Street running

On-street running or street running is the routing of a railroad track or tramway track running directly along public streets, without any grade separation. The rails are embedded in the roadway, and the train shares the street with pedestrians and automobile traffic. Street running trains generally travel at reduced speed for safety reasons.

Stations can appear similar in style to a tram stop, but often lack platforms, pedestrian islands, or other amenities. Passengers may be required to wait on a distant sidewalk, and then board or disembark directly among mixed traffic in mid-pavement, rather than at curbside.

Rails can be embedded in the surface of bridges and tunnels as on Inuyama Bridge (Japan) or Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel (US).


This list does not include conventional tram, interurban, light rail or the tram portions of tram-train systems, which usually run in the street.






The Toll Royal Railways airport train runs along the main street in Phnom Penh in Cambodia.


Notable examples in Canada include:[1]

Brantford, Ontario
Clarence Street (From Nelson Street to Icomm Drive, formerly Canadian National Railway;now Southern Ontario Railway, still in use)
Guelph, Ontario
Kent Street (from Glasgow Street to Gordon Street), CNR, still in use[2]
St. Catharines, Ontario
Louisa Street (From just east of Thomas Street to Catherine Street, Canadian National Railway, removed, continues to Welland Avenue below)
Welland Avenue (From Francis Street to Balfour Street, removed)
Toronto, Ontario
Lake Shore Blvd East (from Carlaw Ave to Leslie St, CN Railway, still in use)
Waterloo, Ontario
Caroline Street (from Erb Street West to Allen Street West, tracks removed in 1994)


In Rijeka, freight trains (and occasional passenger trains) run from western to eastern cargo terminal of Port of Rijeka through the city centre.[3]


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:

  • In the northeast of Germany, the steam "Mollibahn" narrow gauge railway travels on-street through the town of Bad Doberan at the start of its journey.
  • Near Mannheim, the Oberrheinische Eisenbahn and Rhein-Haardt-Bahn are street running through several villages.
  • In Linkenheim, near Karlsruhe, the Hardt Railway was changed to BOStrab (tramway) in 2011 for that reason.
  • Road and rail share the Lindaunis Bridge in Schleswig-Holstein.
  • Freight trains using the infrastructure of Rhein-Sieg-Verkehrsgesellschaft to the company Evonik in Niederkassel-Lülsdorf passing the village Sieglar (next to Troisdorf) are running inside the Pastor-Böhm-Straße.


  • A section of service track of the H8/H9 BHÉV lines on Kerepesi Road in Budapest was rebuilt as street running in order to allow metro replacement buses to use the path to avoid traffic jams. The railway is only used by maintenance trains, mainly at night. Buses also only operate occasionally.
  • The only operational road-railway bridge in Hungary where street running happens is at Kisköre on the Tisza. Here, the non-electrified single-track railway carrying the branch line 102 of MÁV runs on the same path as local car traffic. The bridge is closed for road vehicles when trains pass.


The steam-powered Darjeeling Himalayan Railway runs along the main street in Darjeeling in West Bengal in India.


Indonesia used to have an extensive "steam tramways" (more accurately defined as local railways) network, which had many street running sections in various towns and cities in Java and Sumatra.

Two sections remain in use in 2010: part of the Wonogiri branch runs along the Slamet Riyadi street in Surakarta, and a short branch to an oil depot in Madiun. The earlier line sees both passenger and freight service (including a steam-hauled tourist train), while the other line is exclusively for freight.


Freight trains to and from the docks at Dublin share the Alexandra road with cars


The Bernina Railway runs in the streets of Tirano.[lower-alpha 2]

The Circumetnea ran until 1999 on the Corso delle Provincie in Catania.[lower-alpha 3]

The Cremona–Iseo railway ran until 1956 in the central street of Cavatigozzi.

The Domodossola–Locarno railway started until the 1980s from the station square of Domodossola.[lower-alpha 4]

The Rivabahn was until 1981 a freight railway that ran into the city of Trieste along the seaside street ("Riva").[lower-alpha 5]

The Rome–Fiuggi railway (now practically a tramway) runs completely along the Via Casilina in Rome.[lower-alpha 6]


Japanese law distinguishes between tramways and railways, but light rail does not exist as a separate category. For instance, the Toyama Light Rail line - with extensive street trackage - is legally a railway but uses low-floor light rail vehicles. Only operations with 'heavy rail' vehicles are listed here.

Examples under the jurisdiction of Japan's Railway Law include:

Examples classified legally as tramways - but using heavy rail vehicles and often inter-operating with full-size railways - are listed below.


The rail link across the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos is shared-use, although road traffic stops while trains cross the bridge.[4]

New Zealand

The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, part of the former Opua Branch of the New Zealand Railways, runs down the middle of the state highway in the centre of Kawakawa[5]


In Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu, the railway shares the streets with pedestrians, as well as in other towns further up the line. This railway serves as the only way of reaching Machu Picchu from Cusco without walking.


