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Proposed Light Rail Systems


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Hello Ya'll: The following is a list from the LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT ASSOCIATION in England. It give you all of the current systems. I will follow with the proposed systems... "Tramway" is the European term for all Light Rail, Modern Streetcar, Rapid Streetcar and Heritage Trolley systems. ALL in the USA.

Mod. Town/city, Type, Gauge in mm, Date, Notes

Astoria Heritage tram 1435 1999

Atlanta Metro 1435 1979

Baltimore Light rail 1435 1992

Metro 1435 1983

Bayonne Heritage tram 1435 Proposed

Boston Light rail 1435 1856 Some trolley poles

Metro 1435 1897

Buffalo Light rail 1435 1984


Edited by traintrain
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All new projects, this is a different list from "LIGHT RAIL NOW!" A rail transit lobby group based in oil rich Texas. There may be some duplication from the previous list.

Albuquerque - regional rail under construction, LRT proposed

Atlanta - regional rail and streetcar projects in planning

Austin - light railway project under way, streetcar proposed

Bayonne - streetcar in development

Birmingham - in planning

Boise - streetcar proposed

Boulder - streetcar proposed

Charlotte - historic trolley upgrade under construction, modern LRT planned

Charlottesville - streetcar proposed

Cincinnati - LRT (interurban, streetcar) in planning

Columbus - LRT (interurban, streetcar) in planning

Corpus Christi - streetcar in planning

Dayton - streetcar proposed

Des Moines - LRT proposed

Detroit - Interurban LRT and regional passenger rail proposed

El Paso - LRT streetcar system proposed

Fayette - LRT or regional rail proposed

Ft. Lauderdale - streetcar and high-performance LRT proposed

Glendale (Ca) - streetcar proposed

Ft. Worth - streetcar proposed

Harrisburg - regional rail in development

Honolulu - light rail proposed

Huntington, WV - heritage streetcar proposed

Huntington Beach, Ca - LRT proposed

Indianapolis - proposed

Kansas City - proposed

Lancaster - heritage streetcar proposed

Las Vegas - proposed

Louisville - LRT proposed

Madison - regional rail and streetcar proposed

Memphis - heritage streetcar in operation, modern LRT planned

Miami - streetcar projects in planning

Milwaukee - Interurban and streetcar LRT, regional passenger rail proposed

Minneapolis - modern LRT in operation, streetcar proposed

Montgomery - heritage streetcar proposed

Nashville - regional "commuter" rail project under way

Norfolk - LRT in planning

Ogden - modern streetcar proposed

Omaha - heritage streetcar proposed

Orange County (Ca) - LRT (interurban or streetcar) in planning

Orlando - in planning

Phoenix - Interurban LRT project under construction; regional rail and streetcar system proposed

Raleigh - regional rail system in planning

Richmond - heritage streetcar proposed

Roanoke - heritage streetcar proposed

Rochester - proposed

Salem, Or - streetcar proposed

San Antonio - proposed

Seattle - Regional rail and heritage streetcar in operation, interurban LRT and modern streetcar projects under way

Spokane - light railway proposed

Tampa - historic streetcar in operation, modern LRT streetcar proposed

Toledo - streetcar proposed

Tucson - heritage streetcar system being expanded, LRT proposed

Union County, NJ - LRT project under development

Washington - LRT in planning

Winston-Salem - streetcar project in planning

There are also two projects proposed in Oklahoma, Oklahoma City and Tulsa (which still has two shortline railroads that date to Interurban Trolley operations and may well return to same). These were not on the official list but I know about them from my work in this field. Feel free to ask questions, if I don't know, I can probably locate the answer for you. I am a member of many of the Transit Associations and get many of the journals and news items.


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Where's the money? It works like this, the Transit Agency applies to the State and Federal Government for various grants. For example, to order 10 new Modern Streetcars (a much cheaper version of LRT) for a start-up system.

First, the mode chosen, in this case Modern Streetcar, MUST be shown to be the best fit, ie: it will attract the most riders, save the most fuel, etc...

Once the study is complete the agency might them apply for grants to purchase the vehicles.

Usually done on a 80/20 scale, the Federal Government will pay 80% and the local agency 20%. For this reason, a public Transit Agency will usually go to the State. Each feature can be granted. For that 20% for example, the state might grant 15% and the City 5%. But at the same time, another grant for ADA might come from another Federal agency that has a certain program to provide wheel chair lifts. Same for certain safety features, or fuel savings features. There is no real short answer as it depends on how creative the agency can be in proof of need and features, and how good a job the grant writers do in digging up programs.

Fire proof seats? Probably a grant for that somewhere. etc...

Hope this helps.


