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Subways and Urban Transport Metros, subways, light rail, trams, buses and other local transport systems



View Poll Results: Which is your favourite and why?
Subway 22 45.83%
S-bahn(commuter) 3 6.25%
Light-Rail 11 22.92%
Tram 9 18.75%
I prefer the good old bus 1 2.08%
I prefer the car 2 4.17%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 21st, 2005, 05:35 PM   #1
beta29
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subway vs. S-Bahn vs. Light Rail vs. Tram

Which is your favourite and why?
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Old May 21st, 2005, 06:39 PM   #2
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Each transport mode has it's advantages and disadvantages and each one is best suited for certain situations. A metro/subway is best for mass transportation on relatively large distances in a dense city, while a tram is better for short distances in a city, etcetera.

Personally I always prefer to ride a tram or light rail... rather slow, but in many cities it is a good way to see the city.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 06:39 PM   #3
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I would have to say light rail, since I have grown up with it and using it everyday. But in Calgary we do have a very good light rail system so that may hold some bias.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:39 PM   #4
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What exactly is the difference between "Light Rail" and "Tram"? I thought Light Rail is a more general term to describe rail vehicles that are "light" in nature. They can be operated in surface streets, tunnels and elevated guideways. While Tram is just street surface. Correct?
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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:50 PM   #5
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Germany's combination of S- and U-bahns is unstoppable in terms of coverage.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 10:33 PM   #6
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I was once a daily commuter on Boston's MBTA. Part of my commute was on the Green Line light rail system and part was on the Red Line subway. There was just no comparison. In terms of speed, comfort, and frequency of service, the subway was far superior.

Light rail is targeted toward communities that do not have adequate population density to support heavy rail/subway. This invariably means that light rail service is less frequent and that a lighter level of engineering is used (grade crossings rather than bridges or tunnels). As a consequence, it is unfair to compare the two types of systems.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
What exactly is the difference between "Light Rail" and "Tram"? I thought Light Rail is a more general term to describe rail vehicles that are "light" in nature. They can be operated in surface streets, tunnels and elevated guideways. While Tram is just street surface. Correct?
This is a question that has been covered in many threads on SSC, and the answer is that there is no answer... defenitions differ from country to country.

In my opinion the defenition that makes sense in most countries: trams are the more traditional transport mode, running mostly on city streets. Light rail is much like a tram, but runs mostly on its right of way, has higher speeds, level boarding (either through elevated platforms or through low floor vehicles) and sometimes runs on mainline (heavy) railways. Examples include Stadtbahn networks in Germany and many new light rail networks in the US.

But your mileage may vary, according to whom you ask.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 11:55 PM   #8
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I prefer traveling by car or on foot. But as far as city's public transportation is concerned I belive subway + tram system is the best

In Zagreb, where I live there is a tram sytem and a rail system. Subway construction is still in planning.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 02:18 AM   #9
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U-Bahn + S-Bahn <-- That's what I prefer!
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 07:42 PM   #10
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Metro for me! It's fast, reliable, safe, clean, modern, with many km(in Madrid at least)...
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertigo
Each transport mode has it's advantages and disadvantages and each one is best suited for certain situations. A metro/subway is best for mass transportation on relatively large distances in a dense city, while a tram is better for short distances in a city, etcetera.

Personally I always prefer to ride a tram or light rail... rather slow, but in many cities it is a good way to see the city.
Exactly.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 08:20 PM   #12
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In Hamburg, the U-Bahn (metro) and the S-Bahn (short distance commuter rail) are nearly the same. But I prefer the U-Bahn (which is in Hamburg in most cases an elevated rail), because of the higher frequency.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 08:29 AM   #13
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The S-bahn is only one type of commuter travel, and shouldn't be thought of as just commuter rail.

S-bahns typically travel shorter distances for commuting than other commuter rail. Generally, trains stop at all stations and often the line doesn't terminate in the city or main train station, but travels underground (or elevated) through the city and out the other end to continue in the suburbs - this makes the S-bahn similar to the Paris RER.

In German cities (like in Paris) there is another level of commuter rail based on the R-bahn (regional trains). These also operate between cities, but when entering a metropolitan belt, they are used as express commuter trains - that is, they don't stop at all stations, and usually terminate at the main station of the central city.

Many other country's have similar systems to the S-bahn, or a hybred R-bahn & S-bahn (i.e. some trains stop at all stations, whilst other "expresses" only at main stations)
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 12:02 PM   #14
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So S Bahns would be similar to Thames Link 2000 scheme in London then?
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 12:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishman
So S Bahns would be similar to Thames Link 2000 scheme in London then?
Yes and No. The similarities is that Thameslink crosses through the city (underground) and continues out the other side.

However, I don’t know if the frequencies of the Thameslink service are as good. Generally, most S-bahn’s have an absolute minimum of 2 trains an hour off-peak, and of cause in bundled lines this is much better.

What is Thameslink’s min. frequencies off peak?

Another thing is that Thameslink seems to be longer than the average S-bahn lines. Usually S-bahns stop at every station, and are not very long.

It appears to me that the Thameslink is actually a hybrid of S-bahn and R-bahn. In other words, similar to what you find in Sydney.

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Old May 23rd, 2005, 12:42 PM   #16
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I like Adelaide's O-Bahn system (Busway), but the great thing about this is that the buses run on special tracks that only buses and emergency vehicles can drive on(They have special secondary wheels which are positioned to glide along the tracks). They also travel at quite high speeds.

Brisbane has a busway network as well, except these are just normal roads which are set aside for buses. The South-East busway goes about 35Km from the CBD and the Inner Northern Busway goes about 7Km north. There is a northern busway planned as well as an Eastern Busway, which would cross the Green Bridge(A bridge which will only carry buses, pedestrians and cyclists) to the University of Queensland(The second busiest centre of activity in Brisbane). The busway network will eventually have routes over 100Km in total in all directions.

The best thing about busways is that they are much more accessible than train lines. i.e. buses can then travel off the busway into other areas. Also, on the Brisbane busways, if buses brake down, they can be overtaken so that other buses can continue along the route.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 12:51 PM   #17
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Thameslink goes a lot further than an S-bahn, also when inside the city it misses out some of the smaller stations which would make it more "R-bahn"
im not sure about the frequencies, when i travelled on it it seemed like a train every 30 mins
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 01:28 PM   #18
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Subway/ el
-----------
Apart from the fact I'm a railfan, heavy rail/Subways are and will be the most effiecient and quickest mode of transport in any large city.
Each system always sems to have it's own vibe and culture behind it, which makes riding a whole lot more interesting than some sterile Light Rail system.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 07:05 PM   #19
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METRO!!

Check:
www.urbanrail.net
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 08:16 PM   #20
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I like Subways and Lightrail for Public transportation while freeway travel is great personal transportation. '

For running errands I prefer taking a car and for doing things like going to the Airport or a Convention Center I'd perfer LightRail or the Subway.
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