I would suggest using the terminology that Prof. Vuchic has spent a
career trying to standardize.
If it mostly runs in mixed traffic, that is, RoW C, then it is a
streetcar or tram. If it mostly runs
with lateral separation, but at grade, then it is RoW C and light
rail. If it runs fully grade separated,
RoW A, then it light rail rapid transit, or just rapid transit.
Quoting Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...
> On Oct 1, 2009, at 7:50 AM, Aaron Thomas wrote:
>> I'm working with documentation for Malmö here in Sweden that is to
>> re-establish that wonder of transport, rail-based electric
>> transport. What
>> to call it in English? I've been using LER Light Electric Rail, and
>> like light rail. But wikipedia is against that -- currently! (
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_rail ...
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tram )
>> So may I ask: If a document mentioned light electric rail or light
>> would any of you think that is certainly not a rail-based electric
>> transport in mixed traffic?
> Anywhere in the US, 'light rail" means electric trams powered through
> catenaries. DMUs are rare here--i doubt one person in a thousand has
> heard of them. "Trams" is also in use, but "light rail" is more common.
> "Light rail" is "light" because it does not share tracks with goods
> trains, so does not have to be built to withstand a collision with an
> 8000-ton freight.
> Definition form http://lightrail.com:
>> An electric railway system, characterized by its ability to operate
>> single or multiple car consists (trains) along exclusive rights-of-
>> way at ground level, on aerial structures, in subways or in
>> streets, able to board and discharge passengers at station
>> platforms or at street, track, or car-floor level and normally
>> powered by overhead electrical wires.
> Richard Risemberg