Talk:Rapid transit

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Former good article Rapid transit was one of the Engineering and technology good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Grade separated ground level tracks?[edit]

How is it possible to have grade separated ground level tracks? If they are at ground level, then how could they be grade separated at the same time? Oren Balaban (talk) 10:22, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Rewrite needed[edit]

This has become a truly dreadful article. The first few paragraphs contain a mish-mash of random observations about subway systems. No, nix that: the entire article is a structureless mish-mash of random trivia about subways. It's all good stuff, but there's no story, and no way to navigate around or through it. I arrived here looking for some account of the history of subways, in particular the answer to 'which are the oldest subway systems?', and found nothing. I apologise for being blunt, but this needs someone to give the article a bit of love by killing it and starting again. All the raw materials are there, but this can't be fixed bit by bit. NormanGray (talk) 03:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I have tried to give what you are asking but an another awkward editor keep reverting to the unstructured mess. The oldest "underground" systems are London, Liverpool, Budapest. The oldest rapid transit are: London, New York (elevated), Liverpool. It is debated whether the NY elevated is rapid transit being slow cable hauled which is more mass transit rather than rapid. (talk) 12:30, 29 July 2013 (UTC)


add a section about turnstile or link the article to the turnstile article because every subway system uses turnstiles to restrict access. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 4 February 2012 (UTC)


This article's image count is ridiculous. It is longer than the text portion and there some are really useless images added. I think we need to think about which ones to keep and which ones to let go. Steve chiu (talk) 18:24, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

It's quite excessive, I have to admit. Is there some purpose in displaying all the images this way? Perhaps to make a comparison on how each station or system is laid out or something? ---------User:DanTD (talk) 20:35, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Not really, its just over time people added images of their own system and you need to clean it up every once and awhile. At a glance:
A São Paulo Metro train on the green line
Cars of yellow line Delhi Metro, India.

are fairly bland and don't really contribute to the article at all.

Then there is these which marginally contribute (mostly station shots) but they are redundant:

The Soviet Union filled its stations with ornate architectural and decorative detail. Saint Petersburg Metro, Russia

could have been said in the moscow metro picture

5-Line of Metro de Santiago (Chile) combines rubber tire traction with elevated right-of-way.

can't really see the rubber tired tech and followed by a more breathtaking picture on elevated running.

relatively low resolution picture. Although it shows PSD in use the Guangzhou one serves a better purpose as it is also representative of all Chinese and Korean metro system station designs.

2 videos that really don't add much to the article.

Major overhaul[edit]

I have decided to be WP:BOLD and plunged into a complete overhaul of the article. To start, I moved most of the pictures from the article to a new WP:Gallery section, also trimming some of the article-length captions to their essentials. The only pictures that should be placed in the main body of the article are those which clearly illustrate a concept discussed in the nearby text. All other pictures, no matter how beautiful or striking, should be relegated to the gallery. Some pruning may be needed, but this can be dealt with later.

In addition, I have started on a logical reorganization of the content. I have tried to group related (and in some cases partially overlapping) material together, and replaced generic uninformative titles with more descriptive ones. The goal of the article should be to introduce the topic in a high-level overview, with a focus on patterns and trends best visible when looking at the diversity of rapid transit systems in the world. There should be plenty of Wikilinks and external refs to further in-depth information elsewhere. Reify-tech (talk) 16:47, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Further to this, this article remains quite awful. It's a mismash of American terminology, inaccurate term use, conflated subjects with references to other distinct modes of transport jammed in at awkward junctures. The article needs clarifying to refer to type and be more specific to avoid bringing regional rail / commuter rail structures from unspecified countries into the mix (which lead to argumentative edits) and identify what it means by "the technology" in the lede when somehow the London Met somehow turned into the Liverpool / New York overhead...? Ideally it should be far more explicit when defining what qualifies as Rapid Transit by the US definition and commonly accepted terms (such as those listed under characteristics in the commuter rail article). For instance is "having scheduled services (i.e. trains run at specific times rather than at specific intervals)" specifically not a feature of Rapid Transit? If so Rapid Transit should be defined as "trains run at specific intervals, rather than a schedule". etc Koncorde (talk) 10:02, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Rapid transit is an urban railway that transport people rapidly. It is that simple. (talk) 12:59, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
And that's not the definition, in fact it just further muddies the waters as to what you mean by urban. Grouping every urban rail as "rapid transit" is not accurate. Koncorde (talk) 22:08, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Network topology diagrams needed[edit]