In Coimbra, an 800 m single-track segment of Ramal da Lousã runs along Emídio Navarro, immediately southeast of the Coimbra-City station; closed “provisionally” in 2004, track scheduled to be lifted upon total closure of the spur line from Coimbra-B.[lower-alpha 7]

In Lisbon a series of short single track segments along Avenue Brasília / Avenue Índia in riverside southwest Lisbon, links Linha de Cintura with Linha de Cascais and with cargo tracks associated with the harbour. It carries freight traffic only, mostly at night.[lower-alpha 8]


In 1999, Žeželj Bridge, a railway and road bridge in Novi Sad (with separated traffic) was destroyed during NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. As a temporary replacement, a street running Road-Railway Bridge was constructed in 2000. It remained actively used up to 2018, when the new Žeželj Bridge opened, and the dismantling of the temporary bridge becan in October that year.


Swiss law does not distinguish between trams and railways, making the distinction between street running by trams and that by railways legally indistinct.

The Berninabahn has three sections of street running, in Le Prese, Miralago and in Tirano (in Italy), where the approach to the station involves street running and crossing a public square.

Rhaetian Railway has a section of street running in Chur.[6]


The Pinghsi Line runs along the streets near several of its stations, e.g., Shihfen Station and Pinghsi Station.


Maeklong Railway Market, Bangkok

United Kingdom

The most notable track where street running was common was the Weymouth Harbour Tramway; however this ended service to regular traffic since 1987, and to all traffic since 1999.

The Porthmadog cross town link links the narrow-gauge Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog railways and includes a short length of street running on the outskirts of Porthmadog.[7]

A freight-only street-running railway network runs through Trafford Park; only one section along Barton Dock Road has seen use in recent years.

The heritage Ribble Steam Railway runs across a swing bridge at the entrance to Preston Marina. The route is shared between road and rail traffic.

United States

Notable examples in the United States include:[1]





  • Anaheim:
    • Santa Ana St.
  • Fresno:
    • Floradora Avenue (North Clark Street to North Maple Avenue)
  • Modesto:
    • From 1912 until April 2000, trains operated approximately 1.25 miles (2 km) down Ninth Street, one of the major arteries of the city. The tracks were built by the Tidewater Southern Railway and later operated by the Union Pacific. They were controversial and the city tried to have them removed for decades. However, a short section along B Street from Ninth Street to Twelfth Street remains in active use.
  • Oakland:
    • Jack London Square: 1st. St. W./Embarcadero W. (from end of road, west of Market St. to Webster St., UP/Amtrak mainline, in use.) Amtrak passenger trains, and mainline container freight trains share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, buses and automobiles, with passenger trains traveling at up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).
    • Glascock St, from 29th Ave to Lancaster St, serving Cemex and Miller Mining Company.
  • Redwood City:
    • Chestnut Street (Heller Street to Veterans Boulevard)
  • San Francisco:
    • Carroll Ave. (Caltrain tracks to Ingalls St.)
    • Illinois St. Bridge (over Islais Creek)
    • Quint St. (Davidson Ave. to Arthur Ave.)
  • Santa Cruz:
    • Beach St. (from Cliff St. to Pacific Ave. at the Municipal Wharf; additionally the track section east to Leibrandt Ave. runs on a pedestrian walkway)
    • Chestnut St. (from Green St. to south of Laurel St.)
  • Sebastopol:
    • Main Street (Analy Avenue to Burnett Street)
  • Stockton:
  • Turlock:
  • Vallejo:
    • The Vallejo Causeway
  • Watsonville:
    • Walker Street southern terminus to Beach Street, Santa Cruz Branch Line owned by Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission



  • Clearwater:
    • East Avenue (from Turner Street to Drew Street; still in use)
    • Fort Harrison Avenue (from Belleview Blvd. to E Street; removed, now Pinellas Trail)
  • Pensacola:
    • Tarragona St. (from E. Blount St. to E. Main St.)
    • E. Wright St. (from N. Alcaniz St. to N. 17th St.)
  • St. Petersburg:
    • 1st Ave. S. (from 13th St. S. to Bay Shore Dr. SE; removed, with portions now Pinellas Trail)
  • Tampa:
    • E. Polk St. (from N. Ashley Dr. to N. Jefferson St., still in use)



  • Rockford:
    • N Madison Street (from Southwest of Prairie Street to Y Boulevard)


