Street Terminal to South Bend, Indiana, has been converted to modern electric rapid-transit operation on the dense corridor between Chicago and Gary, Indiana but still runs essentially as an interurban through several small towns between Gary and South Bend. For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... Interurban was the name used to describe a streetcar line connecting urban areas, primarily during the early 1900s. ... Rural area in Dalarna, Sweden Sheep eating grass in rural Australia Rural areas are sparsely settled places away from the influence of large cities and towns. ... The Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL), operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority as Route 100 of the Suburban Transit Division, is a hybrid between light rail and rapid transit operating between Norristown Transportation Center and 69th Street Terminal, running entirely on its own right of way, inherited from the... The Dyre Avenue Line is a rapid transit line of the New York City Subway, as part of the IRT division. ... Metro redirects here. ... The Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad (CSS&SB, reporting mark CSS) (more commonly known as the South Shore Line) was an electric-powered interurban passenger railroad which operated between downtown Chicago, Illinois and suburban areas along the south shore of Lake Michigan in Illinois and northern Indiana. ... Chicago (officially named the City of Chicago) is the third largest city in the United States (after New York City and Los Angeles), with an official population of 2,896,016, as of the 2000 census. ... The Randolph Street Terminal (sometimes called the Randolph Street Station or the Randolph-South Water Street Station) is a major commuter rail terminal in downtown Chicago that serves the Metra Electric Lines to University Park, Blue Island, and South Chicago; and the South Shore Line to South Bend, Indiana. ... South Bend is a city located in St. ... Gary is the largest city located in Lake County in northwest Indiana, USA, near the city of Chicago. ...


Interurbans sometimes used freight railways rather than building their own track.


In Australia, intercity refers to long distance commuter trains such as the routes between Newcastle and Sydney, or between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. These do not have the features of "intercity trains" in other parts of the world, such as booked seats and meal services, but are bare commuter trains. They are properly called interurban rather than intercity, although CityRail refers to its interurban services as "intercity" trains. The Gold Coast (Robina) railway line is an interurban railway line in Queensland, Australia connecting Brisbane with the Gold Coast. ... CityRail is the name of the extensive system of urban, suburban and interurban passenger railways based on metropolitan Sydney, the capital city of the State of New South Wales, Australia. ...


Light rail

Light rail is a term coined in the 1970s during the re-emergence of streetcars/trams. In general, it refers to streetcar/tram systems with rapid transit-style features. It is named to distinguish it from heavy rail, which refers to rapid transit systems as well as heavier regional rail/intercity rail. This article is about light rail systems in general. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... This article is about light rail systems in general. ... A modern tram in the Töölö district of Helsinki, Finland A tram (or tramway, trolley, streetcar, tramcar, Straßenbahn) is a railborne vehicle (lighter than a train) for transport of passengers (or, occasionally, freight). ... The term heavy rail is often used for regular railways, to distinguish from systems such as trams/light rail and metro. ... Metro redirects here. ... A Connex commuter train stands by the platform in Melbourne, Australia Regional rail systems, or commuter rail systems, usually provide a rail service through a central business district area into suburbs or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a daily basis. ... Inter-city rail services are train services which cover larger distances than commuter trains. ...


A few systems such as people movers and personal rapid transit could be considered as even "lighter", at least in terms of how many passengers are moved per vehicle and the speed at which they travel. Monorails are a separate technology. A people mover is a fully-automated light rail or tram system. ... Promotional photo of SkyWeb Express system (previously known as Taxi 2000) Personal rapid transit (PRT) is a category of proposed public transport modes designed to offer automated on-demand non-stop transportation between any two points on a network of specially built guideways. ... The KL Monorail in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a modern straddle-beam monorail A monorail is a transit system, resembling a metro or railroad with a track consisting of a beam (guideway), not a single rail as is commoly thought, as opposed to the traditional track with two parallel rails. ...


Light rail systems can typically handle steeper inclines than heavy rail, and curves sharp enough to fit within street intersections. They are typically built in urban areas, providing frequent service with multiple-unit trains or single cars. Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with full length parallel tracks A funicular, also called funicular railway or inclined railway, inclined plane, or in England a cliff railway, consists of a system of transportation in which cables attach to a tram-like vehicle on rails to move it up and down a... In mathematics, the concept of a curve tries to capture the intuitive idea of a geometrical one-dimensional and continuous object. ... The term intersection can mean: a road junction, where two roads intersect each other, such as a roundabout intersection; in mathematics, the set in which two or more other sets intersect each other; see intersection (set theory); a movie; see Intersection (movie). ... Urban area is a term used to define an area where there is an increased density of man-made structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. ... Multiple-unit train control sometimes referred to simply as multiple-unit or MU, is a method of simultaneously controlling all the motors in a train including a number of self-powered cars from a single operating location. ...


