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Regional rail, also known as local trains and stopping trains, are
passenger A passenger (also abbreviated as pax) is a person who travels in a vehicle but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination or otherwise operate the vehicle. The vehicles may be bicycl ...

passenger
rail Rail or rails may refer to: Rail transport *Rail transport and related matters *Rail (rail transport) or railway lines, the running surface of a railway Film *Rails (film), ''Rails'' (film), a 1929 Italian film by Mario Camerini *Rail (1967 fil ...

rail
services that operate between towns and cities. These trains operate with more stops over shorter distances than
inter-city rail Inter-city rail services are express passenger train services that cover longer distances than or trains. There is no precise definition of inter-city rail; its meaning may vary from country to country. Most broadly, it can include any s tha ...
, but fewer stops and faster service than
commuter rail Commuter rail, or suburban rail, is a service that primarily operates within a , connecting to a from adjacent s or s. Generally commuter rail systems are considered , using electrified or diesel trains. Distance charges or may be use ...
. Regional rail services operate beyond the limits of
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbat ...
s, and either connect similarly-sized smaller cities and towns, or cities and surrounding towns, outside or at the outer rim of a suburban belt. Regional rail normally operates with an even service load throughout the day, although slightly increased services may be provided during rush-hour. The service is less oriented around bringing
commuters Commuting is periodically recurring travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be done by foot, bicycle, automobile A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for tr ...

commuters
to the urban centers, although this may generate part of the traffic on some systems. Other regional rail services operate between two large urban areas, but make many intermediate stops. In the United States, "regional rail" more commonly refers to
commuter rail Commuter rail, or suburban rail, is a service that primarily operates within a , connecting to a from adjacent s or s. Generally commuter rail systems are considered , using electrified or diesel trains. Distance charges or may be use ...
(and sometimes even larger
heavy rail Various terms are used for passenger railway lines and equipment; the usage of these terms differs substantially between areas: Rapid transit A rapid transit system is an electric railway characterized by high speed (~) and rapid accelerati ...
and
light rail Light rail transit (LRT) is a form of passenger urban rail transit Urban rail transit is an all-encompassing term for various types of local rail Rail or rails may refer to: Rail transport *Rail transport and related matters *Rail (rail t ...

light rail
) systems that offer bidirectional all-day service and may provide useful connections between suburbs and edge cities, rather than merely transporting workers to a
central business district A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. It contains commercial space and offices. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's "financial district". Geographically, it often coincides with ...
.


Characteristics

The main difference between regional rail and commuter rail is that the latter is focused on moving people between where they live and where they work on a daily basis. Regional rail operates outside major cities. Unlike inter-city, it stops at most or all stations. It provides a service between smaller communities along the line, and also connections with long-distance services. Regional rail typically operates throughout the day but often at low frequency (once per hour or only a few times a day), whereas commuter rail provides a high-frequency service within a conurbation. Regional rail services are much less likely to be profitable than inter-city (mainly because many passengers use monthly passes giving a lower price per ride, and that lower average speed gives less distance, meaning less ticket revenue per hour of operation) and hence require government
subsidy A subsidy or government incentive is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector (business, or individual) generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy. Although commonly extended from the government, the ter ...

subsidy
. This is justified on social or environmental grounds, and because regional rail services often act as feeders for more profitable inter-city lines. Since their invention, the distinction between regional and long-distance rail has also commonly been the use of multiple-unit propulsion, with longer-distance trains tending to be locomotive-hauled, although the development of trains such as the
British Rail Class 390 The British Rail Class 390 ''Pendolino'' is a type of electric high-speed passenger train operated by Avanti West Coast Avanti West Coast is a train operating company A train operating company (TOC) is a business operating passenger trains ...
and
V/Line VLocity The V/Line VLocity, sometimes called the VLocity 160, is a diesel multiple unit train built by Bombardier Transportation, Dandenong for V/Line, the regional rail operator in Victoria (Australia), Victoria. Continuously in production since 2003 ...
has blurred this distinction. Shorter regional rail services still usually be operated exclusively by multiple units where they exist, which have a shorter range and operate at lower average speeds than services on inter-city rail networks. Not using a locomotive also provides greater passenger capacity in the commuter role at peak periods. There are trains that are something in between regional and inter-city, like the Oresundtrain (between
Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2021, the city had a population of 799,033 (638,117 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,677 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,670 in Tårnby Municipal ...

Copenhagen
and three cities in Sweden over 3 hours away) with stopping pattern like a regional train and pass prices attracting work commuters.


Regional rail in different countries

This list describes the terms used for regional rail in various countries, as described above.


See also

*
Train categories in Europe Railway companies in Europe assign their trains to different categories or train types depending on their role. Passenger trains may be broadly split into long-distance and local trains; the latter having average journey times of under an hour and ...
*
Passenger rail terminology Various terms are used for passenger railway lines and equipment; the usage of these terms differs substantially between areas: Rapid transit A rapid transit system is an electric railway characterized by high speed (~) and rapid accelerati ...
*
Elektrichka , alt=Green-and-orange electrified train Elektrichka (russian: электри́чка, p=əlʲɪˈktrʲitɕkə; uk, електри́чка, elektrychka) is a Soviet Union, Soviet and Eastern bloc commuter (regional) mostly suburban File:Hus ...

Elektrichka


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Regional Rail