10 Different Type of Trains

Different Type of Trains
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A train is a form of rail transport that consists of series of connected vehicles that generally run along a railway track to transport passengers or cargo (also known as “freight” or “goods”).

The word train originates from the Old French trahiner, derived from the Latin’ trahere’, which means ‘to pull, draw.’

There are various types of trains; below is a list of some of them.

Types Of Trains

1. Commuter Trains

Commuter trains connect suburban areas with the central city and primarily serve riders to and from work.

Basically, commuter trains run on weekdays, during rush hours, and only in peak directions.

A good example is Altamont Commuter Express, which runs from Stockton to San Jose during weekdays and from San Jose to Stockton during weekday afternoons.

However, commuter rail systems like Caltrain and Metrolink can run trains all day in both directions.

2. High-Speed Trains

High-speed trains are generally defined as trains that can operate at a speed of 125mph or faster.

This type of trains are designed to compete with aircraft in terms of overall journey time by connecting large metropolitan centers (with few stops in between).

Even though high-speed rail trains are generally compatible with conventional passenger and freight trains and frequently share tracks at major European stations, they require separate rails to operate at high speeds.

High-speed trains operate in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Britain, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and China.

3. Light Rail Trains

Often known as trolleys and streetcars, light trains refer to trains that serve as local transit in a city’s center and can run on the street.

Light rail is less expensive than fast transit, is more pedestrian-friendly, but has a lower passenger capacity.

It has the advantage of being able to operate as either rapid transit or local buses, depending on the infrastructure available.

Light rail trains in Sacramento, San Diego, Portland, and San Jose run quicker in the suburbs (separated tracks) and slower in the city (street median).

Trains in San Francisco run in mixed traffic outside of downtown and underground in the city. Light Rail stations might be a short distance apart.

4. Regional Trains

Regional railways link stations in neighboring cities. These trains make more stops over a shorter distance than inter-city trains but travel longer distances than commuter trains.

They serve more than just urban areas, as they frequently connect cities to rural sections of the country.

5. Freight Train

Since freight trains deliver materials or cargo, they are also known as goods trains. They aren’t meant to transport people at all.

These trains transport the majority of the world’s freight and are critical to the industry.

In many countries, including the United States, the railway system is primarily utilized to convey goods rather than passengers.

Under the right circumstances, freight transportation by train can be very cost-effective. They are also a more energy-efficient mode of transportation than driving.

They can transport a lot of weight over long distances faster than trucks, but they aren’t designed for short-distance transit.

6. Monorail

A monorail is a railway system with only one beam or rail track. They were designed to fulfill the medium traffic demands of cities and often run on elevated rail tracks.

Linear induction motors are used in almost all monorails.

Eugen Langen named elevated railway systems the Eugen Langen One-railed Suspension Tramway in 1896, coining the term mono (one).

7. Passenger Train

Passenger trains can be rapid and are frequently very long to accommodate more passengers. They may have a self-powered unit or a group of locomotives.

Passengers can depart or board these trains at several depots or stations. They usually run on a set timetable, which is why they frequently have better track occupancy rights than freight trains.

Long-distance, short-distance, and trains within cities are the three basic types of passenger trains.

8. Railcar

The railcar is a self-propelled railway vehicle that transports passengers to their destinations. A single-car, coach, or carriage with a driver’s cabin at both ends is commonly referred to as a railcar.

These vehicles are also capable of carrying train carriages; they are frequently referred to as motor cars or railmotor coaches in technical rail usage.

9. Light Rail

Modern tram systems are often referred to as light rails. Still, they usually have their own independent routes, similar to heavy-line railways.

They’re a cross between a tram and a train. Light rails, unlike subway trains, may have level crossings that are often secured by crossing gates.

Abandoned heavy rails are frequently utilized as new light rails to connect underdeveloped sites and disadvantaged communities to larger cities.

10. Maglev

The term “maglev” comes from the term “magnetic levitation.” It is a mode of transportation in which the train is pushed off the track by two sets of magnets.

Because there is no friction to account for, another magnet is utilized to propel the floating train forward at high speeds.

They don’t move very far, but they nonetheless give high-speed rail and airplanes a run for their money.

Trains that use Maglev technology have no moving parts. The train is the only moving portion.

It moves along a specified guideway using magnets to manage its speed and stability. Because of this, they are smoother and quieter than conventional heavy-duty trains.


Trains are essential parts of the transport system in many ways. They are usually the best mass-transit system and also help in trade.

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