Vision from 2050
Little-used lines in strategic locations have been converted into light railways and upgraded to a ConnectedCity level of service.
In the UK of the original 23,000 miles of railway, about 5,000 closed before Beeching and another 5,000 following Beeching, along with over 2,100 stations. Many of these lines have been reopened and the stations rebuilt at the core of new pedsheds. More are underway as communities seek to benefit from the sustainable growth that ConnectedCities bring.
New high-speed lines connect the regions to London. Since they have few stations their role has not been to provide sites for ConnectedCities but to enable regional growth and decentralisation and to form the spine of a coherent freight network.
There are many inter-town tram-train routes. For example, in the UK the Herts Orbital Transit connects Watford and St.Albans and continues to Welwyn Garden City using part of the trackbed of the old branch line and on to Hertford.
Tram-Train vehicles can run in streets to enable them to reach city centres; can provide PRT, and can cross roads on the level at ordinary light-controlled crossings, enabling inter-town routes to be created without the expense of numerous bridges.
There are many good bus services linking the hub towns of ConnectedCities, but they are not recognised as inter-town routes which allow the development of pedsheds. Their role is to enable connections between rail lines where routes run parallel and permanent way links have yet to be established.
As the permanent way connections are being made most ConnectedCities are becoming connected in every direction and more journey-to-work opportunities are opening.