Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - track, infrastructure - rolling stock, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, place - europe, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - tram/light rail


Waiting time, Transfers, Tram-train, Tracks, Streetcars, Signalling, Signaling, Rolling stock, Railroad tracks, Railroad rails, Rail (Railroads), Passenger access, Mobility, Light rail transit, Gauge (Railroads), Gage (Rails), Europe


In response to the demand for improved mobility in metropolitan areas, the 1990s saw the development of a new transport system in Europe known as the tram-train. This system is based on using conventional railway lines with a low traffic density to extend urban tram (streetcar) or light rail services without changing vehicles, incorporating them into railway traffic. The tram-train enables a wider range and scope of direct transport services and reduces waiting and transfer time. The operation of light rail vehicles on conventional railway infrastructure requires the solution of numerous technical issues, such as traction power supply system, rolling stock design, gage compatibility, tire and rail profile, structural strength, passenger access, and signaling. Such problems are described and their solution by services now operating, or in advanced planning stages, worldwide is discussed.