Regional rail

Regional rail

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Commuter rail, also called suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates between a city center, and the middle to outer suburbs beyond 15km (10 miles) and commuter town
Commuter town
A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commutes out to earn their livelihood. Many commuter towns act as suburbs of a nearby metropolis that workers travel to daily, and many suburbs are commuter towns...

s or other locations that draw large numbers of commuters
Commuting
Commuting is regular travel between one's place of residence and place of work or full time study. It sometimes refers to any regular or often repeated traveling between locations when not work related.- History :...

—people who travel on a daily basis. Trains operate following a schedule, at speeds varying from 50 to 200 km/h (30 to 125 mph). Distance charges or zone pricing may be used.

Non-English names include Treno suburbano in Italian, Cercanías
Cercanías
Cercanías is the name given to the commuter rail systems of Spain's major metropolitan areas. In Catalonia and Valencia, however, the term is replaced by Rodalies , while the designation Aldirikoak is used in the Basque Country....

in Spanish, Nahverkehrszug in German (and in most larger cities S-Bahns though these trains also often include city centre metro-like sections where lines have merged together and services become more frequent, and stations are closer together to better distribute passengers into the city core),Train de banlieue in French, Příměstský vlak in Czech and Elektrichka
Elektrichka
Elektrichka is an informal word for elektropoyezd , a Soviet or post-Soviet regional electrical multiple unit passenger train. Elektrichkas are widespread in Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union....

 in Russian. The development of commuter rail services has become popular today, with the increased public awareness of congestion, dependence on fossil fuels, and other environmental issues, as well as the rising costs of owning, operating and parking
Parking
Parking is the act of stopping a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied for more than a brief time. Parking on one or both sides of a road is commonly permitted, though often with restrictions...

 automobiles.

Characteristics


Most commuter (or suburban) trains are built to main line rail standards, differing from light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 or rapid transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 (metro rail) systems by:
  • being larger
  • providing more seating and less standing room, for the longer distances involved
  • having (in most cases) a lower frequency of service
  • having scheduled services (i.e. trains run at specific times rather than at specific intervals)
  • serving lower-density suburban areas, typically connecting suburb
    Suburb
    The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

    s to the city center
  • sharing track or right-of-way
    Right-of-way (railroad)
    A right-of-way is a strip of land that is granted, through an easement or other mechanism, for transportation purposes, such as for a trail, driveway, rail line or highway. A right-of-way is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services with the right-of-way...

     with intercity or freight trains
  • not fully grade separated (containing at-grade crossings with crossing gates)

Train schedule


Compared to rapid transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 (or metro rail), commuter/suburban rail has lower frequency
Headway
Headway is a measurement of the distance/time between vehicles in a transit system. The precise definition varies depending on the application, but it is most commonly measured as the distance from the tip of one vehicle to the tip of the next one behind it, expressed as the time it will take for...

, following a schedule rather than fixed intervals, and fewer stations spaced further apart.
They primarily serve lower density suburban areas (non inner-city), and often share right-of-way
Right-of-way (railroad)
A right-of-way is a strip of land that is granted, through an easement or other mechanism, for transportation purposes, such as for a trail, driveway, rail line or highway. A right-of-way is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services with the right-of-way...

 with intercity or freight trains. Some services operate only during peak hours.
Average speeds are high, often 50 km/h (30 mph) or higher. These higher speeds better serve the longer distances involved.
Some services include express services which skip some stations in order to run faster and separate longer distance riders from short-distance ones.

The general range of commuter trains' distance varies between 15 and 200 km (10 and 125 miles).

Track


Their ability to coexist with freight or intercity services in the same right-of-way
Right-of-way (railroad)
A right-of-way is a strip of land that is granted, through an easement or other mechanism, for transportation purposes, such as for a trail, driveway, rail line or highway. A right-of-way is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services with the right-of-way...

 can drastically reduce system construction costs. However, frequently they are built with dedicated tracks within that right-of-way to prevent delays, especially where service densities have converged in the inner parts of the network.

Most such trains run on the local standard gauge track. Some light rail systems may run on a narrower gauge. Examples of narrow gauge systems are found in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, in the Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

 (Citytrain
CityTrain
Citytrain is the brand name of urban, suburban and inter-urban electric passenger railway services in South East Queensland, Australia. Its network, centering in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, is approximately in route length...

