Regional rail


Regional rail

Regional rail usually provides rail services between towns and cities, rather than purely linking major population hubs in the way inter-city rail does. Examples include the former BR's Regional Railways, France's TER ("Transport express régional") and Gemrnay's DB Regio services. Regional rail does not exsist in this sense in the USA, so the term "Regional Rail" has become synonymous with commuter rail.

Characteristics

Regional trains are usually optimized for passenger comfort, with 2+2 seating and room for luggage, although they seldom have all the amenities of inter-city trains. The general range of regional trains can be anything up to 200 km (125 miles), with operating speeds from 55 to 175 km/h (30 to 110 mph). Regional rail trains are usually composed of diesel multiple units or, less often, electric multiple units.

The main difference between regional rail and commuter rail is that the latter on foucsed on moving people between where they live and where they work on a daily basis. Regional rail operates throughout the day, whereas commuter rail may onlyprovide servcies in the peak hours.

Regional rail services are much less likely to be profitable, and hence require government subsidy. This is justified on the grounds on social or environmental grounds, as well as the fact that regional rail services often act as feeders for profitable inter-city lines.

Since their invention, the distinction between regional and long-distance rail has also been the use of multiple unit propulsion, with longer distance trains tending to be locomotive hauled (although development of trains such as the British Rail Class 390 have blurred this distincion). Shorter regional rail services will still usually be operated exclusively by multiple units where they exist, which have a shorter range and operate at lower average speeds than services on Inter-city rail networks. Not using a locomotive also provides greater passenger capacity in the commuter role at peak periods.


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