Light rail vehicle on single track with greenery on both sides

This is how rail transit on the Eastside railroad might look, including the nature preserves on both sides of the track, after electrification in a future stage. Eastside Rail Now's plan calls for initially using diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicles or surplus Sounder commuter trains instead of electrically powered vehicles in order to minimize start-up costs and begin service as quickly as possible.

The photo is actually of a train on the new light rail system in Nottingham in the UK. Each of these trains consists of five articulated sections for a total length of 33 meters (108 feet) and can accommodate 191 passengers.

Note that there is only one track. Having only a single track offers some important advantages, including lower construction costs, reduced space consumption and lower maintenance costs, and, in fact, most railway lines, including many rail transit lines, throughout the world are single tracked. Two or more tracks are necessary only for lines with extremely frequent service, such as every five or ten minutes. On single track lines, trains coming from opposite directions pass each other at strategically located passing sidings (i.e., short sections of double track). Such sidings already exist on the Eastside railroad, including in Renton, Bellevue and Woodinville. (Thanks to Stephen Dee for the photo.)

Click on the above image to return to the previous page. For a brief graphic tour of the Eastside railroad, please visit the page Scenes Along the Eastside Railroad.

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Created January 18, 2007. Last updated December 31, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 Eastside Rail Now! All Rights Reserved.