) and Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

 (Transperth
Transperth
Transperth is the brand name of the public transport system in Perth, Western Australia. It is operated by the Public Transport Authority.-History:...

) systems in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, and on the Genoa-Casella line in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.
Some countries, including India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, as well as Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 and Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, use broad gauge
Broad gauge
Broad-gauge railways use a track gauge greater than the standard gauge of .- List :For list see: List of broad gauges, by gauge and country- History :...

.

Distinction between other modes of rail


Metro

Metro rail or rapid transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 usually covers a smaller inner-urban area ranging outwards to between 12km to 20km (or 8 to 14 miles), has a higher train frequency and runs on separate tracks (underground or elevated), whereas commuter rail often shares tracks, technology and the legal framework with mainline railway.

However, the classification as a metro or rapid rail can be difficult as both may typically cover a metropolitan area exclusively, run on separate tracks in the centre, and often feature purpose-built rolling stock. The fact that the terminology is not standardised across countries (even across English-speaking countries) further complicates matters. The distinction is most easily made when there are two systems such as New York's subway
New York City Subway
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...

 and the LIRR
Lirr
Lirr or LIRR may refer to:*Long Island Rail Road, a commuter railroad in Long Island, New York, USA*Lapeer Industrial Railroad, in Lapeer, Michigan*Leeds Inner Ring Road, a motorway and A-road circling Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

 and Metro-North, Paris' RER
RER
The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

 and Métro
Paris Métro
The Paris Métro or Métropolitain is the rapid transit metro system in Paris, France. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km ...

, London's Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 and the tube lines of the Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

, the S-Bahn
S-Bahn
S-Bahn refers to an often combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark...

 and U-Bahn
U-Bahn
U-Bahn or Untergrundbahn is German for underground rapid transit or metro. Five systems take its name, with only four of them being metro systems:*Berlin U-Bahn*Hamburg U-Bahn*Munich U-Bahn*Nuremberg U-Bahn...

 systems in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich or Vienna, the JR lines and the Metro
Tokyo Metro
is one of two rapid transit systems making up the Tokyo subway system, the other being Toei. It is the most used subway system in the world in terms of annual passenger rides.-Organization:...

 in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

.

Regional rail
Regional rail
Commuter rail, also called suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates between a city center, and the middle to outer suburbs beyond 15km and commuter towns or other locations that draw large numbers of commuters—people who travel on a daily basis...



Regional rail usually provides rail services
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 between towns and cities, rather than purely linking major population hubs in the way inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail services are express passenger train services that cover longer distances than commuter or regional trains.There is no precise definition of inter-city rail. Its meaning may vary from country to country...

 does. Regional rail operates outside major cities. Unlike Inter-city, it stops at most or all stations between cities. It provides a service between smaller communities along the line, and also connections with long-distance services at interchange stations located at junctions or at larger towns along the line. Alternative names are "local train" or "stopping train".
Examples include the former BR
British Rail
British Railways , which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the operator of most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages...

's Regional Railways
Regional Railways
Regional Railways was one of the three passenger sectors of British Rail created in 1982 that existed until 1996, 3 years after privatisation. The sector was originally called Provincial....

, France's TER (Transport express régional) and Germany's DB Regio
DB Regio
DB Regio AG is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn which operates short and medium distance passenger train services in Germany, and operates light and heavy rail infrastructure in the United Kingdom.-Germany:...

 services.
Regional rail does not exist in this sense in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, so the term "regional rail" has become synonymous with commuter rail there, although the two are more clearly defined in Europe.

Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail services are express passenger train services that cover longer distances than commuter or regional trains.There is no precise definition of inter-city rail. Its meaning may vary from country to country...



In some European countries the distinction between commuter trains and long-distance/intercity trains is very hard to make, because of the relatively short distances involved. For example, so called "intercity
Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail services are express passenger train services that cover longer distances than commuter or regional trains.There is no precise definition of inter-city rail. Its meaning may vary from country to country...

" trains in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 carry many commuters and their equipment, range and speeds are similar to those of commuter trains in some larger countries.

Russian commuter trains
Elektrichka
Elektrichka is an informal word for elektropoyezd , a Soviet or post-Soviet regional electrical multiple unit passenger train. Elektrichkas are widespread in Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union....

