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Old 11-01-2017, 11:30 AM
 
2,164 posts, read 1,462,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
The main two streetcar lines here have their own right of way, yet are all subject to street traffic. We call them streetcars as a cultural thing but I've always referred to them as light rail. As far as I know, they are both at grade and are structurally the same with the same class of train cars being used.

I've always used the two as the sane thing. Here's a good read for people like me Streetcars vs Light Rail ... Is There a Difference? — Human Transit
If they had their own right of way that means they aren't generally subject to typical street traffic.

Streetcar systems in modern times are also usually localized to a small area, not connected to a wider system. whereas when people refer to light rail systems, those are usually larger in scope and sometimes span throughout a city or region. Light rail are actual trains, with (usually) multiple cars in a train, which can be added or removed to adjust for passenger volumes. whereas streetcar is I think always a single vehicle, not a train.

another typical difference is light rail systems often have large stations similar to heavy rail (sometimes underground or elevated), and usually have some with adjoining parking lots for commuting from the suburbs. whereas streetcars usually are limited to entry /exit points very similar to bus stops, and will generally make significantly more stops as well.

the main difference to me from a usage standpoint, is that light rail systems are far more heavily used for commuting because of higher speeds and wider areas of service.

Last edited by _Buster; 11-01-2017 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:38 PM
 
145 posts, read 104,172 times
Reputation: 468
RICHMOND

It's a little known fact that Richmond had the first commercially successful system of electric trolley cars in the world. The system went into operation in May, 1888 and was eventually expanded to serve all sections of the city. Photos of downtown Richmond taken in the 1940s show dozens of electric street cars travelling up and down the median of East Broad Street. Richmond abandoned its trolley system in 1949.

IMO, the perfect re-introduction of trolleys to Richmond would begin with a loop connecting the Fan District/VCU with downtown. Trolleys would travel east/west on Broad St. from Belvedere Street; then north/south on 17th St. (Shockoe) and then westbound on Main Street to Monroe Park (eastbound would use Cary Street).

This route would connect Virginia Commonwealth University with its huge medical campus (MCV) in downtown and also connect the convention center/city/state offices with the entertainment, hotel, residential and financial areas located near the James River. Eventually the system could expand west to the Boulevard to serve the Museum District/Byrd Park as well as the West Cary Street shopping district.

Like Rome, Richmond is built on seven hills, and a light rail line would be a godsend to pedestrians attempting to navigate some of these hills during the city's hot humid summers and occasional icy winters. And a trolley line seems the perfect way to connect the 35,000 students/faculty of VCU with its downtown MCV campus.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:50 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,428 posts, read 18,327,828 times
Reputation: 11902
Nashville is rolling out a big light rail plan to be on the ballot in 2018. It's an expansive plan with five corridors reaching out to universities, the airport, and a downtown subway light rail tunnel.

Mayor Barry unveils sweeping $5.2 billion transit proposal for Nashville with light rail, massive tunnel, bus upgrades
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:15 PM
 
6,559 posts, read 13,754,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTinPhilly View Post
RICHMOND

It's a little known fact that Richmond had the first commercially successful system of electric trolley cars in the world. The system went into operation in May, 1888 and was eventually expanded to serve all sections of the city. Photos of downtown Richmond taken in the 1940s show dozens of electric street cars travelling up and down the median of East Broad Street. Richmond abandoned its trolley system in 1949.

IMO, the perfect re-introduction of trolleys to Richmond would begin with a loop connecting the Fan District/VCU with downtown. Trolleys would travel east/west on Broad St. from Belvedere Street; then north/south on 17th St. (Shockoe) and then westbound on Main Street to Monroe Park (eastbound would use Cary Street).

This route would connect Virginia Commonwealth University with its huge medical campus (MCV) in downtown and also connect the convention center/city/state offices with the entertainment, hotel, residential and financial areas located near the James River. Eventually the system could expand west to the Boulevard to serve the Museum District/Byrd Park as well as the West Cary Street shopping district.

Like Rome, Richmond is built on seven hills, and a light rail line would be a godsend to pedestrians attempting to navigate some of these hills during the city's hot humid summers and occasional icy winters. And a trolley line seems the perfect way to connect the 35,000 students/faculty of VCU with its downtown MCV campus.
Louisville had all this and then some. Louisville even had elevated rail stations like the El in Chicago:

https://historiclouisville.weebly.co...ated-rail.html

Like Richmond, Louisville was one of the first cities with electrified trains. Sadly, narely a single vestige of this system is visible, as literally most all the stations are gone too, save for a few repurposed interurban stations in the historic suburbs like Glenview and Anchorage. Louisville's interurban's across the mighty Ohio must have been quite the sight for the Victorians.
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
3,511 posts, read 3,960,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Buster View Post
Cincinnati does not have light rail. It has one of those little streetcars that go almost nowhere around in a tight circle, but is not used for commuting or serious tranportation. Basically a whimsical tourist type thing.
What a laughably inaccurate description of Cincinnati's new streetcar system! As repeated in forum threads, ad nauseam, the system was originally designed to connect the downtown CBD with a large university/hospital Uptown District. However, that didn't happen because Ohio governor John Kasich intentionally crippled the entire operation by sending a much needed $52-million funding elsewhere.

