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An NICTD EMU street-running on Michigan City’s 11th Street; United States, in 2009; the street-running track has been replaced with its own right-of-way as of 2023

A street running train is a train which runs on a track built on public streets. The rails are embedded in the roadway, and the train shares the street with other users, such as pedestrians, cars and cyclists, thus often being referred to as running in mixed traffic or sharing the road with trains. For safety, street running trains travel more slowly than trains on dedicated rights-of-way. Needing to share the right-of-way with motor vehicles can cause delays and pose a safety risk.[1]

Stations on such routes are rare and may appear similar in style to a tram stop, but often lack platforms, pedestrian islands, or other amenities. In some cases, passengers may be required to wait on a distant sidewalk, and then board or disembark by crossing the traffic. The last street-station in the USA was in Michigan City, until 2022.[2]


Salto Grande Bridge over the dam


A passenger train running down the centre of Ellen Street, Port Pirie in 1940


Notable examples in Canada include:[10]




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

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

The KCR British Section had two street running stretches: a spur line to Whampoa Dockyard through Baker Street [yue],[16][17][18][19][20] another across Salisbury Road [yue] and Canton Road to the Kowloon Godowns.[citation needed]


Train along Jalan Slamet Riyadi, Solo, Indonesia



New Zealand

Street running in Kawakawa


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.

United Kingdom

The combined road and rail swing bridge at Preston Marina

Street running railways have been much rarer in the United Kingdom than elsewhere. This is due to 19th-century laws requiring railways to be enclosed by fences, which had the consequence that railways could not be built along existing roads and had to use their own rights of way. In cases where street running was unavoidable, the roads were often legally treated as level crossings with trains and road vehicles not permitted to use them at the same time. Some examples are:

United States

A selection of the many examples:

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (June 2023)








Columbus & Chattahoochee Railroad running on 9th Street in downtown Columbus



The South Shore Line formerly ran on 10th and 11th streets in Michigan City, Indiana








New Jersey

New York

North Carolina








West Virginia

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


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  9. ^ Still standing… Track & Signal November 2012 page 77
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