There may be some words I use in my blog that you are unfamiliar with, or unsure of the exact meaning. I’ve started a list here, which I’ll add too in time. If there are any terms I have used which you would like to see here, please email me at

  • Cable Car: A type of tram which is powered by a trackside stationary engine instead of a motor on each vehicle. The stationary engine moves a cable, which pulls the trams. Some cable cars are suspended from towers, using the same principle.
  • Diesel Multiple Unit: A train powered by diesel, which does not require a separate locomotive. Some or all of the carriages have diesel engines. Diesel Multiple Units may be formed by several Diesel Railcars, or fixed as several carriages.
  • Diesel Railcar: A passenger carriage which has a diesel engine which is able to propel the carriage without requiring a separate locomotive. Several Diesel Railcars are often combined to form a Diesel Multiple Unit
  • DMU: An abbreviation for Diesel Multiple Unit
  • Electric Multiple Unit: A train powered by electricity, which does not require a separate locomotive. Some or all of the carriages have electric motors.
  • EMU: An abbreviation for Electric Multiple Unit
  • Light Rail: A type of railway which uses lighter vehicles (such as trams). Because of the light vehicles, the track is usually lighter, making it unsuitable for freight operations.
  • Locomotive: A rail vehicle which has an engine (electric, diesel or steam) and is used for the purposes of pulling or pushing a train.
  • Metro: A railway in an inner metropolitan area which has frequent and constant services. Usually grade separated, elevated or subway.
  • Railcar: See Diesel Railcar
  • Subway: A type of metro, which is by definition entirely underground. Many subway systems are not true subways, due to the fact that they operate above and below ground
  • Tram: Otherwise known as a Streetcar or Trolley, trams run on lighter track than trains. Trams also often run along city streets.
  • Urban Rail: A railway which operates to the outer metropolitan areas of a city, or between 2 nearby cities

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