Light Rail Transit (LRT)
With the selection of the Locally Preferred Alternative by Governor Martin O'Malley in the summer of 2009, Light Rail Transit (LRT) was chosen as the preferred vehicle option for the Red Line. Key features of LRT can be found below.
Light Rail Transit is an electric railway system that operates single cars or short trains along rights-of-way at ground level, on aerial structures, and in tunnels. Light Rail can also operate in the street mixed with vehicular traffic, in the median of a roadway or on a separate right-of-way. Light Rail Transit gets its power from overhead electrical lines. Maximum speeds of Light Rail trains are normally around 60 miles per hour, with the average operating speed being closer to 45 miles per hour. The actual speed largely depends on the extent to which the train is separated from cars and pedestrians.
Depending upon the specific system, the distance between Light Rail stations is shorter than with heavy rail systems due to the type of propulsion and braking systems. Fare collection is typically done at the station before boarding the train and an attendant verifies fare-purchase while the train is in motion.
Light Rail currently operates in Baltimore along the 30-mile Central Light Rail Corridor between Hunt Valley, downtown Baltimore and Glen Burnie. Spurs also serve BWI Airport and Penn Station. Light Rail has been built in several other American cities: