Railroads Commuter and Passenger Terms to Know
There are many different travel options to choose from. Railroad systems can provide affordable and convenient transportation. Some railroads cater to different types of trips, though. Some systems offer wide coverage, while most others are designed for more local travel. Following are some basic terms that will help you determine which railway is best for you.
Elevated Railway – Elevated railways, or overheads, are trains that operate above ground. Their tracks are typically suspended above city streets. This setup allows for a more direct, and often quicker, trip.
Metro – The term metro is short for metropolitan railway. These electric railroad systems exist in highly populated areas where commuter traffic is consistently high. Metro systems operate entirely separate from roads and other modes of transportation.
Rapid Transit – Rapid transit systems are electric and operate entirely separate from roads and other modes of transportation. Because of this separation, rapid transit systems are able to reach greater speeds, allowing faster travel for passengers. Rapid transit systems are not necessarily limited to a single city.
Subway – Subways are often rapid transit systems, though in some locations this term may refer to a more traditional train. Subways, at least at some point during their route, run underground. In other countries, most notably England, the term underground or tube may be used rather than subway.
Streetcar – Streetcars, often called trams or trolleys, operate mostly or entirely on preexisting roadways. Like public buses, streetcars have predetermined travel routes, and they pick up and drop off passengers at designated stops. These commuter vehicles were originally pulled by horses, though they now run on electricity.