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Kelana Jaya Line The LRT Kelana Jaya Line is the fifth rail transit line and the first List of automated urban metro subway systems, fully automated and driverless rail system in the Klang Valley area and forms a part of the Klang Valley Integrated Transit System. ...
(Brown Line) A medium-capacity system (MCS), also known as light rapid transit or light metro, is a
rail transport Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehicles run on a prepared flat surf ...

rail transport
system with a capacity greater than
light rail Light rail transit (LRT) is a form of passenger Urban rail transit, urban rail transit characterized by a combination of tram and Rapid transit, metro features. While its rolling stock is more similar to a traditional tram, it operates at a hi ...

light rail
, but less than typical
heavy-rail Various terms are used for passenger rail Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transport Transport (co ...
rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. Unlike buses or trams, rapid transit s ...
. MCS’s trains are usually 1-4 cars, or 1 light rail vehicle (LRV). Most medium-capacity rail systems are automated or use light rail type vehicles. Light rail is considered high capacity as trains use 2-4 LRVs. Since
ridership In public transportation, patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and ...
determines the scale of a rapid transit system, statistical modeling allows planners to size the rail system for the needs of the area. When the predicted
ridership In public transportation, patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and ...
falls between the service requirements of a
light rail Light rail transit (LRT) is a form of passenger Urban rail transit, urban rail transit characterized by a combination of tram and Rapid transit, metro features. While its rolling stock is more similar to a traditional tram, it operates at a hi ...

light rail
and
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 acceleratio ...
or metro system, an MCS project is indicated. An MCS may also result when a rapid transit service fails to achieve the requisite ridership due to network inadequacies (e.g.
single-tracking On a railway, single-line workingDriver's Rulebook: Module ...
) or changing demographics. In contrast with most light rail systems, an MCS usually runs on a fully
grade separated In civil engineering Civil engineering is a Regulation and licensure in engineering, professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including p ...
exclusive
right-of-way Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". A similar ''right of access'' also exists on ...
. In some cases, the distance between
station Station may refer to: Agriculture * Station (Australian agriculture) In Australia, a station is a large landholding used for producing livestock Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generatio ...

station
s is much longer than typically found on heavy rail networks. An MCS may also be suitable for branch line connections to another mode of a heavy-capacity transportation system, such as an
airport An airport is an aerodrome An aerodrome (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval Engl ...

airport
or a main route of a metro network.


Definition

The definition of a medium-capacity system varies due to its non-
standardization Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task which is applied to a common and repeated ...
. Inconsistencies in international definitions are even reflected within individual countries. For example, the
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main islan ...

Taiwan
Ministry of Transportation and Communications states that each MCS system can board around 6,000–20,000
passengers per hour per direction Passengers per hour per direction or passengers per hour in peak direction (pphpd or p/h/d) is a measure of the route capacity of a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bah ...
(p/h/d or PPHPD), while the Taiwan Department of Rapid Transit Systems (TCG) suggests an MCS has a capability of boarding around 20,000–30,000 p/h/d, and a report from the World Bank places the capacity of an MCS at 15,000–30,000 p/h/d. For comparison, ridership capacity of more than 30,000 p/h/d has been quoted as the standard for metro or "heavy rail" standards rapid transit systems, while
light rail Light rail transit (LRT) is a form of passenger Urban rail transit, urban rail transit characterized by a combination of tram and Rapid transit, metro features. While its rolling stock is more similar to a traditional tram, it operates at a hi ...

light rail
systems have passenger capacity volumes of around 10,000–12,000 p/h/d or 12,000–18,000 p/h/d. VAL (Véhicule Automatique Léger) systems are categorized in the medium-capacity rail systems because their manufacturer defines their passenger capacities as being up to 30,000 p/h/d. In
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the China, People's Repu ...

