Street running

Street running
Darjeeling "Toy train" in Kurseong, India

On-street running or street running is when a railroad track or tramway track runs directly along city streets, without any separation. The rails are embedded in the road.

A train shares the street directly with pedestrians and automobile traffic; trains travel at reduced speed for safety reasons. If there are stations on the section, they can appear similar in style to a tram stop.

Although bridges and tunnels are not streets, rails can still be embedded in the surface of bridges and tunnels like the Inuyama Bridge in Japan and the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel in the United States.



A bus sharing a railway bridge in Helsinki, Finland. The rail are for mainline trains accessing the Helsinki Metro depot (not for trams)



Notable examples in Canada include:[2]

Brantford, Ontario
  • Clarence Street (From Nelson St. to Icomm Dr., CNR, still in use)
St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Louisa St. (From just east of Thomas St. to Catherine St., CNR, removed, continues to Welland Ave. below)
  • Welland Ave. (From Francist St. to Balfour St., removed)


"Mollibahn" running through Bad Doberan, Germany

In the north east of Germany, the steam "Mollibahn" narrow gauge railway travels on-street through the town of Bad Doberan at the start of its journey.

Hong Kong

Light Rail tracks along Tai Fong Street, Tai Hing Estate, Tuen Mun

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,[3][4][5] although many parts of it run on their own tracks alongside major roads or elevated, e.g., at the several junctions near Tuen Mun Town Centre.[6][7]


One of the most famous locations is when the steam-powered Darjeeling Himalayan Railway "Toy train" squeezes between narrow shop fronts down past a bazaar in India.


Indonesia used to have an extensive "steam tramways" (more accurately defined as local railways) network, which had many street running sections in various towns and cities in Java and Sumatra.

Two sections remain in use in 2010: part of the Wonogiri branch runs along the Slamet Riyadi street in Surakarta, and a short branch to an oil depot in Madiun. The earlier line sees both passenger and freight service (including a steam-hauled tourist train), while the other line is exclusively for freight.[citation needed]


Trains between Rosslare Europort and Dublin Connolly run on streets for a short distance through the town of Wexford.[citation needed]


The Bernina Railway runs in the streets of Tirano.[8]

The Circumetnea ran until 1999 on the Corso delle Provincie in Catania.[9]

The Cremona–Iseo railway ran until 1956 in the central street of Cavatigozzi.[citation needed]

The Domodossola–Locarno railway started until the 80s from the station square of Domodossola.[10]

The Rivabahn was until 1981 a freight railway that ran into the city of Trieste along the seaside street ("Riva").[11]

The Rome–Fiuggi railway (now practically a tramway) runs completely along the Via Casilina in Rome.[12]


Inuyama Bridge in 1996


In Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Macchu Picchu, the railway shares the streets with pedestrians, as well as in other towns further up the line. This railway serves as the only viable way of reaching Macchu Picchu from Cusco without walking.[citation needed]


Berninabahn train crossing the main square in Tirano.

Swiss law does not distinguish between trams and railways, making the distinction between street running by trams and that by railways subjective.

The Berninabahn has two sections of street running, in Le Prese, and in Tirano (in Italy), where the approach to the station involves street running and crossing a public square.

In Chur there is on-street running between the city's main railway station and Chur Stadt and a little further into Sand.

Taiwan (Republic of China)

The Pinghsi Line is running along the streets near several of its stations, e.g., Shihfen Station and Pinghsi Station.

United Kingdom

The most notable track where Street Running was common was the Weymouth Harbour Tramway however this has been out of service to regular traffic since 1987, and to all traffic since 1999.

The Tramlink network runs along several miles of streets in Croydon town centre.

The Porthmadog cross town link links the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog railways and includes some street running through Porthmadog.[13]

There is a freight-only street running railway network in Trafford Park, however only one section along Barton Dock Road is still in regular use.

United States

Notable examples in the United States include:[2]