The most difficult distinction to draw is that between light rail and streetcar/tram systems. There is a significant amount of overlap between the technologies, and it is common to classify streetcars/trams as a subtype of light rail rather than as a distinct type of transportation. The two general versions are: a historic postcard showing electric trolley-powered streetcars in Richmond, Virginia, where Frank J. Sprague successfully demonstrated his new system on the hills in 1888 A streetcar is a railway vehicle designed to carry passengers on tracks, usually laid in city streets. ... Luas - tram system in Dublin, Ireland Volkswagen Cargo-Tram in Dresden on a section of grassed track. ...

  1. The traditional type, where the tracks and trains run along the streets and share space with road traffic. Stops tend to be frequent, and little effort is made to set up special stations. Because space is shared, the tracks are usually visually unobtrusive.
  2. A more modern variation, where the trains tend to run along their own right-of-way and are often separated from road traffic. Stops are generally less frequent, and the vehicles are often boarded from a platform. Tracks are highly visible, and in some cases significant effort is expended to keep traffic away through the use of special signaling, and even grade crossings with gate arms.
At the highest degree of separation, it can be difficult or impossible to draw the line between light rail and rapid transit, as in the case of London's Docklands Light Railway, which would likely not be called light rail were it not for the contrast between it and the London Underground.

Many light rail systems — even fairly old ones — have a combination of the two, with both on-road and off-road sections. In some countries, only the latter is described as light rail. In those places, trams running on mixed right of way are not regarded as light rail, but considered distinctly as streetcars or trams. However, the requirement for saying that a rail line is "separated" can be quite minimal — sometimes just with concrete "buttons" to discourage automobile drivers from getting onto the tracks. A right-of-way is an easement or strip of land granted to a railroad company upon which to build a railroad. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Metro redirects here. ... For other uses, see London (disambiguation) and Defining London (below). ... The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is a light-rail public transport metro for the redeveloped Docklands area of eastern London, England. ... The Tube redirects here. ... Luas - tram system in Dublin, Ireland Volkswagen Cargo-Tram in Dresden on a section of grassed track. ... The orange markers seperate opposing traffic lanes. ... An automobile is a wheeled vehicle that carries its own motor. ...


There is a significant difference in cost between these different classes of light rail transit. The traditional style is often less expensive by a factor of two or more. Despite the increased cost, the more modern variation (which can be considered as "heavier" than old streetcar systems, even though it's called light rail) is the dominant form of new urban rail transit in the United States. The Federal Transit Administration helps to fund many projects, but as of 2004, the rules to determine which projects will be funded are biased against the simpler streetcar systems (partly because the vehicles tend to be somewhat slower). Some places in the country have set about building the less expensive streetcar lines themselves or with only minimal federal support. Most of these lines have been "heritage" railways, using refurbished or replica streetcars harkening back to the first half of the 20th century. However, a few, such as the Portland Streetcar, use modern vehicles. There is a growing desire to push the Federal Transit Administartion to help fund these startup lines as well. Urban rail transit is an all-encompassing term for various types of local rail systems serving urban or older suburban areas. ... The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) within the U.S. Department of Transportation provides financial and technical assistance to the local transit systems. ... It has been designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) 2004 World Health Day topic was Road Safety (by World Health Organization) Year of the Monkey (by the Chinese calendar) See the world in... A scene on a heritage railway. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... A streetcar at the corner of SW 11th and Alder. ...


Light rail is generally powered by electricity, usually by means of overhead wires, but sometimes by a live rail, also called third rail (a high voltage bar alongside the track), requiring safety measures and warnings to the public not to touch it. In some cases, particularly when initial funds are limited, diesel-powered versions have been used, but it is not a preferred option. Some systems, such as AirTrain JFK in New York City, are automatic, dispensing with the need for a driver; however, such systems are not what is generally thought of as light rail, crossing over into rapid transit. Automatic operation is more common in smaller people mover systems than in light rail systems, where the possibility of grade crossings and street running make driverless operation of the latter inappropriate. An electric multiple unit pulling into Tile Hill station; Coventry, England. ... Third rail at Bostons South Station A third rail is a method of providing electricity to power a railroad, typically a mass transit system. ... Diesel or Diesel fuel is a specific fractional distillate of fuel oil (mostly petroleum) that is used as fuel in a diesel engine invented by German engineer Rudolf Diesel. ... AirTrain JFK is a 13 km (8. ... Metro redirects here. ... A people mover is a fully-automated light rail or tram system. ...


Heavy rail

Heavy rail sometimes refers to rapid transit, but sometimes refers to regional rail (also known as "commuter rail") and intercity rail. The term heavy rail is often used for regular railways, to distinguish from systems such as trams/light rail and metro. ... Metro redirects here. ... A Connex commuter train stands by the platform in Melbourne, Australia Regional rail systems, or commuter rail systems, usually provide a rail service through a central business district area into suburbs or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a daily basis. ... Inter-city rail services are train services which cover larger distances than commuter trains. ...


Regional rail and Commuter rail

See Regional rail. A Connex commuter train stands by the platform in Melbourne, Australia Regional rail systems, or commuter rail systems, usually provide a rail service through a central business district area into suburbs or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a daily basis. ...


Suburban rail

Intercity rail


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