Conspicuous by its absence among the network topology diagrams is the classic hub-and-spoke layout, as seen in Boston's MBTA, Chicago's Chicago Transit Authority, and many other cities. Could somebody make up an appropriate diagram similar to the existing ones? Reify-tech (talk) 16:39, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Also missing is a "fan" type of topology, as seen in the Hamburg U-Bahn, Boston's Green Line (MBTA), San Francisco's Muni Metro, etc. It can be viewed as a special subtype of a hub-and-spoke topology, and is seen often when geographic constraints (e.g. coastline, steep mountains, nonbuildable wetlands, political boundaries, etc.) impede expansion in some direction
I don't think that "fan" warrants its own diagram as it is topologically equivalent to hub-and-spoke (aka radial). No radial diagram is a glaring oversight, though.
I did some searching, and it appears that the network topology diagrams probably came from the corresponding German Wikipedia article (de:U-Bahn). This would also explain the liberal use of hyphens (e.g. rapid-transit, circle-system), which is proper usage in German, in some sections of the English language Rapid transit article. Liberal use of hyphens is not customary in English language writing, and therefore the superfluous hyphens should be removed during future copyediting. Incidentally, the German article is rated "lesenwert" (read-worthy or "worth reading"), which seems to be their equivalent of "Good Article" (GA). Reify-tech (talk) 00:41, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Canada -> Mexico ?[edit]

I'm not from North America, so I'm not sure what that means : Is it possible to travel these three countries... in subway ?! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

It is offbeat humor, the specialty of the comic xkcd. Also, wishful fantasy of direct interconnections among major rapid transit systems of North America. Reify-tech (talk) 18:09, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Rapid transit[edit]

Outline of a 3 car Merseyrail rapid transit electric train showing the 4 fast exit and entry passenger doors per car. Trains are capable of approx. 80mph.
A fast, electric, rapid transit, 4 sliding door, Merseyrail Electrics train at Liverpool Lime St underground station
Another Merseyrail Electrics rapid transit train. Trains are 6 cars in the peaks hours.