  • Bedford:
  • Jeffersonville:
    • Champion Rd. (from Dutch Ln. to E. 12th St., IRR, still in use, continues along E 9th St. below)
  • Lafayette:
    • 5th St. (from Union St. to Fountain St., former CSXT/AMTRK line, removed)
  • Lawrenceburg:
    • West William Street and East William Street
  • Michigan City:
    • 10th St. (from Sheridan Ave. to Huron St., continues to 11th St. below)
    • 11th St. (from Kentucky St. to E. Michigan Blvd., continues to Holiday St. below):
    • Holiday St. (from Vail St. to N. Fairfield Ave.)
  • New Albany:
    • East 15th St. (from Division St. to Shelby Pl., CSX Transportation)
  • Noblesville:
  • Terre Haute:
    • 10th St. (from Locust St. to Chestnut St.)
    • 1st St. (from Sycamore St. to Demorest St., former PCRR)


  • Cedar Falls:
    • 5th Street between Franklin St and Main St


  • La Grange:
    • Main St. (from S. 4th St./Kentucky Ave. to Cedar St., CSXT mainline still in use)






  • New Albany:
    • N. Railroad Avenue (from Summer St./Cleveland St. to W. Bankhead St./E. Bankhead St. [Highway 178/Old US 178])


  • St. Louis:
    • N 2nd St. (from Bremen Ave. to Angelrodt St., leads to Hall St. below)
    • Hall St. (from Dock St. to Branch St., leads to 1st St. below)
    • 1st St. (from Clinton St. to Biddle St.)
    • 3rd St. (from Shenandoah Ave. to north of Barton St. (leads back to S. 2nd St. below)
    • S. 2nd St. (from Chouteau Ave. to Lynch St.)
    • Dorcas St. (from Busch Pl. to S. Broadway St./rail yard)
  • Jefferson City:
    • W McCarty St. (from the U.S. 54 overpass to Bolivar St.)
  • Kansas City
    • Stateline Rd. (from St. Louis Ave to 9th Street)


  • Lincoln:
    • S. 5th St. (from B St. to G St.)

New Jersey

New York

  • Corning:
    • E. Tioga Ave. (from Cedar St. [Center Way] to Dead End, still in use by NS)
  • Ithaca:
    • N. Fulton St. (from W. Court St. to W. State St., owned by NS)
  • New York City (Brooklyn):
    • 1st. Ave. (from 39th St. to 63rd St., continues along 41st St. below)
    • 41st. St. (from 1st Ave. to east of 2nd Ave., goes through building at 2nd Ave. intersection, continues along 2nd Ave. below)
    • 2nd Ave. (from end of road, i.e. north of 28th St. to south of 41st St.)
    • 32nd St. (from 2nd Ave. to west of 3rd Ave.)
  • Painted Post:
    • W. Chemung St. (from Nobriga Ln. to 1st St. [Public right-of-way ends at North Hamilton St.])
  • Syracuse:
    • Washington St (now Erie Blvd.) (NYC, removed)
  • Utica:
    • Schuyler St (from Noyes St. to Whitesboro St.; still in use by NYS&W Utica branch)

North Carolina

  • Fayetteville:
    • E. Russel St.
  • New Bern:
    • Windley St. (from end of road to Dunn St., leads to Dunn St. below)
    • Dunn St. (from Windley St. to N. Craven St., leads to Hancock St. below)
    • Hancock St. (from Queen St. to S. Front St., still in use, leads to Scott St. in James City, NC below)
  • Kinston:
  • Tarboro
    • Albemarle Avenue
  • Wilmington:
    • S. Front St. (from Marsetllar St. to Mears St.)
  • Winston-Salem:
    • N. Chesnut St. (between 4th and 5th St.)


  • Marietta:
    • Harmar St. (from Lord St. to Lancaster St.)


  • Astoria
    • Astoria Riverwalk (no longer used by freight trains, but occasional trolley use)
  • Rainier
    • A St.
  • Svensen
    • Rocky Lane
  • Portland (not counting all the instances of light rail street running)
    • NW York Street
    • N River Street (near Albina Yard)
    • NW Yeon Ave Frontage Road
  • Hillsboro
    • SW Adams
    • SE Washington
  • Beaverton
    • SW Lombard Ave. (used only by WES commuter trains)
  • Oregon City
    • Main Street (crosses Hwy 99E, out of service with the closure of the adjacent paper company)
  • Newberg
    • S. Blaine Street
  • Salem:
    • Front St. NE (from Norway St. NE to Ferry St. SE)
  • Independence
    • S. Second Street
  • Albany
    • NE Water Avenue
  • Harrisburg
    • 4th Street (two blocks west of the U.P. mainline)
  • Junction City
    • Holly Street
  • Lebanon
    • W. Olive Street
  • Coos Bay
    • N. Front Street.