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Charleston, SC seems to be heading towards creating two transit lines using existing railway tracks. One from Summerville to downtown and another from Moncks Corner/Goose Creek to downtown. Express bus routes have been so successful that they are being extended to Summerville, which bodes well for a a rail line to be established.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Pittsburgh's $435 million, 1.2 mile T extension to the North Shore. Crews just finished one of the tunnels under the Allegheny River and have started the second tunnel. Supposedly, this line will have an extension 20 miles west to Pittsburgh International, but I'll believe it when I see it. What we really need in this city is light rail lines for the northern suburbs (up to Cranberry) ,the eastern suburbs (relieve traffic on the Parkway East), and a loop within the city (Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Southside, Waterfront area).

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  • 6 months later...

I just realized I never updated anything about the Fort Worth Streetcar.

Timeframe is between 2-5 years, depending on who you talk to. That shows the potential *full* system. Since that older map, the starter system has been settled on, and it's still very ambitious:


The starter system will create a Downtown loop, serving Sundance Square, the ITC, and the SoDo/Convention Center/Lancaster Avenue area. A short spur will run northeast into Uptown's new Trinity Bluff neigborhood. A line will run west down 7th Street to the Cultural District and back, and a line will run south via South Main into the Near Southside, where it will link all five major hospitals and destinations/residents around Magnolia Avenue. A short extension off this line will connect Evans & Rosedale to the east and serve as a launching point for a future extension down East Rosedale to Texas Wesleyan University.

Future extensions would link the system to the Stockyards, Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, and potentially west down Camp Bowie from the Cultural District and up to Race Street to the northeast of Downtown.

The study committee made their recommendations to the city at the end of 2008 and the city and The T have officially started moving forward. Funding is being lined up from a variety of sources.

Edited by FortWorthology
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My mid-size city of Columbus, Georgia approved in a 1999 SPLOST (special local option sales tax) referendum a rail 'trolley' line. It was to utilize an abandoned rail bed and run from downtown to the university a few miles away, for starters. Unfortunately, it has devolved into a hike/bike trail. I'm hopeful that potential stimulus money will reinvigorate the project, but not holding my breath. My question is does anyone know of any other mid-ish size cities (say 200,000 to 400,000) that have proposed start-up light rail. I would love to be able to cite examples when I argue with local bureaucrats. I'll post the same question for existing lines in that post when I find it.

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The only thing they have to do is plan for light rail tracks on the new bern ave corridor through through downtown to a wade ave/ hwy 40 coriddor toward nc states campus to rdu and the rtp. The new bern ave corridor should then be built up with lower, middle, and subsequently high economical dwellings in the form od midrise apartments. This will ensure ridership especially from the lower class people without transportation to work. Then plan for a corridor from the capital blvd southward through downtowns governmental center straddling fayetteville rd. southward and plan that corridor zoned for midrise mixed use buildings. Its just that simple. Two lines from north to south and east to west. No wonder city dwellers speak about north carolina in a condescending tone. Get the southern country replublicans out!!!

Then you might get somewhere.

They should let me plan the whole city. I can bring them money fame and glamour starting only with light rail. Lol.

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  • 1 year later...

Chattanooga, TN is looking towards getting a light rail. The city is known to be a rail city from the boom years, and as such as a lot of in-ground infrastructure to support the conversion to light rail transit. Price tag is between $35m-$41m for 20+ miles in downtown and the inner city. The city traditionally had great transit, but abandoned rail cars in the 60's for buses. Today it only has buses, free electric shuttles downtown, and one passenger rail up the side of Lookout Mountain. 


Reasons for light rail (at least for selling the idea) would be to connect downtown to the airport, to provide transportation in the inner city (which is a huge problem currently), and to possibly connect to other systems (nearby Cleveland, TN, Nashville, and Atlanta) in the future.


At the moment, the city is working through several studies, one recently stated a bullet train from Chattanooga to Atlanta wouldn't be feasible. The next 1-2 years will be the PR years selling the idea. Hopefully it should come through.


Here is one article from last year: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2014/may/04/all-aboard-chatt-eyes-35-million-light-rail-system/139171/



Edited by cssullivan
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  • 8 months later...
On 12/4/2005 at 5:44 PM, AceMentor said:


Is currently building its first commuter rail line. This has to be the most cost effective line built in modern history. I believe it is a 30+ mile starter line with 5 stations that should open in 2006. It was also a very fast project and should be used as an example of how rail transit can be stated for low cost as I believe the entire cost of the line was less than $40M. There are proposals to extend this system with 4-5 more lines.

Nashville Commuter Rail discussion on UP

Nashville resident here wishing they'd supplement the commuter rail with local rail. The population is going up so fast that traffic within the 440 loop is becoming worse by the day. Instead they're investing a little more in the insufficient local and long-distance bus transit. Are there any other examples of growing small-urban areas that had difficulty adding reasonable public transit during the growth phase? 


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