Will editor Koncorde please leave the article alone until he knows what "rapid transit" is. He thinks Merseyrail is not rapid transit going on that most of the system is overground - most of London Underground is over ground and its sister London Overground is 100% out of tunnels. Being in or out of tunnels is irrelevant to whether system is "rapid transit". Merseyrail Electrics is 100% segregated from other rail traffic. Koncorde please get to understand these things but firstly get some facts right. :-) (talk) 12:31, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Merseyrail fails to meet the definition of Rapid Transit at every step. For any number of the reasons given. Your changes have focused on the "underground" element, I therefore rebut by the same argument. Simply being underground does not make it Rapid Transit.
Much of the London network does not qualify as rapid transit either - apart from the bits that do. Natch. That the rail is currently used by electric cars is not an argument for Rapid Transit either.
There have been numerous calls to make Merseyrail into a "metro" and each have been voted down. Koncorde (talk) 17:34, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Rapid transit can be underground overground or elevated. The Metroploitan Railway (now London Underground) and Merseyrail are rapid transit at every step. Both are true to the definition of rapid transit. The Metropolitan Railway was the world's first and the Mersey Railway (Merseyrail) was third. Both are segregated from other rail traffic with high frequency and both have three and 6 car setups. Both are fast all electric trains with standard 4 sliding doors in each car (introduced by Merseyrail in the 1930s) to enable passengers to enter and exit rapidly. Both are underground/overground, etc, etc. What are these numerous calls, that I have never heard of?
Please leave the article alone as your knowledge of these matters is scant, so pleased do some reading. (talk) 12:20, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Both are true to your definition of Rapid Transit, which is so broad as to basically include anything you wish. Koncorde (talk) 22:15, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Rapid transit is a fast segregated transport system. It is that simple. Meseyrail is a textbook example of a rapid transit system. If Merseyrail is not rapid transit then all other systems in the world are not rapid transit either. (talk) 09:21, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
As usual, you repeatedly claim Merseyrail is a rapid transit system, complete with the typical bold text that singles you out, without explaining why. It's not segregated ('outside' trains share tracks at several points, and freight trains were quite happily running around well into the 90s), it's not operated by bespoke trains, the tracks are not owned separately from the rest of the UK railway. Merseyrail is a classic commuter rail system - which is certainly not rapid transit. As Koncorde says, it fails at every step. L1v3rp00l (talk) 03:37, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Merseyrail Electrics is segregated as it uses 3rd rail. Merseyrail Electrics has 67 stations and over 120km of segregated track. Merseyrail is operated by fast electric urban rapid transit trains, with 4 sliding doors to each car. Commuter rail is a subset of an urban rapid transit system. Koncorde and you are wrong at every step. It is best you find out the definition of rapid transit. (talk) 22:31, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Encyclopedia Britannica defines rapid transit as:
"Rapid transit, is a system of railways, usually electric, that is used for local transit in a metropolitan area. A rapid transit line may run underground (subway), above street level (elevated transit line), or at street level. Rapid transit is distinguished from other forms of mass transit by its operation on exclusive right-of-way, with no access for other vehicles or for pedestrians."
Merseyrail conforms to all points. (talk)
The above is 100% correct. (talk) 05:57, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
The very fact that Merseyrail's tracks are not segregated, as I have already explained, render your definition above redundant. At several locations on the network (Southport, Hunts Cross, Bidston and Chester) other trains can and do use the same tracks as the Merseyrail trains. The tracks are owned and maintained by Network Rail, the company which runs the rest of the National Rail network. Merseyrail trains do not, nor have they ever, enjoy exclusive right-of-way on any of the network. Simply not a rapid transit system, not even close. L1v3rp00l (talk) 05:19, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
This is incorrect. Merseyrail's electric third rail tracks and lines, those run by Serco/Nedrail, are fully segregated. Near some stations some other trains from other companies may run on them for a few yards not using the third rail pickup. Trains from other companies use London Underground lines near stations as well, which is quite common at stations. Merseyrail may be a part of the National Rail ownership, but is clearly run as a separate entity by Serco/Nedrail even with its own branding and operational management. Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive rather than the Department for Transport issue the contract. But who runs it is irrelevant, as it is the physical system that matters, not pedantic ownership matters. (talk) 05:57, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
They aren't fully segregated. The fact that other traffic may utilise the line other than passengers, or that other traffic physically intersects it at level crossings etc means that it isn't fully segregated. In fact freight rail ran on the lines until relatively recently (I think it may still do in some form) over on the Wirral. Koncorde (talk) 06:20, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Merseyrail third rail electric lines are fully segregated. NO freight runs on the electric third rail lines. The only other trains that use Merseyrail lines are a few for a few yards at some connection terminal stations while jostling for their platforms. NO other companies trains uses Merseyrail lines and third-rail pickups. London underground even has a level crossings - but the rail, like Merseyrail, has priority, so irrelevant. A level crossing is no different to a bridge in train running. It is best you find out instead of going on hearsay. Merseyrail is a fully segregated third-rail partially underground rapid-transit network. The second oldest in the world. A really nice rapid-transit network with great scope for expansion. Koncorde you appear to hate Merseyrail. What is your beef about the network? (talk) 20:16, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I am aware that London Underground has other traffic, which is why I said over a month ago that not all of the London Underground system would qualify as Rapid Transit, or metro, or any other singular definition. It remains not segregated. The use of the phrase Rapid Transit is being grossly misapplied in many cases, that is my "beef". Koncorde (talk) 22:09, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Merseyrail meets all the criteria for rapid-transit, using very fast electric trains. In the old days the underground Metropolitan line running uninterrupted steam trains was clearly rapid transit to the horse and carts in the streets above. The same with the original Mersey Railway which was rapid-transit and very fast to the horses above and the steam ferry boats. The trains could also shift far more people making them also mass-transit. If a rail networks gets people along far quicker and in mass than the other urban transport methods then it is rapid-transit. It is as simple as that. (talk) 07:55, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Meseyrail is 100% a rapid transit rail network for sure. Anyone stating it is not should not be editing an article like this as they are not capable of basic analytical thought. Merseyrail is also the second oldest underground rapid transit rail network in the world. Only London predates it. (talk) 13:08, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