  • Elizabeth:
    • 1st Ave. (from Lower Mill St. to Mulberry St., CSX, still in use)[10][11]
  • Erie:
    • 19th St. (from Buffalo Rd. to Cranberry St., NS mainline, removed in 2000)
  • Gettysburg:
    • W. Railroad St. (from N. Washington St. to Carlisle St.)
  • Lewistown:
    • E. Water Street (from US 22 to S. Dorcas St.
    • Chestnut Street (from Old Shaw Ave. and S. Pine Rd.)
  • Marcus Hook:
    • W. 4th Street (from Green Street to Penn Avenue)
  • Morrisville:
    • S. Delmorr Ave (between Green Street and E. Philadelphia Ave)
  • Philadelphia:
    • N. American St. (between W. Cambria St. and W. Thompson St., out of use since early 1980s)[12]
    • Bleigh Ave. (between James St. and just beyond Milnor St.)
    • N. Delaware Ave. (between Aramingo Ave. and Race St., lead to Christopher Columbus Blvd. below, Philadelphia Belt Line Railroad, removed)
    • N. and S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. (between Packer Ave. and Race St., Philadelphia Belt Line Railroad, still in use by Conrail Shared Assets Operations)
    • Richmond St. (between E. Lehigh Ave. and Aramingo Ave., lead to N. Delaware Ave. above, Philadelphia Belt Line Railroad, removed, street realigned due to I-95 realignment)
    • S. Swanson St. (from S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. above to E. Snyder Ave., still in use, originally ran to E. Oregon, Ave.)
  • Sunbury:
    • N. 3rd St. (from Race St. to Market St.)
    • S. 3rd St. (from Market St. to Pine St.)
  • Uniontown:
  • West Brownsville:
    • Main St. (from William St. to Bridge Blvd., NS, still in use)

Rhode Island

  • Providence:
    • Providence and Worcester Railroad Service to the northernmost piers of the Port of Providence and numerous sidings via Allens Ave. from the Harbor Branch. Tracks in situ, currently classed as "Out of Service" by FRA rules.



  • Ogden:
    • Wall Avenue (Oregon Short Line, later Union Pacific, removed)
  • Salt Lake City:
    • 900 South ("Passenger Line", San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, later Union Pacific, removed 2008)
  • Tooele:


  • Ashland:
    • Center St./Railroad Ave. (from W. Patrick St./Smith St. to Gwathmey Church Rd., AMTK, still in use)
  • Norfolk:


  • Olympia:
    • Jefferson Street (from State Street to Seventh Avenue)
  • Renton:
    • Houser Way in Downtown, used by Boeing to ship planes to Everett plant.
  • Yakima

West Virginia


  • Oconto:
    • Broadway Avenue (CN, Still in use, Single track runs down the center of Broadway Avenue for four blocks, trains travel up to 30 mph through the street )
  • Sheboygan Falls:
    • Monroe Street (WSOR, previously owned by CNW and UP, this line was used until the mid 2000s, and then put out of service. The Wisconsin Southern Railroad refurbished the track in 2015)
  • Oshkosh:
    • Division Street (WC, this section the Wisconsin Central mainline ran down Division Street along people's front yards, considered a bottleneck, the tracks were abandoned in 1996, and were removed later. Trains now run down Broad Street a few blocks east. The track there is owned currently by CN)
  • La Crosse:
    • Front Street South (BNSF, former main line, now used very lightly to serve local factories)


See also


  1. Street running railroad on Denison Street in Rockhampton, Queensland 23.376492°S 150.507336°E / -23.376492; 150.507336
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  1. Trains Magazine, Vol. 68, Issue 4 (April 2008) (pages 22-31)
  2. Graham, David (May 12, 2010). "History haunts Guelph's railways". Guelph Mercury.
  3. Brkljača, Maja (June 7, 2018). "Traffic Collapse Due to Station Refurbishment; All Trains to Go Through City Centre". RTL Group.
  4. "How to travel by train, bus & boat to & within Laos - Bangkok-Vientiane by train". Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  5. "Welcome to the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway". Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  6. Video Mitch (Mar 9, 2017). "Swiss Trains: Street Running in Chur". Retrieved 13 January 2019 via Youtube.
  7. Davies, Merfyn (30 October 2010). "Taith gyntaf teithwyr trên bach o Gaernarfon i Borthmadog". BBC Online (in Welsh). Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  8. Kyper, Frank (1977). The railroad that came out at night : a book of railroading in and around Boston. Brattleboro, Vt.: S. Greene Press. pp. 13–40. ISBN 0-8289-0318-2.
  9. Street Running with the Pioneer Valley Railroad. atholfam. 7 May 2012 via Youtube.
  10. "CSX D053 Elizabeth PA". 2015-03-07.
  11. "Street Running in Elizabeth, PA".
  12. "Philly NRHS - Railfan Pictures of the Week".
  13. "12/09/2016 - Decision - 45571".
  14. "Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Fayette County, Pa". 6 December 2016.
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