Hong Kong
, 's
Ma On Shan line The Ma On Shan line () was a rapid transit line that formed part of the MTR, Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system in Hong Kong. Coloured brown on the MTR map, the line acted as a branch line, branch of the East Rail line that connects the N ...
could, in some contexts, are classified as a medium-capacity system (as it used shorter four-car SP1950 trains) but can attain up to 32,000 p/h/d which is comparable to the passenger capacity of some full metro transit networks. This classification did not last for much longer as full-length, 8-car trains were being deployed on the line in advance of its extension and transformation into the
Tuen Ma line The Tuen Ma line () is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in ur ...
in June 2021. Two other lines, the
Disneyland Resort line Geographically accurate route map of the Disneyland Resort line The Disneyland Resort line is a heavy rail MTR line connecting Sunny Bay to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, coloured pink on the network diagram. It is the seventh line of the fo ...
shuttle service to
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is a resort built and owned by Hong Kong International Theme Parks Limited, a joint venture of the Government of Hong Kong and The Walt Disney Company in Hong Kong on reclaimed land beside Penny's Bay, at the ...
since 2005 and the
South Island line The South Island line, identified by light green on the MTR route map, is a rapid transit line of Hong Kong's MTR rapid transit, metro system. This line connects the HK business district from Admiralty station (MTR), Admiralty station to the So ...
since December 2016, are also built to MCS standards. Generally speaking, medium capacity designation is created from relative capacity and/or train configuration comparisons to other heavy rail systems in the same area. For example, the train in an MCS may have a shorter configuration than the standard
metro Metro, short for metropolitan, may refer to: Geography * Metro (city), a city in Indonesia * A metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surro ...
system, usually three (though, in some cases, just two) to six , allowing for shorter to be built and used. Rather than using steel wheels,
rubber-tyred metro A rubber-tyred metro or rubber-tired metro is a form of rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transpo ...
technology, such as the VAL system used on the
Taipei Metro Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), branded as Taipei Metro, is a metro system serving Taipei and New Taipei City, New Taipei, Taiwan, operated by State-owned enterprise, government owned Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, which also operates Maokon ...
, is sometimes recommended, due to its low running
noise Noise is unwanted sound considered unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from desired sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arises when th ...
, as well as the ability to climb steeper
grades Grade or grading may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Grade (band), punk rock band * Grades (producer), British electronic dance music producer and DJ Education * Grading (education), a teacher's evaluation of a student's performance in class * ...
and turn tighter curves, thus allowing more flexible alignments. Fully heavy rail or metro systems generally have train
headway Headway is the distance or duration between vehicles in a transit system measured in space or time. The ''minimum headway'' is the shortest such distance or time achievable by a system without a reduction in the speed of vehicles. The precise defin ...
s of 10 minutes or better during peak hours. Some systems that qualify as heavy rail/metro in every other way (e.g. are fully
grade separated In civil engineering Civil engineering is a Regulation and licensure in engineering, professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including p ...
), but which have network inadequacies (e.g. a section of single track rail) can only achieve lesser headways (e.g. every 15 minutes) which result in lower passenger volume capacities, and thus would be more accurately defined as "light metro" or "medium-capacity" systems as a result.


Terminology

Train on the Copenhagen Metro In addition to MCS, ''light metro'' is a common alternative in European countries,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
, and
South Korea South Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Hanguk''; literally /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Namhan'', or /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Namchosŏn'' in North Korean usage), officially the R ...

South Korea
. In some countries, however, light metro systems are conflated with
light rail Light rail transit (LRT) is a form of passenger Urban rail transit, urban rail transit characterized by a combination of tram and Rapid transit, metro features. While its rolling stock is more similar to a traditional tram, it operates at a hi ...