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Network topologies: Could someone explain this?[edit]

No, I don't mean, "explain what they are," although some of that would be nice on ones like the "complex grid" one. I mean, explain why this is important, the advantages and disadvantages of each system, the reasons that some cities adopt this one and others that one, and so on and so forth. Is that too much to ask? Lockesdonkey (talk) 20:06, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Transit consultant Jarrett Walker discusses this at some length and depth in his book, Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives, and in his professional blog at [1]. I might add some coverage of this to the article, with references, but any other interested editor is welcome to go ahead and do it first. Reify-tech (talk) 22:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Proposed merge with (from) U-Bahn[edit]

This article basically gives a dictionary definition of a U-Bahn, and all the other content does not really fit! Also, subway and metro have been redirected to this page anyway, so it should be the same for this. Staglit (talk) 20:34, 1 August 2014 (UTC) Staglit (talk) 20:34, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Sounds plausible, since most readers are unlikely to search for a German word that isn't widely seen in English, leaving the article an infrequently-visited stub (though with an odd cavalcade of national flags stuck on the end) which seems unlikely to ever be expanded into a full stand-alone article. It's probably better to explain all the different shades of meaning of the different terms in one place, rather than scattering disparate fragmentary descriptions across multiple loosely-connected articles. The German terminology and conceptual framework do seem to have had some influence on English-language terms and concepts. Reify-tech (talk) 00:55, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I will do this within 5 hours if no one else objects.... Staglit (talk) 19:41, 3 August 2014 (UTC)


Is this the right name for the underground (rail transport) aka Metro ?. It is not well done in Wikidata the link from Metro to Rapid Transit. --Lagoset (talk) 13:50, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

A metro is not necessarily underground. These articles are mess as what actually is a metro? Manchester call their street running tram system a metro. What is rapid-transit? What is mass-transit? I see in the UK, because of regional rivalries, Glasgow and Tyne & Wear Metro articles omit Liverpool's Merseyrail (the underground section dating from 1886) stating their own systems are older, which is nonsense. (talk) 13:15, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Something to add to "environmental impacts" to keep relevant[edit]

It should be added the overall efficiency given electricity use etc. vs modern electric cars. When ridership is low such as during off hours or on not-so-used lines, I would say the energy used to people moved over distance ratio is higher on a subway vs an electric car. B137 (talk) 22:31, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

First underground in NY[edit]

In 1868, New York opened the elevated West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway, initially a cable-hauled line using static steam engines.

elevated makes it sound above-ground, wondering if anyone knew when the first non-elevated subway in New York was and if it might be worth mentioning in the article.

American Tail is set in 1885 and in American Tail III (which could not be more than a year or two after judging by the lack of aging of Fieval or Tanya or their baby sibling) they interact with an abandoned subway car, so I was curious about the historical accuracy of this. -- (talk) 20:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Rapid Transit doesn't have to be underground, so yes the West Side and Yonkers was "above ground" - significantly (like 30'). As for the first New York subway - according to other wikipedia articles and their sources - 1898 was the start for New York, so seems Fievel is exposing an anachronism. Never saw the movie so couldn't comment any more. Koncorde (talk) 20:40, 2 March 2015 (UTC)