What sort of transportation should you consider using in the future? The world is full of options that people can use to be transported faster from one place to another. Here are our 7 reasons why Light Rail is the future of public transportation. It is not just a clickbait title that we made. We have discovered 7 great facts about why light rail is so important for the future of public transportation.
#1 Smaller low floor stations can give much more space
Many cities in the world have very large central train stations. Some of them are Oslo, Gothenborg, and Copenhagen to name a few cities in Northern Europe. In Oslo for example, the main station has 19 tracks. It is really a monster station that takes up huge space in the city which could have been used for something else that all of citizens would be happy about.
We think that all sorts of space should be accessible by people, so by removing rails or even roads and give it to the citizens then the town will have a very positive effect on all living in it.
With a much smaller central train station in the bigger cities around the world, the space that the old or “huge” local trains use which require a lot of space should be replaced with light rail trains that require much less of the area. This means that a big central station like the one in Oslo with 18 tracks could have 6 tracks instead and let some of the light rail trains use a new underground station just for them.
In Aarhus, Denmark they have done this and it is very effective. The platforms are long but they also support all sorts of people traveling with them. Other cities such as Kassel and Karlsruhe, Germany have light rail trains that can move on tracks for trams and for local trains both. The central stations here are half the size which is really great.
Check out this nice example of a low floor light rail station
Much fewer tracks needed! As you can see in this picture above, the new light rail system in Aarhus, Denmark makes the central station much smaller. This gives the town plenty of additional space. With perfect low floor platforms, it is easy and accessible for people to enter or exit the low floor light rail trains. – Source: Togkanalen Video on YouTube
#2 Give everyone the ability to travel
The easy accessibility affords everyone an ease of comfort from mothers with strollers and young toddlers to those with mobility issues ie: wheelchairs enabling all to travel where they wish. Everyone should have the right to be able to travel and anyone that travels should always feel safe when going from one place to another.
Light Rail wagons are made so that it is easy for anyone to enter or leave the trains. The platforms and the trains are also constructed so that they are fully compatible with each other. Light Rail trains are also more spacious than regular local trains. Because its easier to build the stations it is also cheaper for the parts needed to construct stations that are compatible with the needs of everyone that wants to travel.
Check out this nice example of a low floor light rail station
A simple station that works! The station is simplistic, yet it is very useful for all kinds of people. The old station on the left side is much longer. But not so compatible for people using strollers or a wheelchair. – Source: Lasse Dussgaard on YouTube
#3 Light Rails runs at the same speed as Local Trains
Even though the light rail trains are smaller than the usual local trains. They can run as fast as local trains. Their engine is even more powerful at starting and stopping and therefore they need less time to start and stop the trains.
So, all in all, you could say that light rail trains or even trams are all in all much better as they are much more effective. Their speeds can be as fast as regular trains, yet they are much more compatible everywhere. Its a wonder why many cities in the world still think of trams, subways, trains, and light rail systems as separate systems.
With one system that can be combined with long-distance trains and other services it helps the total city experience overall. People will be able to travel much easier. The biggest frustration that people have is when they reach a destination and you end up asking and asking what to take or even Google Maps confuses you so much that you get an unwanted headache.
Check out these light rail environment examples
Speeds at the local train level or higher! Light Rail wagons can run in slower environments in the cities. But their speeds can be as high as local trains. Also, their acceleration speed is at the level of any trams or subways. This means that these types of modern trains do a lot for the total experience. – Source: Dirk Upnmoor on YouTube
Weather doesn’t matter! When you can go directly into the city center without changing to other transit options, Light Rail makes it much easier getting you to work, shopping and home.
#4 More compatible with all kinds of design everywhere
Because of the smaller design of Light Rail trains they are more compatible with smaller stations as mentioned above and they are compatible with any type of tracks.
Light Rail wagons can be local trains, subways, run as metros or even act as a tram. They can run on their own tracks, on the streets, in tunnels and on bridges that are constructed with rail tracks. They are compatible with stations connected to central train stations, underground stations, middle avenue tram track station avenues and stations on bridges.
With interesting multi-systems such as what they use in Karlsruhe, Germany, which has been proven to work for over 20 years without any issues, Karlsruhe as a town, shows that a flexible Light Rail system is the future. They fit everywhere.
Check out these nice examples of light rail environments
Light Rail as a tram! The tracks for a light rail train can be constructed anywhere. They can run as long as the rails and curves are constructed so that the light rail wagons can handle them. In this example above, you can see a stretch in Kassel (Germany) that is compatible with both light rail trains and trams.