, on the other hand, frequently cover areas larger than Belgium itself, although these are still short distances by Russian standards. They have a different ticketing system from long-distance trains, and in major cities they often operate from a separate section of the train station.

The easiest way to identify these "Inter-city" services is that they tend to operate as express services - only linking the main stations in the cities they link, not stopping at any other stations. However, this term is used in Australia (Sydney for example) to describe the regional trains operating beyond the boundaries of the suburban services, even though some of these "inter-city" services stop all stations similar to German regional services. In this regard, the German service delineations and corresponding naming conventions are clearer and better used for academic purposes.

High-speed rail
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...



Sometimes high-speed rail can serve daily use of commuters. The Japanese Shinkansen
Shinkansen
The , also known as THE BULLET TRAIN, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of of lines with maximum speeds of , of Mini-shinkansen with a...

 high speed rail system is heavily used by commuters in the Greater Tokyo Area
Greater Tokyo Area
The Greater Tokyo Area is a large metropolitan area in Kantō region, Japan, consisting of most of the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Tokyo . In Japanese, it is referred to by various terms, including the , , and others....

. They commute between 100 and 200 km by Shinkansen. To meet the demand of commuters, JR sells commuter discount passes and operates 16 car bilevel
Bilevel car
The bilevel car or double-decker coach is a type of rail car that has two levels of passenger accommodation, as opposed to one, increasing passenger capacity ....

 E4 Series Shinkansen
E4 Series Shinkansen
The is a high-speed shinkansen train type operated by East Japan Railway Company in Japan. They were the second series of completely bi-level Shinkansen trainsets to be built in Japan . They operate on the Tōhoku and Jōetsu Shinkansen, and occasionally on the Nagano Shinkansen...

 at rush hour, providing a capacity of 1,600 seats. Several lines in China such as Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Mass Rapid Transit
Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Mass Rapid Transit
Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway or Guangzhu Intercity Railway is a dedicated, grade-separated passenger railway linking New Guangzhou Station in Panyu, Guangzhou, and Zhuhai Airport in Zhuhai, via Shunde, Zhongshan and Jiangmen, in Guangdong, China.- Overview :The railway has partly started...

, the Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Railway, and the Shanghai–Nanjing High-Speed Railway
Shanghai–Nanjing High-Speed Railway
The Shanghai–Nanjing Intercity High-Speed Railway or Huning Intercity High-Speed Railway is a long high-speed rail line between Shanghai and Nanjing in the People's Republic of China. Hu and Ning are, respectively, shorthand Chinese names for Shanghai and Nanjing...

, serve a similar role with many more under construction or planned.
The high-speed services linking Zurich, Bern and Basel in Switzerland have brought the Central Business Districts (CBDs) of these three cities within 1 hour of each other. This has resulted in unexpectedly high demand for new commuter trips between the three cities and a corresponding increase in suburban rail passengers accessing the high-speed services at the main city-centre stations (or Hauptbahnhof).

Train types


Commuter/suburban trains are usually optimized for maximum passenger volume, in most cases without sacrificing too much comfort and luggage
Luggage
Baggage is any number of bags, cases and containers which hold a traveller's articles during transit.Luggage is more or less the same concept as "baggage", but is normally used in relation to the personal luggage of a specific person or persons Baggage is any number of bags, cases and containers...

 space, though they seldom have all the amenities of long-distance trains. Cars may be single- or double-level
Bilevel car
The bilevel car or double-decker coach is a type of rail car that has two levels of passenger accommodation, as opposed to one, increasing passenger capacity ....

, and aim to provide seating for all. Compared to intercity trains, they have less space, fewer amenities and limited baggage areas.

Multiple unit type


Commuter rail trains are usually composed of multiple unit
Multiple unit
The term multiple unit or MU is used to describe a self-propelled carriages capable of coupling with other units of the same or similar type and still being controlled from one driving cab. The term is commonly used to denote passenger trainsets consisting of more than one carriage...

s, which are self-propelled, bidirectional, articulated passenger rail cars with driving motors on each (or every other) bogie
Bogie
A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage/car or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar...

