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Light Rail Atlas
provides maps of light rail corridors in Europe, United States and other areas in the world, using light rail precedents (like Kassel and Saarbrücken in Germany, as well as Portland (OR) in the States) as important examples.

Porto (PT)

Light Rail Atlas enhances discussion on light rail and related issues. The site acts as a forum for urban planners and designers, landscape architects, traffic planners, authorities and other parties involved in light rail systems.

Since 1998 Light Rail Atlas is produced and maintained by Rob van der Bijl, owner of the urban planning firm RVDB. The coming years Rob will present light rail as part of 'smart growth' and 'transit oriented development'.

Enjoy our examples, like Nottingham (UK), Valencia (ES), Saarbrücken (DE), Tokyo (JP), Zwickau (DE) and Salt Lake City (UT, VS), here...
Historically light rail is rooted in innovative railway technology from the periode of 1910-1935. More about the history of light rail here...
In the archive of Light Rail Atlas we keep classic samples from the old web site (1998-2010) here...





Breakthrough light rail in Belgium
The regional international tramway Hasselt (Belgium) – Maastricht (Netherlands) has been approved by the Flemish government (October 2013). Meanwhile extensions of the networks of Antwerp and Ghent are in full progress.

Design for new tram of TEC, Liège.

In Wallonia in Charleroi, after years of decline, the tramway network has been extended along former and planned alignments. The city of Liège prepares a French style urban system.

Breakthrough light rail in Denmark
Danish light rail projects are in progress. In Aarhus (second city of Denmark) construction of the regional tram-train project is in preparation. The ‘Ring 3’ project, a tangential tramway in the urban region of Copenhagen is approved and in preparation. Other projects among others: a French-style urban tramway in the city of Odense. More information at our friends of www.letbaner.dk/…

Light rail map (LRA, 2013)

Also light rail in neighbouring regions in Sweden: Goteborg (existing tram system) and serious plans in Malmö, Lund and Helsingborg.

Drawback light rail Netherlands
Unfortunately the ambitious RegioTram project in Groningen has been killed late 2012, mainly due to politicized considerations and miss-interpretations.

The region of Groningen are and will be served by regional trains, like these ones at the station of Winschoten.

The light rail scheme Zwolle-Kampen is converted into a heavy rail solution, using regional trains.

Dutch RijnGouwelijn killed

No highlight. But a very bad 2011 for the RGL project, one of the biggest light rail schemes in The Netherlands. After years of political battle new elected officials pulled the plug. RGL: 'rest in peace'.

Despite many years of preparation neither politicians nor professionals could solve the project puzzle.

New tramway in Tokyo

Tokyo city budget for 2011 includes funding for the construction of a new tramway, running from Ginza to the Harumi area of Chuo Ward. More info: at Japan Probe...

Groningen (Netherlands) decided to introduce a tram. The proposed system entails two lines (2016) and regional 'tram-train' extensions (after 2020).
The official web site:

Groningen city: urban map

Groningen region: regional map

More highlights here...

RandstadRail is another important light rail project in The Netherlands. Since 2011 fully operational.

After RandstadRail a new TramTrain in The Netherlands: according to the awarded proposal of Rob van der Bijl (LRA) et al. - and already announced at the pages of LRA several years ago (2003).
The regional 13km railway in the province of Overijssel between Zwolle and Kampen will be transformed into tramway. 2015 this 'conversion type' project is due to open. The tram is justified by the fact that it offers better accessibility to existing and new urban areas. Five new stops have been envisaged.

More highlights here...




Light rail is a rail-bound mode of public transport for cities and urban regions. Contrary to train (heavy rail) and metro (subway, underground) light rail principally is able to be integrated within public realm, sharing public space with other traffic to some extend.
Source: RVDB/Lightrail.nl, February 19, 2010, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
See also the definition-page of Light Rail Atlas.

The expression 'Light Rail' creates a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. It is indeed a hybrid conception and thus open to different interpretations. Light Rail definitions keep people busy. See also the pages of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP - http://www.uitp.org). Particularly this page...

More on light rail definitions here...





When Light Rail Atlas entered the internet in 1998 basically the idea was to develop a showcase of examples and best practices of existing, new or proposed light rail systems. We presumed (and still do) that maps represent essential information and knowledge regarding these systems and to some extend the showcase was conceived as a real atlas, which explains the name of this website.
Map page: click here...

Within the showcase of Light Rail Atlas (and within the professional domain of Lightrail.nl too) a series of different maps have been stored. On the renewed map page we try to show a representative collection. The maps are briefly explained and grouped into a kind of typology.

Essentially the key of a map determines its purpose and objective. The maps within the showcase of Light Rail Atlas (and within the professional domain of Lightrail.nl too) have been equipped with a series of different keys.
See map page: click here...





(C) RVDB 1998 - 2013