None the less, the downtown segment was constructed and today moves people (including many suburbanites) back and forth from the riverbank up through "Over-the-Rhine" (not long ago, one of the nation's most frightful slums; now a national showcase of urban redevelopment) in security and comfort. In other words, not only has the Cincinnati Bell Connector helped to add millions of dollars of development along its right-of-way, but it has also brought people who were once too fearful to go anywhere near the downtown, right into its very heart. This beautiful system will be extended uptown sometime in the near future.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Baltimore - Richmond
501 posts, read 330,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
Louisville had all this and then some. Louisville even had elevated rail stations like the El in Chicago:

https://historiclouisville.weebly.co...ated-rail.html

Like Richmond, Louisville was one of the first cities with electrified trains. Sadly, narely a single vestige of this system is visible, as literally most all the stations are gone too, save for a few repurposed interurban stations in the historic suburbs like Glenview and Anchorage. Louisville's interurban's across the mighty Ohio must have been quite the sight for the Victorians.
Richmond wasn't "one of the first cities with electrified trains", it is literally THE first city with them. Why is it that when someone mentions something good about Richmond there is always someone that comes and tries to take away from it. "Louisville had all this and then some" You can love your city but don't downplay mine.

"The Richmond Union Passenger Railway, in Richmond, Virginia, was the first practical electric trolley (tram) system, and set the pattern for most subsequent electric trolley systems around the world. It is an IEEE milestone in engineering."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmo...senger_Railway
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,006 posts, read 16,059,074 times
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Some good suggestions (especially Cincy), but I would add Providence to the list. It's not the biggest city (1.6M in the metro), but it's fairly dense and has a layout that would be conducive to at LEAST light rail. With Providence, you wouldn't have to build the rail line first and hope they develop around it. You have the existing density and walkability in place, and it would serve the city well from the start.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:26 PM
 
2,164 posts, read 1,462,571 times
Reputation: 2167
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman View Post
What a laughably inaccurate description of Cincinnati's new streetcar system! As repeated in forum threads, ad nauseam, the system was originally designed to connect the downtown CBD with a large university/hospital Uptown District. However, that didn't happen because Ohio governor John Kasich intentionally crippled the entire operation by sending a much needed $52-million funding elsewhere.

None the less, the downtown segment was constructed and today moves people (including many suburbanites) back and forth from the riverbank up through "Over-the-Rhine" (not long ago, one of the nation's most frightful slums; now a national showcase of urban redevelopment) in security and comfort. In other words, not only has the Cincinnati Bell Connector helped to add millions of dollars of development along its right-of-way, but it has also brought people who were once too fearful to go anywhere near the downtown, right into its very heart. This beautiful system will be extended uptown sometime in the near future.

Oh come on, so you think those liitle streetcars that cities are building are actual light rail transit systems??? that's pretty funny. you sound like you're from the chamber of commerce or the city PR office.

Last edited by _Buster; 11-02-2017 at 12:37 PM..
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,759,815 times
Reputation: 8803
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Buster View Post
If they had their own right of way that means they aren't generally subject to typical street traffic.

Streetcar systems in modern times are also usually localized to a small area, not connected to a wider system. whereas when people refer to light rail systems, those are usually larger in scope and sometimes span throughout a city or region. Light rail are actual trains, with (usually) multiple cars in a train, which can be added or removed to adjust for passenger volumes. whereas streetcar is I think always a single vehicle, not a train.

another typical difference is light rail systems often have large stations similar to heavy rail (sometimes underground or elevated), and usually have some with adjoining parking lots for commuting from the suburbs. whereas streetcars usually are limited to entry /exit points very similar to bus stops, and will generally make significantly more stops as well.

the main difference to me from a usage standpoint, is that light rail systems are far more heavily used for commuting because of higher speeds and wider areas of service.
The streetcars here are in their own ROW and have to cross streets all day, St Charles goes into the street once it hits the CBD.

Sounds like that term is new as the streetcars were built to function as you describe light rail systems. The St Charles line used to pass through various cities before New Orleans annexed them.

The light rail in Houston I believe has areas where it's separated from street traffic, has large and small stations or park and rides, is only a single car as well. Unless they've changed it drastically since I've rode it, would that be streetcar or light rail? It's certainly. It used to commute from far either.

This, to me, would be easier to say one is an efficient system, and one isn't (like ours in nola).
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:04 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,145 posts, read 23,656,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Some good suggestions (especially Cincy), but I would add Providence to the list. It's not the biggest city (1.6M in the metro), but it's fairly dense and has a layout that would be conducive to at LEAST light rail. With Providence, you wouldn't have to build the rail line first and hope they develop around it. You have the existing density and walkability in place, and it would serve the city well from the start.
I agree with Providence. I'm wondering if it can build off of the MBTA Commuter Rail service it currently has to make something like a RER or S-Bahn kind of system. I know Baltimore originally had plans to do the same with the MARC commuter rail line through Baltimore where multiple electrified commuter rail services going through the same tracks in the urban core would effectively give it an additional rapid transit service (though this was scrapped by the governor).
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