. Depending on local circumstances and tradition they may be powered either by diesel engines located below the passenger compartment (diesel multiple unit
Diesel multiple unit
A diesel multiple unit or DMU is a multiple unit train consisting of multiple carriages powered by one or more on-board diesel engines. They may also be referred to as a railcar or railmotor, depending on country.-Design:...

s) or by electricity picked up from third rail
Third rail
A third rail is a method of providing electric power to a railway train, through a semi-continuous rigid conductor placed alongside or between the rails of a railway track. It is used typically in a mass transit or rapid transit system, which has alignments in its own corridors, fully or almost...

s or overhead lines
Overhead lines
Overhead lines or overhead wires are used to transmit electrical energy to trams, trolleybuses or trains at a distance from the energy supply point...

 (electric multiple unit
Electric multiple unit
An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages...

s). Multiple units are almost invariably equipped with control cabs at both ends, which is why such units are so frequently used to provide commuter services, due to the associated short turn-around time.

Locomotive hauled services


Locomotive hauled services are used in some countries or locations. This is often a case of asset sweating
Business operations
Business operations are those ongoing recurring activities involved in the running of a business for the purpose of producing value for the stakeholders...

, by using a single large combined fleet for intercity and regional services. Loco hauled services are usually run in push-pull
Push-pull train
Push–pull is a mode of operation for locomotive-hauled trains allowing them to be driven from either end.A push–pull train has a locomotive at one end of the train, connected via some form of remote control, such as multiple-unit train control, to a vehicle equipped with a control cab at the other...

 formation, that is, the train can run with the locomotive at the "front" or "rear" of the train (pushing or pulling). Trains are often equipped with a control cab at the other end of the train from the locomotive, allowing the train operator to operate the train from either end. The motive power for locomotive-hauled commuter trains may be either electric or Diesel-electric, although some countries, such as Germany and some of the former Soviet-bloc countries, also use diesel-hydraulic locomotives.

Seat plans


In the U.S. and some other countries, a three-and-two seat plan is used. However, few people sit in the middle seat on these trains because they feel crowded and uncomfortable. It is said one industrial designer for one of New York City's
Transportation in New York City
The transportation system of New York City is a cooperation of complex systems of infrastructure. New York City, being the largest city in the United States, has a transportation system which includes the largest subway system in the world, measured by track mileage; the world's first mechanically...

 commuter railroads, Metro-North
Metro-North Railroad
The Metro-North Commuter Railroad , trading as MTA Metro-North Railroad, or, more commonly, Metro-North, is a suburban commuter rail service that is run and managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority , an authority of New York State. It is the busiest commuter railroad in the United...

, told people: "I designed the aisle seat with a half-back and no upholstery, so it will be very uncomfortable to sit there. They'll move in and take the center seat!" (This seating design can also be found on older New Jersey Transit
New Jersey Transit
The New Jersey Transit Corporation is a statewide public transportation system serving the United States state of New Jersey, and New York, Orange, and Rockland counties in New York State...

 and Long Island Rail Road
Long Island Rail Road
The Long Island Rail Road or LIRR is a commuter rail system serving the length of Long Island, New York. It is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, serving about 81.5 million passengers each year. Established in 1834 and having operated continuously since then, it is the oldest US...

 rolling stock.)

In Japan, longitudinal (sideways window-lining) seat is widely used in some commuter rail to increase capacity in rush hours. Carriages are not organized to increase seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 even in the case of commuting longer than 50 km and commuters in Greater Tokyo Area
Greater Tokyo Area
The Greater Tokyo Area is a large metropolitan area in Kantō region, Japan, consisting of most of the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Tokyo . In Japanese, it is referred to by various terms, including the , , and others....

 have to stand in the train for more than an hour.

Africa


Currently there are not many examples of commuter rail in Africa. Metrorail
Metrorail (South Africa)
Metrorail is an operator of commuter rail services in the major urban areas of South Africa. It is a division of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa , a state-owned enterprise which is responsible for most passenger rail services in South Africa...

 operates in the major cities of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, and there are some commuter rail services in Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

.
In Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, SNTF
SNTF
National company for rail transport is Algeria's national railway operator. The SNTF, a state-owned company, currently has a monopoly over Algeria's network of , even though it is currently exploiting only...

 operates commuter-rail lines between the capital Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 and its southern and eastern suburbs. They also serve to connect Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

' main universities to each other .