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel interior, with train tracks in roadway
  • Modesto:
    • From 1912 until April 2000, trains operated approximately 1.25 miles (2 km) down Ninth Street, one of the major arteries of the city. The tracks were built by the Tidewater Southern Railway and later operated by the Union Pacific. They were very controversial and the city tried to have them removed for decades.
  • Oakland:
    • Jack London Square: 1st. St. W. / Embarcadero W. (From end of road, west of Market St. to Webster St., BNSF/Amtrak mainline, in use)
      • Amtrak passenger trains, and mainline container freight trains sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists, buses, and automobiles, with passenger trains traveling at up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).
  • Santa Cruz:
    • Murray St. (From Lake Ave. overpass to E. Cliff Dr., leads to Beach St. below)
    • Beach St. (From Leibrandt Ave. to Municipal Wharf)
    • Chestnut St. (From Green St. to south of Laurel St.)
  • Stockton:
    • B St. (From E. Miner Ave. to E. Scotts Ave., owned by the Central California Traction Company)
  • Turlock:
    • Castor Street from Orange Street to Lander Street and B Street from 5th Street to 1st Street, former Tidewater Southern, now Union Pacific
  • Fort Collins:
    • Mason St. (From Cherry St. to W. Pitkin St., BNSF, still in use)
  • Pensacola:
    • Tarragona St. (From E. Blount St. to E. Main St.)
    • E. Wright St. (From N. Alcaniz St. to N. 17th St.)
  • St. Petersburg:
    • 1st Ave. S. (From 13th Ave. S. to Bay Shore Dr. SE, portions now Pinellas Trail)
  • Augusta:
    • 6th Street (From Reynolds St. to Taylor St., still in use!)
    • Fenwick St. (From 8th St. to 6th St.)
    • Poplar St. (From 15th St. to Woodson Ln.)
    • R.A. Dent Blvd. (From Dantignac St. to Wrightsboro Rd.)
  • Savannah:
    • River St.
The South Shore Line runs down streets in Michigan City, Indiana.
  • Bedford:
  • Jeffersonville:
    • Champion Rd. (From Dutch Ln. to E. 12th St., IRR, still in use, continues along E 9th St. below)
  • Lafayette:
    • 5th St. (From Union St. to Fountain St., former CSXT/AMTRK line, removed)
  • Michigan City:
    • 10th St. (From Sheridan Ave. to Huron St., continues to 11th St. below)
    • 11th St. (From Kentucky St. to E. Michigan Blvd., continues to Holiday St. below)
      • 11th Street Station in Michigan City, Indiana of South Shore Line, a commuter rail line operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD), lies on such section. The "station" has no platform, and its station building has since been closed. All passengers now wait on the sidewalk as though at a tram stop.
    • Holiday St. (From Vail St. to N. Fairfield Ave.)
  • New Albany:
    • East 15th St. (From Division St. to Shelby Pl., CSX Transportation)
  • Terre Haute:
    • 10th St. (From Locust St. to Chestnut St.)
    • 1st St. (From Sycamore St. to Demorest St., former PCRR)
  • Bellevue:
    • 399th Ave. / Jefferson Ave. / 2nd St. (From N. Riverview Dr (US 52) to Spruce St., ICE, still in use)
  • La Grange:
    • Main St. (From S. 4th St. / Kentucky Ave. to Cedar St., CSXT mainline still in use)
  • Baltimore:
    • Most streets in the Fells Point neighbourhood of Baltimore
    • Wicomico St. (From Bayard St. to S. Monroe St.)
  • New Albany:
    • N. Railroad Avenue (from Summer St. / Cleveland St. to W. Bankhead St. / E. Bankhead St. [ Highway 178/ Old US 178 ])
  • St. Louis:
    • N 2nd St. (From Bremen Ave. to Angelrodt St., leads to Hall St. below)
    • Hall St. (From Dock St. to Branch St., leads to 1st St. below)
    • 1st St. (From Clinton St. to Biddle St.)
    • 3rd St (From Shenandoah Ave. to north of Barton St. (leads back to S. 2nd St. below)
    • S. 2nd St. (From Chouteau Ave. to Lynch St.)
    • Dorcas St. (From Busch Pl. to S. Broadway St. / rail yard)
New Jersey
  • Garfield:
    • Monroe St. (From Pierre Ave. / Atlantic St. to River Ave., Conrail/CSXT, still in use)
    • 7th St. (From Wall St. to end of road)
New York
  • New York City (Brooklyn):
    • 1st. Ave. (From 39th St. to 63rd St., continues along 41st St. below)
    • 41st. St. (From 1st Ave. to east of 2nd Ave. , goes through building at 2nd Ave. intersection, continues along 2nd Ave. below)
    • 2nd Ave. (From end of road (north of 28th St. to south of 41st St.)
    • 32nd St. (From 2nd Ave. to west of 3rd Ave.)
  • Syracuse:
    • Washington St (Now Erie Blvd.) (NYC, removed)
North Carolina
  • James City:
    • Scott St. (From end of road to X, still in use)
    • W. Maple St. (From Brooks Dr. to end of road)
  • New Bern:
    • Windley St. (From end of road to Dunn St., leads to Dunn St. below)
    • Dunn St. (From Windley St. to N. Craven St., leads to Hancock St. below)
    • Hancock St. (From Queen St. to S. Front St., still in use, leads to Scott St. in James City, NC below)
  • Salem:
    • South St. NE (From Commercial St. NE / Highway 99E to 4th St. NE), continues Front St. NE, below
    • Front St. NE (From Norway St. NE to Ferry St. SE)
  • Erie:
    • 19th St. (From Buffalo Rd. to Cranberry St., NS mainline, removed in 2000)
  • West Brownsville:
    • Main St. (From William St. to Bridge Blvd., NS, still in use)
Rhode Island
  • Providence:
    • Providence and Worcester Railroad Service to the northernmost piers of the Port of Providence and numerous sidings via Allens Ave. from the Harbor Branch. Tracks in situ, currently classed as "Out of Service" by FRA rules.
  • Ogden:
    • Wall Avenue (Oregon Short Line, later Union Pacific, removed)
  • Salt Lake City:
    • 900 South ("Passenger Line", San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, later Union Pacific, removed 2008)
  • Ashland:
    • Center St. / Railroad Ave. (From W. Patrick St. / Smith St. to Gwathmey Church Rd., AMTK, still in use)


See also


  1. ^ "Wycheproof - Victoria - Australia - Travel -". 2004-02-08. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  2. ^ a b Trains Magazine, Vol. 68, Issue 4 (April 2008) (pages 22-31)
  3. ^ [1] [2] [3] On-street running along Tai Fong Street
  4. ^ File:Castle Peak Road Yuen Long.jpg File:HK Yuen Long Castle Peak Road Fung Nin Road.JPG - Pictures showing on-street tracks along Castle Peak Road-Yuen Long
  5. ^ Google Street View - On-street running along Castle Peak Road-Yuen Long
  6. ^ File:Transport HK LR ChungFu.jpg Tracks located alongside a road
  7. ^ File:Transport HK LR MingKam.jpg Elevated tracks and station
  8. ^ Image here
  9. ^ Image here
  10. ^ Image here
  11. ^ Image here
  12. ^ Image here
  13. ^ Davies, Merfyn (30 October 2010). "Taith gyntaf teithwyr trên bach o Gaernarfon i Borthmadog" (in Welsh). BBC Online. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 

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