Different Types of Railway Services and Their Characteristics

Types of Railway Services (Classification of Traction Services)

Railways offer the following three types of the passenger traction services viz −

  • City or Urban Service

  • Suburban Service

  • Main Line Service

City or Urban Railway Service

In the city or urban railway service, there are frequent stops, the distance between these stops being nearly 1 km or less. Therefore, in order to obtain moderately high schedule speed between the stations, it is essential to have high acceleration and retardation.

Suburban Railway Service

In case suburban railway service, the average distance between the stops ranges from 3 km to 5 km. The suburban railway services require rapid acceleration and retardation for frequent starting and stopping.

Main Line Railway Service

In the main line railway service, the operation is over long routes and stops are infrequent. In this types of railway service, the operating speed is high and acceleration and retardation period are relatively less important.

Note - The three types of traction services are also available on goods traffic side, which are −

  • Main Line Freight Service

  • Local or Pickup Freight Service

  • Shunting Service

Characteristics of Railway Services

The following table highlights the characteristics of various types of railway services −

CharacteristicCity or Urban Railway ServiceSuburban Railway ServiceMain Line Railway Service
Acceleration1.5 to 4.0 kmphps1.5 to 4.0 kmphps0.6 to 0.8 kmphps
Retardation3 to 4 kmphps3 to 4 kmphps1.5 kmphps
Maximum speed120 kmph120 kmph160 kmph
Distance between stationsUp to 1 km1 to 8 kmMore than 10 km
Running & coasting periodsNo free running period. Small coasting period.No free running period. Long coasting period.Free running period. Long coasting period. Relatively small acceleration and braking periods.

Updated on: 27-Apr-2022

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