Asia



In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, commuter rail systems have extensive network and frequent service, and are heavily used. It is notable that many of them are run by private railway
Private railway
A private railroad is a railroad run by a private corporation, as opposed to a railroad run by a public sector.-Japan:In Japan, refers to a railway line owned and operated by private sector. Although Japan Railways Group companies are private entities, they are not considered private railways...

 companies.

In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, commuter rail systems are present in major cities. Mumbai Suburban Railway
Mumbai Suburban Railway
The Mumbai Suburban Railway system, part of the public transport system of Mumbai, is provided for by the state-run Indian Railways' two zonal Western Railways and Central Railways. The system carries more than 6.99 million commuters on a daily basis. It has the highest passenger densities of any...

, the oldest suburban rail system in Asia, ‎carries more than 6.9 million commuters on a daily basis which constitutes more than half of the total daily passenger capacity of the Indian Railways itself. Kolkata Suburban Railway
Kolkata Suburban Railway
The Kolkata Suburban Railway is the rail system for the suburbs surrounding the city of Kolkata . Railways such as this are important and heavily-used infrastructure in India....

 is huge and extensive and covers large areas in Kolkata's hinterland. The Chennai Suburban Railway
Chennai suburban railway
Chennai suburban railway is a commuter rail system in the Indian city of Chennai operated by the Southern Railway. Chennai has a complex railway network. The system uses electrical multiple units operating on alternating current drawn from over-head cables through the catenary system...

 is another railway of comparison. In Hyderabad, the MMTS
MMTS
MMTS may refer to:* Moscow Monorail* MMTS Trains in Hyderabad, India* Maximum Minimum Temperature System...

 mainly transports people from the city centre to HI-TEC city, the city's Information Technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 hub. Other commuter railways in India include Delhi Suburban Railway, Pune Suburban Railway and Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway.

Commuter trains are currently uncommon in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, although a small system
Beijing Suburban Railway
Beijing Suburban Railway or BCR is a commuter rail service that connects urban Beijing with outlying districts and counties beyond the reach of the city's Beijing Subway network...

 has been inaugurated in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 in 2008.
Commuter rail systems are also planned for Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

, Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 and around the Pearl River Delta
Pearl River Delta
The Pearl River Delta , Zhujiang Delta or Zhusanjiao in Guangdong province, People's Republic of China is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea...

 region.

In Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, SYSTRA has done a "Tehran long term urban rail study". SYSTRA proposed 4 express lines which are similar to RER
RER
The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

 suburban lines in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

.
Tehran Metro
Tehran Metro
The Tehran Metro is a rapid transit system serving Tehran, the capital of Iran. The system consists of 4 operational lines, with construction having begun on a further two lines in 2007....

 is going to construct express lines. For instance, the Rahyab Behineh, a consultant for Tehran Metro, is studying Tehran Express Line 2. Tehran Metro currently has a commuter line between Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 and Karaj
Karaj
Karaj is a city in and the capital of Karaj County, Alborz Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 1,377,450, in 385,955 families, , making it the fifth-largest city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan and Tabriz.) It is situated west of Tehran, at the foothills of the Alborz...

.

Other examples in Asia include Seoul Metropolitan Subway
Seoul Metropolitan Subway
The Seoul Metropolitan Subway or Metropolitan Subway in Seoul, in Seoul, South Korea, is one of the most heavily used rapid transit systems in the world, with well over 8 million trips daily on the system's thirteen lines...

 which has suburban lines operated by Korail
Korail
Korea Railroad Corporation , promoted as Korail , is the national railroad operator in South Korea.Korail operates passenger and freight trains throughout South Korea...

 in South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, KTM Komuter
KTM Komuter
KTM Komuter is a commuter train service in Malaysia operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu . It was introduced in 1995 to provide local rail services in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding Klang Valley suburban areas. It is popular with commuters into the city, who thus avoid being caught in road traffic...

 in Malaysia, The Philippine National Railways
Philippine National Railways
The Philippine National Railways , or PNR, is a state-owned railway company in the Philippines, operating a single line of track on Luzon. As of 2010, it operates one commuter rail service in Metro Manila and a second in the Bicol Region. PNR restored its intercity service to the Bicol region in 2011...

 orange line in Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and, KRL Jabotabek
KRL Jabotabek
KRL Commuter Jabodetabek or simply KRL Jabodetabek is a mass rapid transit system in Jabodetabek, Indonesia. It is an acronym for Kereta Rel Listrik Jakarta Bogor Depok Tangerang Bekasi which can be loosely translated into Jabodetabek electrified rail. KRL Jabodetabek serves commuters in Jakarta,...

 in Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

 Metropolitan area, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

.

