Light Rail Transit or Light Railway is an improvised and electric powered urban rail-borne public transport. It runs faster. Moreover, it has higher capacity than conventional street-running tramcars but lower than that of metro and heavy rail systems. The term "Light Rail" refers to electric rail system operating mostly in classified rights-of-way unconnected from other traffic. However, if required can be merged with the rest of the traffic across several city lanes. Modern Light Rail is adaptable and flexible. Depending on its characteristics, Light Railway can be considered as a true rapid transit system.
In 1962, H. Dean Quinby put forward the basic concepts of Light Railway in an article called "Major Urban Corridor Facilities: A New Concept" in Traffic Quarterly. In 1972 the term LRT i.e. Light Rail Transit was introduced in North America. The operation of first Light Rail system began in 1978. Mass transit expansion of Los Angeles has been driven by Light Rail. In 1980s, Britain started replacing its dilapidated local railways with Light Railway system. The concept of Light Rail was firmly established in United Kingdom in 1992 with the accomplishment of Manchester Metrolink system.
A mode of transportation that comes together with the features of trains, street cars and metro or subway systems defines the Light Rail line. Often in urban areas, they are used to harmonize and replace active public mode of transportation like buses, subways or trams. A Light Rail line can run on both existing tracks of trains as well as the tracks especially built on city streets to allow passengers to commute from one place to another. The term Light Rail is the literal translation of the German term "stadtbahn" meaning "city rail" in English. In contrast to popular notion, a Light Rail line is not known so by its lighter weight than heavy rail systems. In fact, it often weighs as much or sometimes even more than regular trains and may ask for similar expenses for construction.
There are two broad versions of Light railways.