light rail
. In South Korea, ''Light Rail'' is used as the translation for the original Korean term, "경전철" – its literal translation is "Light Metro", but it actually means "Any railway transit other than heavy rail, which has capacity between heavy rail and bus transit". For example, the
U Line The U Line is a driverless, fully automatic, grade-separated light rail or light metro line in Uijeongbu, Seoul Capital Area, South Korea. The "U" stands for the city Uijeongbu. The line uses Véhicule Automatique Léger (VAL) 208 trains built by ...
in
Uijeongbu Uijeongbu () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. I ...
utilizes VAL system, a variant of medium-capacity rail transport, and is therefore categorized "light metro" by LRTA and others, though the operator itself and South Korean sources refer to the U Line as "light rail".
Busan–Gimhae Light Rail Transit The Busan–Gimhae Light Rail Transit is a light metro system between the cities of Busan and Gimhae in South Korea. The line has 21 stations including Daejeo and Sasang where passengers can transfer to Busan Metro Line 3 and Line 2 respectively. ...
is also akin to a light metro in its appearance and features, thought the operator refers it as a "light rail". Likewise, Malaysian officials and media commonly refer to the Kelana Jaya line, Kelana Jaya, Ampang and Sri Petaling lines as "light rail transit" systems; when originally opened, the original Malay abbreviations for the lines, PUTRA-LRT (''Projek Usahasama Transit Ringan Automatik''/Automatic Light Transit Joint Venture Project) and STAR-LRT (''Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan''/Light Flow Transit System) did not clearly distinguish between light rail and light rapid transit. Some articles in India also refer to some "light metro"-type systems as "light rail". The Light Rail Transit Association (LRTA), a nonprofit organization, also categorizes several public transport systems as "light metro".The french term :fr:Métro léger, ''Métro léger'', a literal translation of "Light Metro", means Light rail.


Advantages and disadvantages

The main reason to build a light metro instead of a regular metro is to reduce costs, mainly because this system employs shorter vehicles and shorter stations. Light metros may operate faster than heavy-rail rapid transit systems due to shorter Terminal dwell time, dwell times at stations, and the faster acceleration and deceleration of lighter trains. For example, express trains on the New York City Subway are about as fast as the SkyTrain (Vancouver), Vancouver SkyTrain, but these express trains skip most stops on lines where they operate. Medium-capacity systems have restricted growth capacities as
ridership In public transportation, patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and ...
increases. For example, it is difficult to extend station platforms once a system is in operation, especially for underground railway systems, since this work must be done without interfering with traffic. Some railway systems, like Hong Kong and Wuhan, may make advance provisions for longer platforms, for example, so that they will be able to accommodate trains with more, or longer cars, in the future.
Taipei Metro Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), branded as Taipei Metro, is a metro system serving Taipei and New Taipei City, New Taipei, Taiwan, operated by State-owned enterprise, government owned Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, which also operates Maokon ...
, for example, constructed extra space for two extra cars in all its Taipei Metro Line 1, Wenhu Line stations.


List of medium-capacity rail systems

The following is the list of currently-operating MCSs which are categorized as ''light metros'' by the Light Rail Transit Association (LRTA) , unless otherwise indicated.


Former examples

The following is the list of former-MCSs that either developed into a full
rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. Unlike buses or trams, rapid transit s ...
system, or which are no longer in operation: * Guangzhou, China ** Line 3, Guangzhou Metro, Line 3 – began with 3-car configuration, changed to 6-car in 2010. * Komaki, Aichi, Komaki, Japan ** Peachliner – abandoned on 30 September 2006. * Sha Tin and Ma On Shan (town), Ma On Shan,
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the China, People's Repu ...

Hong Kong
** Ma On Shan line, Ma On Shan Rail – converted from four- to eight-car configuration and became part of
Tuen Ma line The Tuen Ma line () is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in ur ...
.


See also

*Automated guideway transit *Light Rail *Premetro *Passenger rail terminology *Rail transport *Rubber-tyred metro *Metro (rail transport), Metro *People mover * VAL


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * *


External links


Urban rail transit definitions
by the US Transportation Research Board and the American Public Transportation Association
Jane's Urban Transport Systems
{{DEFAULTSORT:Medium-Capacity Rail Transport System Railways by type