Europe



Major metropolitan areas in most European countries are usually served by extensive commuter/suburban rail systems. Well-known examples include Beovoz
Beovoz
Beovoz is a commuter rail that provides mass-transit service within Belgrade metropolitan area in Serbia. The main usage of today's system is to connect the suburbs with downtown Belgrade...

 in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, S-Bahn
S-Bahn
S-Bahn refers to an often combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark...

 in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Proastiakos
Proastiakos
Proastiakós , is the name used for the suburban services of TrainOSE, servicing Greece's three largest cities: Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras; providing them with modern commuter rail links, towards their suburbs and also towards other cities and towns located around them.The service, operated by...

 in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, RER
RER
The RER is a rapid transit system in France serving Paris and its suburbs. The RER is an integration of a modern city-centre underground rail and a pre-existing set of commuter rail lines. It has several connections with the Paris Métro within the city of Paris. Within the city, the RER...

 in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Linee S
Milan Suburban Railway Network
The Milan suburban railway network is a commuter rail system serving the metropolitan area of Milan, Italy.The system comprises 10 lines serving 100 stations, for a total length of 324 km....

 in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 (Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

), Cercanías
Cercanías
Cercanías is the name given to the commuter rail systems of Spain's major metropolitan areas. In Catalonia and Valencia, however, the term is replaced by Rodalies , while the designation Aldirikoak is used in the Basque Country....

 in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and HÉV
HÉV
Budapest HÉV is a system of four commuter rail and rapid transit lines in and around Budapest, Hungary. The HÉV lines were constructed as branch lines of the Hungarian State Railways...

 in Budapest, Hungary.

In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and some other countries of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, electrical multiple unit passenger suburban trains called Elektrichka
Elektrichka
Elektrichka is an informal word for elektropoyezd , a Soviet or post-Soviet regional electrical multiple unit passenger train. Elektrichkas are widespread in Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union....

 are widespread.

North America



In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 regional passenger rail services are provided by governmental or quasi-governmental agencies, with a limited number of metropolitan areas served.

South America



Examples include an 899 km (558.6 mi) commuter system in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, the 225 km (139.8 mi) long Supervia
SuperVia
SuperVia is a Brazilian train operator founded in Rio de Janeiro in November 1998. It carries around 126 million passengers a year on a railroad network comprising 89 stations in 11 cities: Rio de Janeiro, Duque de Caxias, Nova Iguaçu, Nilópolis, Mesquita, Queimados, São João de Meriti, Belford...

 in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, and the Metrotrén
Metrotrén
The Metrotrén , is a Chilean commuter rail system operated by Trenes Metropolitanos S.A., a subsidiary of the Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado , that covers 13 communes, from Santiago de Chile to San Fernando. It is connected with Metro de Santiago in Alameda station...

 in Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...

. Another example is Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos
Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos
Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos is a commuter rail company owned by the São Paulo State Secretariat for Metropolitan Transports. It was created in 1992 from several railroads that already existed in Greater São Paulo, Brazil....

 (CPTM) in Greater São Paulo
Greater São Paulo
The Greater São Paulo is a nonspecific term for one of the multiple definitions the large metropolitan area located in the São Paulo state in Brazil.-Definitions:-Metropolitan Area:...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. CPTM has 93 stations with six lines, numbered starting on 7 (the lines 1 to 6 belong to the São Paulo Metro
São Paulo Metro
The São Paulo Metro is the principal rapid-transit system in the city of São Paulo and the largest in Brazil. It is also the second largest system in South America and the third largest in Latin America, behind Mexico City and Santiago....

), with a total length of 260.8 kilometres (162.1 mi).

