Articulated Rail Cars – Transit 101

This is an articulated tram. Notice the small centre car supports the two outer bodies. This configuration is sometimes called, "two rooms & a bath".

So boys and girls, lesson for today; what is an articulated car?


Articulated cars are rail vehicles which consist of a number of cars which are semi-permanently attached to each other and share common Jacobs bogies or axles and/or have car elements without axles suspended by the neighbouring car elements. They are much longer than single passenger cars. Because of the difficulty and cost of separating each car from the next, they are operated as a single unit, often called a trainset.

The difference between an articulated tram and a Bombardier ART Innovia/Movia car is that in an articulated tram, on truck or bogie supports two bodies. With the ART Innovia/Movia cars, the body is supported by two trucks.

Another version of an articulated tram, where one body section is supported by the two adjacent body sections, with their own trucks or bogies.

A Bombardier built ART innovia/Movia light metro car as used in Vancouver.

The non articulated Innovia/Movia light metro car. Notice that each body section is supported by two truck or bogies.


2 Responses to “Articulated Rail Cars – Transit 101”
  1. Paul says:

    There is two types of articulation. Both types bend at the joint. The top picture has 2 joints, the bottom picture has just 1 joint.

    Zwei replies: Again, the ART SkyTrain cars are not articulated, just coupled into married pairs. Each car is supported by two trucks/bogies.

    You had best reread the article, as it easily illustrates what is an articulated car.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Guys and gals, in 2017, I went to the UITP (International Association of Publtc Transport Authorities) convention in Montreal. This is the largest public transit convention in the world, it was also cohosted by CUTA and the APTA. It is held every second year and this was only the second time a Canadian City has hosted it, Toronto hosted it in 1999. At last year’s convention I went to the Bombardier exhibit, 12 different train types were on display. On display was a full sized mock up of one of Vancouver’s new 4 section Skytrains. In Bombardier’s own display material was the term, “Open Gangways”, they even mentioned that the vehicle you have probably already ridden in today was “gangwayed not articulated”! Now, if Bombardier the company that built them believes it is gangwayed not articulated, the point is settled. If you don’t believe me ask Bombardier yourself!

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