On-street running or street running is the routing of a railroad track or tramway track running directly along public streets, without any grade separation. The rails are embedded in the roadway, and the train shares the street with pedestrians and automobile traffic. Street running trains generally travel at reduced speed for safety reasons.

Stations can appear similar in style to a tram stop, but often lack platforms, pedestrian islands, or other amenities. Passengers may be required to wait on a distant sidewalk, and then board or disembark directly among mixed traffic in mid-pavement, rather than at curbside.

Rails can be embedded in the surface of bridges and tunnels as on Inuyama Bridge (Japan) or Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel (US).


This list does not include conventional tram, interurban, light rail or the tram portions of tram-train systems, which usually run in the street.




A WLB freight train in Guntramsdorf



Notable examples in Canada include:[2]

Brantford, Ontario
Clarence Street (From Nelson Street to Icomm Drive, Canadian National Railway, still in use)
Guelph, Ontario
Kent Street (from Glasgow Street to Gordon Street), CNR, still in use[3]
St. Catharines, Ontario
Louisa Street (From just east of Thomas Street to Catherine Street, Canadian National Railway, removed, continues to Welland Avenue below)
Welland Avenue (From Francis Street to Balfour Street, removed)
Toronto, Ontario
Lakeshore Blvd East (from Carlaw Ave to Leslie St, CN Railway, still in use)
Waterloo, Ontario
Caroline Street (from Erb Street West to Allen Street West, tracks removed in 1994)


For tramways the legal separation of a street running trackbed and an exclusive trackbed in urban traffic is given in § 16 BOStrab tramway regulations. Germany has some street-running railways:

  • A "Mollibahn" train 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.
  • Near Mannheim, the Oberrheinische Eisenbahn and Rhein-Haardt-Bahn are street running through several villages.
  • In Linkenheim, near Karlsruhe, the Hardt Railway was changed to BOStrab (tramway) in 2011 for that reason.
  • Road and rail share the Lindaunis Bridge in Schleswig-Holstein.
  • Freight trains using the infrastructure of Rhein-Sieg-Verkehrsgesellschaft to the company Evonik in Niederkassel-Lülsdorf passing the village Sieglar (next to Troisdorf) are running inside the Pastor-Böhm-Straße.

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,[4][5] although the majority of the system runs on its own tracks alongside major roads or elevated, e.g., at the junctions near Tuen Mun Town Centre.[6][7]


A Darjeeling Himalayan Railway running through the street in Darjeeling

The steam-powered Darjeeling Himalayan Railway runs along the main street in Darjeeling in West Bengal 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]


Freight trains to and from the docks at Dublin share the Alexandra road with cars


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 1980s 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]



The rail link across the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos is shared-use, although road traffic stops while trains cross the bridge.[13]

New Zealand

Street running in Kawakawa

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, part of the former Opua Branch of the New Zealand Railways, runs down the middle of the state highway in the centre of Kawakawa[14]


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


Av. Emídio Navarro with Ramal da Lousã track, in Coimbra, Portugal (2007)

In Coimbra, an 800 m single-track segment of Ramal da Lousã runs along Emídio Navarro, immediately southeast of the Coimbra-City station; closed “provisionally” in 2004.[15] In Lisbona series of short single track segments along Avenue Brasília / Avenue Índia in riverside southwest Lisbon, links Linha de Cintura with Linha de Cascais and with cargo tracks associated with the harbour. It carries freight traffic only, mostly at night.[16]


In 1999, Žeželj Bridge, a railway and road bridge in Novi Sad (with separated traffic) was destroyed during NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. As a temporary replacement, a street running Road-Railway Bridge was constructed in 2000. It remains actively used.


A 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 legally indistinct.

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


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


Maeklong Railway Market, Bangkok

United Kingdom

The combined road and rail swing bridge at Preston Marina

The most notable track where street running was common was the Weymouth Harbour Tramway; however this ended service to regular traffic since 1987, and to all traffic since 1999.