Oceania


Major cities in Australia have suburban railway systems in their metropolitan areas. As with Japanese suburban railways or Germany's and Switzerland's S-Bahns, these Australian networks have far more frequent services and far higher ridership per capita than US 'commuter rail' in the usual sense of the term. To some US observers these networks may appear to operate as commuter/metro hybrids, however, they are simply the result of full utilisation of the available track capacity in the core of the suburban rail network, this being fed from multiple feeder lines. This is particularly so in Sydney and Melbourne, where headways on many lines in the core of the network reach 3–5 minutes in peaks and 10–20 minutes off peak (about 18 hours a day) and enter an underground loop for passenger distribution in the city centre; and where ridership per capita exceeds the sum of metro and commuter rail in comparable North American urban areas such as Toronto, Boston or the San Francisco Bay Area. All systems, however, are based on established main line rail systems, and track sharing with inter-city and freight services on parts of the network inhibit higher frequencies on some tracks. The main systems include:
  • CityRail
    CityRail
    CityRail is an operating brand of RailCorp, a corporation owned by the state government of New South Wales, Australia. It is responsible for providing commuter rail services, and some coach services, in and around Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, the three largest cities of New South Wales. It is...

     in Sydney
    Sydney
    Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

    , Newcastle
    Newcastle, New South Wales
    The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas...

     and Wollongong. (largest metropolitan-wide network in Australia)
  • Metro Trains Melbourne
    Metro Trains Melbourne
    Metro Trains Melbourne is the current franchise operator of the suburban railway network of Melbourne, Australia. Metro Trains Melbourne is a joint venture led by Hong Kong based MTR Corporation together with John Holland Group and United Group Rail .Metro Trains Melbourne operates a fleet of 381...

     in Melbourne
    Melbourne
    Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

    . ("Metro" being a technical misnoma)
  • Queensland Rail
    Queensland Rail
    Queensland Rail, also known as QR, is a government-owned railway operator in the state of Queensland. Under the control of the Queensland Government, Queensland Rail operates the inner-city and long-distance passenger services, as well as some freight operations and gives railway access to other...

     in Brisbane
    Brisbane
    Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

    .
  • Transperth Trains
    Transperth Trains
    Transperth Trains is a division of the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia. It is responsible for operating Perth’s urban passenger rail system, as part of the Transperth network.- Lines :...

     in Perth
    Perth, Western Australia
    Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

    .
  • TransAdelaide
    TransAdelaide
    TransAdelaide was a publicly owned corporation which provided suburban train and tram services in Adelaide, South Australia, under contract to the Government of South Australia....

     in Adelaide
    Adelaide
    Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

    .


New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 has two commuter rail systems: in Auckland
Public transport in Auckland
Public transport in Auckland, the largest metropolitan area of New Zealand, consists of three modes – bus, train and ferry. Services are provided under the "MAXX" brand by private transport providers, coordinated by Auckland Transport, the council controlled organisation that replaced the Auckland...

 and in Wellington (Tranz Metro
Tranz Metro
Tranz Metro, part of KiwiRail, is the operator of Metlink suburban trains owned by the Greater Wellington Regional Council in the Wellington Region of New Zealand....

).

See also

  • List of suburban and commuter rail systems
  • Public transport
    Public transport
    Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

  • Commuting
    Commuting
    Commuting is regular travel between one's place of residence and place of work or full time study. It sometimes refers to any regular or often repeated traveling between locations when not work related.- History :...


  • Cercanías
    Cercanías
    Cercanías is the name given to the commuter rail systems of Spain's major metropolitan areas. In Catalonia and Valencia, however, the term is replaced by Rodalies , while the designation Aldirikoak is used in the Basque Country....

    , the commuter rail systems of Spain's major metropolitan areas
  • Commuter rail in the United Kingdom
    Commuter rail in the United Kingdom
    Urban rail, commuter rail, regional rail, or suburban rail, plays a key role in the public transport system of many of the United Kingdom's major cities. Urban rail is defined as a rail service between a central business district and suburbs or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a...

  • Commuter rail in North America
    Commuter rail in North America
    Commuter rail services in the United States, Canada, and Mexico provide common carrier passenger transportation along railway tracks, with scheduled service on fixed routes on a non-reservation basis primarily for short-distance travel between a central business district and adjacent suburbs and...

  • Cityrail
    CityRail
    CityRail is an operating brand of RailCorp, a corporation owned by the state government of New South Wales, Australia. It is responsible for providing commuter rail services, and some coach services, in and around Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, the three largest cities of New South Wales. It is...

    , responsible for providing commuter rail services in and around Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, Australia
  • S-Bahn
    S-Bahn
    S-Bahn refers to an often combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark...

    , the combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark

External links