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Rail Trolleys or Trolley Cars

Single rail cars about the size of a bus. They stop at almost every street corner and operate within a downtown area and to nearby attractions. They run on standard or lightweight tracks and rail beds.

Light Rail

With cars somewhat heavier than trolleys, light rail runs on regular tracks either as single cars or strung together in trainsets. This technology choice tends to operate within a city or metropolitan area. Stops are a quarter-mile to a mile apart, and speeds are much greater than trolleys.

Commuter Rail

Designed for longer trips than is light rail, commuter rail serves routes between adjacent population centers. The cars are comfortable, featuring large seats, tables, restrooms, and even snack bars, and can be self-powered or pulled by a locomotive.

Heavy Rail or Superliner Service

These are the cross-country and long-haul units such as those run by Amtrak. They include sleeping cars, diners, and lounge/observation cars.

High Speed Rail (HSR)

HSR is not a simple definition. Our Spring 2021 Newsletter has an explanation.

These definitions are very basic, and many combinations and hybrids exist. Rails, Inc. feels that there are ideal places in New Mexico for just about any kind of passenger Rail mode, but we should start with light, trolley, and commuter services because these systems can be installed relatively quickly, primarily on existing tracks, with very little disruption to the community or modification to existing modes of transportation.

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