The Porthmadog cross town link links the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog railways and includes a short length of street running on the outskirts of Porthmadog.[17]

A freight-only street-running railway network runs through Trafford Park; only one section along Barton Dock Road has seen use in recent years.

The heritage Ribble Steam Railway runs across a swing bridge at the entrance to Preston Marina. The route is shared between road and rail traffic.

United States

Notable examples in the United States include:[2]

  • The Alaska Railroad bridge over the Chena River, located on Fort Wainwright, was previously shared by rail and road traffic. The U.S. Army eventually installed a new road bridge at a crossing downriver from the rail bridge and rerouted the roads accordingly.
  • Santa Ana St.
  • Floradora Avenue (North Clark Street to North Maple Avenue)
  • 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 controversial and the city tried to have them removed for decades. However, a short section along B Street from Ninth Street to Twelfth Street remains in active use.
  • Jack London Square: 1st. St. W./Embarcadero W. (From end of road, west of Market St. to Webster St., UP/Amtrak mainline, in use.) Amtrak passenger trains, and mainline container freight trains share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, buses and automobiles, with passenger trains traveling at up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).
  • Glascock St, from 29th Ave to Lancaster St, serving Cemex and Miller Mining Company.
Redwood City:
  • Chestnut Street (Heller Street to Veterans Boulevard)
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.)
  • Main Street (Analy Avenue to Burnett Street)
  • Walker Street southern terminus to Beach Street, Santa Cruz Branch Line owned by Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission
Fort Collins:
A train on South Mason Street at West Laurel Street in Ft Collins, Colorado
  • Mason St. (From Cherry St. to W. Pitkin St., BNSF, still in use)
  • East Avenue (from Turner Street to Drew Street; still in use)
  • Fort Harrison Avenue (from Belleview Blvd. to E Street; removed, now Pinellas Trail)
  • 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 St. S. to Bay Shore Dr. SE; removed, with portions now Pinellas Trail)
  • E. Polk St. (From N. Ashley Dr. to N. Jefferson St.)
  • 6th St. (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.)
  • 9th St.
  • River St.
  • N Madison Street (From Southwest of Prairie Street to Y Boulevard)
  • Champion Rd. (From Dutch Ln. to E. 12th St., IRR, still in use, continues along E 9th St. below)
  • 5th St. (From Union St. to Fountain St., former CSXT/AMTRK line, removed)
Michigan City:
The South Shore Line runs on 10th and 11th streets in Michigan City, Indiana
  • 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):
  • 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)
  • 399th Ave./Jefferson Ave./2nd St. (From N. Riverview Dr (US 52) to Spruce St., ICE, still in use)
La Grange:
A CSX Train passing through downtown La Grange, Kentucky
  • Main St. (From S. 4th St./Kentucky Ave. to Cedar St., CSXT mainline still in use)
Commercial street (Portland Terminal, no longer in use)
  • Streets in the Fells Point section of Baltimore (no longer in use)
  • Wicomico St. (From Bayard St. to S. Monroe St.)
International Falls
Brainerd, Minnesota
  • 1st Avenue Northeast BNSF branch line serving Wausau Paper Company
Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Wall Street (from E. 9th St. to E. 2nd St) serving ADM and Modern Transport Terminal
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)
Jefferson City:
  • W McCarty St. (From the U.S. 54 overpass to Bolivar St.)
  • S. 5th St. (From B St. to G St.)
New Jersey
New York
A train on Schulyer Street in Utica, New York, March 7, 2016
  • E. Tioga Ave. (From Cedar St. [Center Way] to Dead End, still in use by NS)
  • N. Fulton St. (From W. Court St. to W. State St., owned by NS)
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.)
Painted Post:
  • W. Chemung St. (From Nobriga Ln. to 1st St. [Public right-of-way ends at North Hamilton St.])
  • Washington St (Now Erie Blvd.) (NYC, removed)
  • Schuyler St (From Noyes St. to Whitesboro St.) Still in use by NYS&W Utica branch.
North Carolina
  • E. Russel St.
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)
  • E. Shine St. (Entire street, now removed and abandoned though the outline can still be seen in the street)
  • Albemarle Avenue
  • S. Front St. from Marsetllar St. to Mears St.
  • N. Chesnut St. Between 4th and 5th St.
  • Harmar St. (From Lord St. to Lancaster St.)
  • Astoria Riverwalk (No longer used by freight trains, but occasional trolley use)
  • A St.
  • Rocky Lane
Portland (not counting all the instances of light rail street running)
  • NW York Street
  • N River Street (Near Albina Yard)
  • NW Yeon Ave Frontage Road
  • SW Adams
  • SE Washington
  • SW Lombard Ave. (Used only by WES commuter trains)
Oregon City
  • Main Street (Crosses Hwy 99E, out of service with the closure of the adjacent paper company
  • S. Blaine Street
  • Front St. NE (From Norway St. NE to Ferry St. SE)
  • S. Second Street
  • NE Water Avenue
  • 4th Street (Two blocks west of the U.P. mainline)
Junction City
  • Holly Street
  • W. Olive Street
Coos Bay
  • N. Front Street.
  • 1st Ave. (from Lower Mill St. to Mulberry St., CSX, still in use)[19][20]
  • 19th St. (From Buffalo Rd. to Cranberry St., NS mainline, removed in 2000)
  • W. Railroad St. (from N. Washington St. to Carlisle St.)
  • E. Water Street (From US 22 to S. Dorcas St.
  • Chestnut Street (from Old Shaw Ave. and S. Pine Rd.)
  • S. Delmorr Ave (between Green Street and E. Philadelphia Ave)
  • N. 3rd St. (from Race St. to Market St.)
  • S. 3rd St. (from Market St. to Pine St.)
West Brownsville:
Following a coal train through West Brownsville
  • Main St. (From William St. to Bridge Blvd., NS, still in use)
Rhode Island
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Vine Street (Tooele Valley Railway, removed 1982)
  • Center St./Railroad Ave. (From W. Patrick St./Smith St. to Gwathmey Church Rd., AMTK, still in use)
  • Jefferson Street (From State Street to Seventh Avenue)
  • Houser Way in Downtown, used by Boeing to ship planes to Everett plant.
West Virginia
  • W. 2nd Street (Williams Avenue to Highland Avenue)
Saint Marys:
  • Second Street (CSX, still in use)


