The Tram-train: Spanish Application
Free (open access)
M. Novales, A. Orro & M.R. Bugarín
The tram-train is a new urban transport system that was originated in Germany in the 1990’s, and which is undergoing a great development at the moment, with studies for its establishment in several European cities. The tram-train concept consists of the operation of light rail vehicles that can run either by existing or new tramway tracks, or by existing railway tracks, so that the services of urban public transport can be extended towards the region over those tracks, with much lower costs than if a completely new line were built. The authors are developing a research project about the establishment of such a system in Madrid, which would involve the construction of a new light rail system in a suburban zone of the city, which could conned with Metro lines or with suburban lines of Renfe (National Railways Company). In this way, better communications would be achieved from this area towards the city centre. During the development of this project we have studied the European systems that are in service at the present time, as well as those that are in construction, in project, or in preliminary study phase. So, we have determined which are the critic issues of compatibilization, and horn these issues we have studied the particular characteristics of the Spanish case. The aim of this paper is to carry out a brief summary of tram-train systems in operation nowadays, after which we explain the main advantages of this system, to pass later on to a deeper description of the Spanish case, with a discussion about the best solutions to each problem that has arisen in the development of this kind of system.