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Table 1.

6  Main technical and operational characteristics of passenger railway transport systems


Technical and Suburban/
operational High-speed Conventional urban/ Cog railway (pure
characteristics interurban rail interurban rail regional rail Metro Tramway Monorail rack system) Funicular
Route length >300 >150 10–30/30– 10–30 5–20 1.5–12 4–20 (Max 19.09, Usually <1.2
(km) 50/50–150 usually 4.5–6) (Max 4.827)
Track gauge Normal Broad All gauges All gauges Normal Metric Normal Metric Beam of 2.30– All gauges Various gauges
3.0 m width (usually metric) (usually metric)
Number of Double Double Double Double Double Usually 2 beams Usually single Single with passing
tracks Single (suburban/ at sufficient loop. Double with
urban rail) distance or without passing
loop
34  Railway Transportation Systems

Traction Electric Electric Usually Electric Electric (over- Electric motors Usually electric Via pulled electric
system Diesel electric head wires, setting a system Diesel cables placed on
through the of rubber tyred Bio-diesel the track super-
ground, with wheels to roll Steam structure
energy storage (Nondetachable
systems) vehicles – coun-
terbalance system)
Distance Large distance Normally 1 Normally 500–1,000 400–600 800–1,500 Rarely, 1–2 Without intermedi-
between (normally 1 station every 2,000–3,000 intermediate ate stops
successive station every 75 km (suburban) stations 1–2 stops located
stops (m) 200 km) antisymmetrically
for the two
running vehicles
Commercial ≥150 <150 >45–50/50– 30–40 15–25 20–40 7.5–20 Usually <20
speed (km/h) 60/60–80 (5.5–50)
Longitudinal 0–4 0–3.5 0–3.5 0–5 0–8 0–10 (Max 20) >5 (Maximum  > 10 (Max120,
gradient (%) 48, usually usually 30–50)
20–25)
Frequency Depending on Depending on <60 min <15 min <20 min 5–15 min <20 min 3–15 min Depending on Frequent services
(Headway) demand demand (suburban: 2–8 min Min Min headway: Min headway: demand depending on
10–30 min headway: 90 sec 60 sec length of trip
Min headway: 60 sec
90 sec)
(Continued)
Table 1.6 (Continued)  Main technical and operational characteristics of passenger railway transport systems
Technical and Suburban/
operational High-speed Conventional urban/regional Cog railway (pure 
characteristics interurban rail interurban rail rail Metro Tramway Monorail rack system) Funicular
Track Conventional Conventional, Conventional Usually slab Usually embed- Single beam in Conventional Conventional or
superstruc­ and/or slab CWR, UIC Slab track track ded in the orthogonal with additional slab track with
ture track. CWR, 60. pavement profile or of type cogged bar in pulleys along the
UIC 60 Preferably I from concrete the centre and length of the line
Concrete concrete or and rarely from parallel with to support cable
sleepers wooden steel the main rails
sleepers
Maximum High. Demand Demand for 60,000 45,000 15,000 Small systems: Low/medium Low transportation
transporta­ for trips passenger Without 2,000 transportation capacity
tion work between transport seasonal Large systems: capacity (500–2,000)
(passengers/ terminal between fluctuations 12,500
hour/ stations terminal High demand Compact systems:
direction) stations as for trips 4,800
well as between
intermediate intermediate
stations stops of the
route
Integration Mainly at grade Mainly at At grade and Underground At grade for the Mainly over At grade (very At grade.
relative to grade underground integration biggest part of ground rarely with Rarely underground
ground in small parts for the the route integration underground
surface biggest part sections)
of the route
Train 4–10 vehicles 4–10 vehicles 2–8 vehicle 4–10 vehicles Articulated trains Articulated trains Usually a single Usually a single car
formation Push–pull (2–6 vehicles) railcar
trains
Rolling stock EMU and MU and Usually MUs Special rolling Special rolling Special rolling Electric and Cabin vehicles (one
special loco-hauled stock stock low stock diesel railcars ascending, one
loco-hauled trains (usually) height descending)
trains floor
(Continued)
The railway as a transport system  35
Table 1.6 (Continued)  Main technical and operational characteristics of passenger railway transport systems
Technical and Suburban/
operational High-speed Conventional urban/regional Cog railway (pure 
characteristics interurban rail interurban rail rail Metro Tramway Monorail rack system) Funicular
Signalling Cab signalling Electric side/ Electric side/ Cab signalling Electric side – Usually –
Automated cab signalling/ signaling mechanical
train Automatic signalling
protection train
system protection
system
Level Prohibited Permitted Automatic Nonexistent Mandatory Nonexistent Permitted Nonexistent
crossings barriers with
warning light
36  Railway Transportation Systems

and sound
signals
Environment Interurban Interurban Suburban Urban Urban Urban. Connec­ Mountain Tourist connections,
Periurban tions in recre- Rarely urban. urban connections
Regional ational parks and Connecting with great altitude
zoos. Connection locations with differences
of airports with great altitude
city centres difference
Maximum 200–320(350) <200 120–160 90–100 80–90 60–90 40 (usually 50 (Constant speed,
running 15–25) usually < 20)
speed (km/h)
Imple­ 10–40 (usually 8–12 10–20 60–130 15–35 30–90 10–15 15–25
mentation 15–25) (Infra­ (Infra­ (Infra­ (Infrastructure (Infrastructure (Infrastructure (Infrastructure
cost (€ M/ (Infra­structure structure structure structure and and rolling stock, and rolling stock) only) and rolling stock)
track km) only, double only, double only, double rolling stock, double track)
track) track) track) double track
Peculiarities Very high Passenger and Very high Underground Specific Elevated perma- Steep gradient. Very steep gradient
speed.High freight trains transporta- corridor super­structure nent way Rolling stock Short-length
implementa- usually share tion capacity. High transpor- Surface integra- Specific super- with effective connection
tion cost the same Vehicles with tation tion into urban structure braking system Movement via
infrastruc- many capacity areas Panoramic view Specific cables
ture passenger Very high Very sharp superstructure Limited, low
seats implementa- horizontal curve Light vehicles transportation
tion cost radii capacity