The Afghanistan–Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge

See also


  1. ^ Street running railroad on Denison Street in Rockhampton, Queensland 23°22′35″S 150°30′26″E / 23.376492°S 150.507336°E / -23.376492; 150.507336
  2. ^ a b Trains Magazine, Vol. 68, Issue 4 (April 2008) (pages 22-31)
  3. ^ Graham, David (May 12, 2010). "History haunts Guelph's railways". Guelph Mercury. 
  4. ^ [1] [2] [3] On-street running along Tai Fong Street
  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. ^ "How to travel by train, bus & boat to & within Laos - Bangkok-Vientiane by train". www.seat61.com. Retrieved 2018-03-06. 
  14. ^ "Welcome to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway". Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  15. ^ "map". 
  16. ^ "map". 
  17. ^ Davies, Merfyn (30 October 2010). "Taith gyntaf teithwyr trên bach o Gaernarfon i Borthmadog". BBC Online (in Welsh). Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Kyper, Frank (1977). The railroad that came out at night : a book of railroading in and around Boston. Brattleboro, Vt.: S. Greene Press. pp. 13–40. ISBN 0-8289-0318-2. 
  19. ^ "CSX D053 Elizabeth PA". 
  20. ^ "Street Running in Elizabeth, PA". 
  21. ^ "12/09/2016 - Decision - 45571". www.stb.gov. 
  22. ^ "Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Fayette County, Pa". 6 December 2016.