The phrase light rapid transit (lrt), together with alternative descriptions such as intermediate rapid transit (irt), or pre-metro has been used to describe those rail systems which were neither full or 'heavy' rapid transit systems, eg. the London underground, the Paris metro and the Munich u-bahn, nor conventional modern tramway systems. The author discusses the development of such systems and suggests that there are two main reasons for the interest in and development of these 'intermediate' systems: one to reduce the cost of a rapid transit system, and the other as an intermediate step to the achievement of a full rt system involved as this is with the necessity to provide for complex signalling systems, intrusive overhead equipment and larger cars. The author describes recent visits to Antwerp, Brussels, Cologne, Hannover and Frankfurt undertaken to study the current state-of-the-art in such transit systems, and to see if any principles or guidelines for more general application are discernible. In particular, does LRT have a place in Britain? The objectives, approach and systems are briefly described and contrasted. As a result of this study it is suggested that there are clearly two lines of development: the pre-metro system as being developed in Brussels, and the lrt systems as being developed as an end in themsleves in Antwerp, Cologne/Bonn, Hannover and Frankfurt. Such developments are discussed, and the question - 'do lrt systems have anything to offer in the British scene' - is considered in relation to the Tyneside metro.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Printerhall Limited

    29 Newmart Street
    London W1P 3PE,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Hellewell, S
  • Publication Date: 1977-11

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00176923
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Analytic
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 14 1981 12:00AM