Commuter rail

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Commuter rail is a form of rail transit with these characteristics:

  • Provides regional transit in place of express bus and stops are further apart compared to light rail or streetcars
  • Generally operates on railroad corridors.
  • Commuter rail uses larger, faster, and heavier vehicles that can share tracks with freight and intercity passenger trains.
  • Trains are operated under railroad rules (set by Federal Railroad Administration) and generally have a conductor onboard the train besides the engineer (train operator).
  • Trains may be hauled by locomotives, or have rail cars propelled by diesel engines (DMU), or electric motors (EMU)
  • Service levels vary from every 5-10 minutes to every hour. Some systems may just run trains during weekday peak hours in peak directions. Service levels in general are lower than light rail and rapid transit.

Commuter rail systems

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