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What Does Light Rail Mean?

Both in Europe and North America, there are a number of different types of rail systems. The new Transoft rail software is designed for all the different kinds of tracks with a focus on light rail. Light Rail trains are designed to be people-movers, carrying commuters primarily on above-ground tracks to and from the city center quickly and cost-effectively.

According to Wikipedia, the Transportation Research Board defined “light rail” as: “a mode of urban transportation utilizing predominantly reserved but not necessarily grade-separated rights-of-way. Electrically propelled rail vehicles operate singly or in trains. LRT provides a wide range of passenger capabilities and performance characteristics at moderate costs.”

  • Light Rail Transit (LRT) is made up of modern, electricity-powered Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) that carry passengers in dedicated lanes, separated from motor vehicle traffic.
  • LRT is growing in popularity for major cities around the world as it provides significant transit capacity without the expense of and density needed for subway systems.
  • Modern LRT vehicles are fully accessible for wheel-chairs, strollers, and shopping carts, as well as faster boarding through multiple doors.
  • Modern LRT vehicles carry more than twice as many passengers as buses and can be paired together into “trains” to increase capacity.
  • Heavy rail or subway systems like New York or San Francisco which cover a use heavier grade track and go below ground.
  • Heavy rail systems feature larger cars and travel at faster speeds than light rail transit.

Light rail systems require large investments in infrastructure at the beginning and those investments are recouped over time through a combination of government assistance and passenger fare collection. Once established, the systems are largely self-sufficient.