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A street running train is a train which runs on a track built on public streets. The rails are embedded in the roadway, and the train shares the street with other users, such as pedestrians, cars and cyclists, thus often being referred to as running in mixed traffic or sharing the road with trains. For safety, street running trains travel more slowly than trains on dedicated rights-of-way. Needing to share the right-of-way with motor vehicles can cause delays and pose a safety risk.
Stations on such routes are rare and may appear similar in style to a tram stop, but often lack platforms, pedestrian islands, or other amenities. In some cases, passengers may be required to wait on a distant sidewalk, and then board or disembark by crossing the traffic. The last street-station in the USA was in Michigan City, until 2022.
- Mossman, a narrow-gauge sugar-cane railway runs down Mill Street
- Nambour, the Moreton Central Sugar Mill Cane Tramway ran down Mill Street, was also street running on a bridge at Bli Bli, closed 2003 The rails in the street remained in place and a tourist tram is planned on it.
- Port Pirie, the Adelaide-Port Augusta railway line line ran down the centre of Ellen Street until 1967
- Rockhampton, the North Coast main line runs down Denison Street, double track line singled in 1996[a]
- Yass, Yass Tramway from Yass Junction to Yass Town ran down Dutton Street, closed 1988 The route is no longer connected, but the tracks in Dutton street and by the station are still present and are on the heritage list.
Notable examples in Canada include:
- Port Hope, Ontario: from Walton Street, along Ontario street to the Ganaraska River, where it split off and followed the river north out of the city limits, eventually reaching Midland, Ontario with a branch line to Peterborough, Ontario. Lots of railway facilities still exist, the old station, now Furby's books and lent travel are opposite the corner of Walton street and Ontario, with the old station masters office just south of that along lent lane, which is the old track bed, and the Ganaraska Hotel, which is the old Railway Hostel.
- Oshawa, Ontario: from Michael Starr trail (near court street) along Bruce street, east to Ritson road, then north on Ritson road to the GM North Plant. (removed)
- Brantford, Ontario: Clarence Street (From Nelson Street to Icomm Drive, formerly Canadian National Railway; now Southern Ontario Railway, still in use) (not on the road although tracks do occupy the right turn lane at Colborne Street)
- Guelph, Ontario (also not real street running):
- Kent Street (from Glasgow Street to Gordon Street), CNR, still in use
- St. Catharines, Ontario:
- Ontario Street (removed) (to the disappeared car factory) (continues to Louisa St.) (diagonal between the houses) (former track partly still visible from the air)
- Louisa Street (From just east of Thomas Street to Catherine Street, Canadian National Railway, originally Niagara St. Catharines Toronto Railway. Electric interurban (branch from Port Dalhousie-west) (until 1959) removed, continues to Welland Avenue below)
- Welland Avenue (From Francis Street to Balfour Street, removed) (continues to Niagara St.)
- Raymond Street (depot only)
- Niagara Street (continues to Facer St.)
- Facer Street (branch to Niagara~on~the~Lake)
- Electric interurban network to Port Dalhousie-west, Port Dalhousie-east, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne, and Niagara Falls. All tracks on the streets are removed in all places, except(?) Pine Street in Thorold. Freight trains with diesel engines on the streets only from 1959 to the closing in about 2005.
- St. Catharines was the center of the Niagara St. Catharines Toronto Railway.
- Waterloo, Ontario:
- Caroline Street (from Erb Street West to Allen Street West, (CP Rail) tracks removed in 1994. Later reinstalled for ION light rail, in service again as of 2019)(the lightrail follows a different route) The former railway is now a trail - path. (To the south)
- Rijeka, freight trains (and occasional passenger trains) run from western to eastern cargo terminal of Port of Rijeka through the city centre.
- Brno: the railway line that connects Brno Exhibition Centre and mainline runs about two km (1.2 mi). along Poříčí street. Touristic (steam) trains run on the Highway, with police escorts.
For tramways the legal separation of a street running trackbed and an exclusive trackbed in urban traffic is given in § 16 BOStrab tramway regulations. Germany has some street-running railways:
- A freight branch of the Main-Neckar Railway features some street running sections in Darmstadt. The line is no longer in regular use, but a short dual gauge section (Kirschen Allee)(Evonik) was until 2015 connected to the metre gauge Darmstadt tram network allowed old trams to be loaded onto mainline vehicles for export.
The MTR Light Rail running in and between the new towns of Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai has many sections of on-street running, although the majority of the system runs on its own tracks alongside major roads or elevated viaducts, e.g., at the junctions near Tuen Mun Town Centre.
The KCR British Section had two street running stretches: a spur line to Whampoa Dockyard through Baker Street, another across Salisbury Road and Canton Road to the Kowloon Godowns.