Both of the trams and light rail trains can use the same tracks which means that this is a very efficient public transport system. – Source: Dirk Upmnoor on YouTube
Same light rail train on railway tracks! They are also compatible with rail tracks. They can run on both tramway type of tracks and normal train tracks. This makes them capable of being the ultimate public transportation choice. Source: Dirk Upmnoor on YouTube
#5 Flexibility Light Rail trams are a huge Advantage for cities
Most of the Light Rail companies that construct the trains today make low-floor light rail trains that are module based. This means that each city can configure the length of the wagons depending on what type of traffic they have.
In some of the cities, they want short trains, while in others they want longer ones. If the light rail/tram network is nicely built you can configure the lengths of the light rail wagons. In Budapest, Hungary 55cm long trams run on their streets but the tram network is really well made in only a very few places where the trams share traffic with the cars.
Light Rail wagons can be as long as any local train or metro train. They can also have the same amount of passengers if configured correctly. Just visit Porto in Portugal and you see a system that many other cities should follow.
Check out these nice examples of light rail lengths
The flexibility of the length is important! All sorts of light rail trains can have various lengths. Here is a nice example of the world’s longest trams in the world. You can see them in Budapest, Hungary. – Source: Michal Bergseth at Distrita
The light rail lengths have no limits! These types of trains can be as long as any local train, metro or underground. Even the longest buses can’t compare to them at all. If the tracks are built in a smart way where the tracks don’t collide with car and bus traffic your travel experience in the city will be a pleasant one. – Source: Michal Bergseth at Distrita
#6 Light Rail can be very good replacements for local trains
They can run as fast as local trains. Light rail trains don’t need a central station because of their size. They can run on the same level as cars and buses, run underground and bridges. They are all in all more flexible for all types of traffic in your city and they are compatible with all sorts of people.
By using a light rail there is no need for using stairs on old local trains. Also, they can be much better at handling curves which makes the comfort of travel less stressful. They are better for snowy days. Their wheels are more protected because of better design all in all.
Smaller and much cheaper to construct! Because of their flexibility to reach both central stations, the center of a town or a village. The company constructing this will win in the long run and there will be much happier travelers. The service is also a great reason for leaving your car at home and only use it when you really need it. Source: Gmunden on Distrita
#7 Wintertime is perfect for using Light Rail
In the colder part of the world. Many governments have made investments for an electric type of bus because they are so much cheaper. If you think that I am mentioning the next best thing to light rails which is a trolleybus, then you are wrong.
Electric battery driven buses are what this is all about. At first, they seem to be a very good solution since they run on electricity but these have batteries and that doesn’t go well with weather in the minus degrees, ice, and snow on the same level as light rail trains.
The buses don’t have the same power during the winter months. They need to be charged much more often as the cold drains the battery much faster. Trolleybuses, however, get a steady flow of power from the overhead power line like a tram so no need to worry about batteries. Also, the electric battery driven buses will continue to drain to nothing. This is already a huge problem or a critical issue with electric cars which people are already experiencing.
Light Rail trains climb all sorts of hills
Considering how small the light rail is and how their wheels and rails are both engineered and designed to overcome the winter weather, something that the conventional tires on buses lacks, gives us a better understanding on why light rail is a better solution.
You can visit towns with steep climbing tracks! Gmunden, Austria which we have covered a lot here have them. Same with Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain, Oslo in Norway and Lisbon in Portugal. Here the light rail trams have very steep hills which they climb without issues. Many claim that such trains can’t climb, these cities prove that claim to be totally wrong. These types of trains are much better at climbing hills than buses.
Especially in inclement weather such as freezing rain. Taking a light rail train is much safer in the winter months. In warmer parts of the world, they simply climb hills better than buses altogether.
It is also nice to mention that trains do not emit as much pollution as buses or cars especially when they are stuck idling in bumper to bumper traffic. This pollution is responsible for the discomfort and health risk of people suffering from respiratory illness eg: asthma or allergies.
The future of Public Transportation is implementing or extending the Light Rail functions everywhere
We hope that with this article, Distrita can put light rail on a higher agenda than earlier. They are part of the future. Electric battery-driven buses isn’t a bad choice but for countries with weather in the minus degrees, snow/ice days and longer times with cold temperature, light rail seems to be the optimal solution.
All sorts of cities in the world should all consider light rail tram systems only or light rail in combination with subways and metros systems. Remember that light rails can also be subways as shown in the picture above.
Many cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and France have built light rail trams underground. In this way, the cities can focus on building any sort of light rail tram network in the city without needing to buy metro trains, subway trains, and local trains. The cities and their government can focus on one company with one system that is flexible. The stations underground don’t need high leveled platforms but the same level as any of the stations in the network.
So, try to get your politicians thinking right. Light Rail is the future. Share this article and make people travel easier everywhere. Light Rail is the green future.
Source: Distrita Own Knowledge and Experience