Connected Cities Ai?? Light Rail Transit or LRT

The Cardinal has posted details on the Connected Cities project before.

Connected Cities is a European Union [EU]Ai??investigation into the question of how we can provide unrestricted but sustainable transport and mobility to cities and regions in such a way that it will strengthen their territorial cohesion and improve the quality of life of its citizens.

The link is to the Connected Cities Project showcases index:

Light Rail Transit, LRT & Tram-Trains feature highly

The following is an excerpt from theAi??showcase on Tram-Train in France, Germany & the Netherlands,

click on the link at the end of the passage

Tram-train | FranAi??ais
Regiotram | Deutsch
Light Rail | Nederlands

Tram and train used to be two entirely different public transport systems. Tram served shorter (read: urban) distances. Train served longer (read: regional) distances. But the difference between city and region has disappeared in much of Europe. The difference between tram and regional rail is blurring as well. A new generation of light rail transit vehicles can play the role of both tram and train. By doing so LRT offers an important breakthrough in the thinking on sustainable urban and regional mobility.

The Karlsruhe model

karlsruhe stadtbahn

Karlsruhe’s Stadtbahn

The German city of Karlsruhe is where it all began. In the early nineties the municipal public transport authority or KVV managed to claim the right to use a number of regional rail lines, owned by the state. The use of these regional lines enabled the rapid expansion of the local light rail network. By that time such a move was unheard of. Transport theory told that tram and train systems were incompatible. Vehicles could not cross over from the one to the other network. It were the users of these systems that had to bridge the gap. But transferring between systems meant walking, waiting and too often loosing connections. The Karlsruhe model showed that technical differences and differences in management could be overcome. It also showed that combining the two networks in one operation leads to a significant increase of its use.

The regional tram

Some have interpreted the ‘Karlsruhe Model‘ mainly as a technical advance since the Karlsruhe Stadtbahn vehicles were adjusted to both low and high voltage systems as it combined both light and heavy rail. Some saw in the Karlsruhe example evidence that an above ground light-rail system could be a preferable alternative over an underground metro or S-Bahn. But its true significance is that Karlsruhe showed there is a regional future for the tram. The ‘Karlsruhe model’ showed that a tram can successfully operate over far greater distances than the 5-10 kilometre that most textbooks considered to be the maximum.

The following URL links to an EU INTERREG report:

Light Rail & Metro Systems in Europe;

Current market, perspectives and researchAi??implications



4 Responses to “Connected Cities Ai?? Light Rail Transit or LRT”
  1. Evil Eye says:

    Excellent post!

    It certainly shows how backwards we are in METRO Vancouver and how backward our transit and transportation planners are in TransLink.

    Rail for the Valley is light years ahead with transit thinking compared to the wagon train style planning offered by TransLink and the province.

    How long has TramTrain been in the lexicon of our planners? Never – so bloody sad!

  2. Jim says:

    I’m off topic here Zwei, but what’s your take on Abbotsford’s new mayor’s fight with Southern Rail over the vye road crossing?

  3. zweisystem says:

    I have now done some reading of the issue and I am puzzled for the need of expensive flag persons. Really there is little difference between a road/rail crossing and a road/road crossing, other than the train (rail) has the right of way.

    Why not install a simple stop sigh for now? Then install crossing gates or better yet a light controlled road/rail intersection?

    The real problem is our extremely dated rules for roads and railways and both need to be upgraded for the 21st century. For car and truck drivers, a stop sign means stop and give the right of way. If you fail to stop and have a collision with a train, you are 100% at fault!

    That the City of Abbotsford is paying $500 a day for flaggers just shows how incompetent the Engineering Dept. is. Isn’t Abbotsford paying huge costs for an ice arena that sees very little use?

  4. Jim says:

    Indeed they are.

    The thing with the vye road crossing, is there is something between 2 and 4 tracks… I haven’t been there in a while, I believe it is 2 tracks and 2 pull outs or something (not a train expert), but that is where they do all of their switching, back and forth across vye road. And there are stop signs, but they tie up so much traffic when switching I’m sure people just rush through when they get a chance.

Leave A Comment