- Surakarta, Central Java: The Solo Purwosari to Wonogiri line runs along Jalan Slamet Riyadi through the center of Surakarta. The Batara Kresna Railbus service between Solo Purwosari and Wonogiri, operates along the line, with two trips in each direction. A special charter-only tourist steam train called the Sepur Kluthuk Jaladara also runs along this stretch of the line between Solo Purwosari and Solo Kota stations.
- The rail link across the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos is shared-use, although road traffic stops while trains cross the bridge.
- Kawakawa : The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, part of the former Opua Branch of the New Zealand Railways, runs down the middle of State Highway 1 in the centre of Kawakawa.
- Hindon : The Taieri Gorge Railway, part of the former Otago Central Railway runs down the middle of a one lane road bridge in Hindon. These tourist passenger trains have the right of way, with only signs warning motorists of trains.
Swiss law does not distinguish between trams and railways, making the distinction between street running by trams and that by railways legally indistinct.
- Zürich : 1,000-tonne (980-long-ton; 1,100-short-ton) grain trains make up to 4 journeys a day between Bahnhof Hardbrücke and the Swissmill Tower on Sihlquai, following a 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) route along Zahnradstrasse, Hardstrasse and Zöllystrasse, including a tram crossing. The driver controls traffic lights manually.
Street running railways have been much rarer in the United Kingdom than elsewhere. This is due to 19th-century laws requiring railways to be enclosed by fences, which had the consequence that railways could not be built along existing roads and had to use their own rights of way. In cases where street running was unavoidable, the roads were often legally treated as level crossings with trains and road vehicles not permitted to use them at the same time. Some examples are:
- Weymouth: The most notable street running track was the Weymouth Harbour Tramway (despite the name, it was never used for trams and was a heavy-rail route); however this ended service to regular traffic since 1987, and to all traffic since 1999, with track removal starting in 2020.
- Porthmadog: The Porthmadog cross town link links the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog railways and includes 50 metres of street running over the Britannia Bridge in Porthmadog. The section that runs along a street is closed to road traffic by alternating red stop lights, as if it were an extended level crossing.
- Trafford Park: A freight-only street-running railway network was through Trafford Park; only one section alongside Barton Dock Road has seen use in recent years.[when?] This branch is abandoned and partially removed.
- Preston: The heritage Ribble Steam Railway runs across a swing bridge at the entrance to Preston Marina. The bridge is used by both road and rail traffic, but closed by barriers to road traffic when a train is crossing.
A selection of the many examples:
- Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. A one-lane tunnel that must be shared by cars and trains.
- Skagway: Unofficial government allows railroad tracks up Broadway in 1898. They were shifted in 1947.
- 11th. Ave.
- Embarcadero West, between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Webster Street; the only double street running train track in the USA; the only Amtrak street running trackage in the USA; freight trains also run here; third track is no longer in use.
- Fort Collins
- Mason Street. This railway opened in 1877, but 100 years later the city wanted the line around the city. It almost worked. But the train now has a free lane in the street.
- 6th Street between Taylor Street and Reynolds Street, approx. ten blocks.
- Madison Street.
- J-street, between 14th and 18th street - Removed in 2022.
- Michigan City
- 10th Street and 11th Street - As of 2023, the tracks have been moved out of the streets and into their own right-of-way
- New Albany:
- E 15th street - After about 10 years, this route will be used again in 2022.
- Salina street.
- Madison Street.
- N 10th. Avenue.
- International Falls
- Fort Frances–International Falls International Bridge, connecting to Fort Frances, Ontario Canada. There is no connection to the Canadian rail network through this bridge. No more trains to cross the bridge since the paper mill closed in 2014. The municipality is still hoping to be taken over by another company.
- Camp Ripley
- Saint Louis
- Dorcas street. Brewery-trains. Until 2011 the brewery has an own railroad, the Manufacturers Railway; once they served several streets in the area. Now only the Dorcas Street trackage is in use. Track in S 2nd. Street to Rutger Street is partly still present but out of service. In S 2nd. Street, more than 10 tracks come/came out onto the street, at Barton Street.
- Monroe Street. Abandoned in 2020.
- Schuyler Street.
- Hillsborough Street.
- Harmar street.
- Front Street NE.
- East 19th. Street. Secretly laid in 1882, abandoned in 2001
- West Brownsville
- Main Street.
- N Fentress St.-S Caldwell-McNeil St.
- San Antonio
- Houser Way S.
- Saint Marys
- 2nd. Street.
- Green track
- Level crossing
- List of road-rail bridges
- List of road-rail tunnels
- Reserved track, where vehicles have a separate right of way (typically used in a tram transport context)
- Street running railroad on Denison Street in Rockhampton, Queensland
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