What Is the Difference Between Trains and Trams?

Difference Between Trains and Trams

Have you ever considered the difference between trains and trams? And do you think the difference between trains and trams is measured through weight only?


Well, weight is the major measurement of the difference between trains and trams. But there is more.

Both vehicles are manufactured with different objectives and are separate modes of transportation.

In essence, trains are heavy in weight, and trams are lightweight vehicles. Likewise, trains are meant for long-distance transport and are designed for mass transportation.

Meaning trains carry a massive number of passengers and provide a reliable and affordable transportation system for long-distance travelers – particularly across cities.

In contrast, trams are designed for fewer passengers, and the transportation mode is short-distance. 

Nevertheless, the difference between trains and trams is beyond weight, and it needs in-depth analysis.

Let’s discuss those differences step by step:

Railways VS Tramways – AKA Roads

Difference Between Trains and Trams

Perhaps the major difference between trains and trams is the mode of transportation of these vehicles. That is, trains run on iron tracks due to their heavyweight.

These iron tracks are laid on the ground and are called railways. On the other hand, trams run on ground-level roads.

Again, this is probably because of the lightweight of trams and the transportation mode. Since trams are used for swift and convenient short-distance transport, ground-level tracks are the most convenient medium for transportation. 

Steam & Coal Engine VS Diesel & Petrol Engine

Another major difference between trains and trams is the engine, and trains have heavyweight, steam, or coal-driven engine.

Since trains carry massive passengers and the cabins are weighty, the engine has also supposed to be stubborn to carry the overall weight of the giant vehicle. And perhaps no other engine could better carry these trains. 

On the other hand, trams are driven by diesel or petrol engines, and some latest trams also have electronic engines. This is again directly linked with the overall weight and mode of transportation of trams.

Since the overall weight of trams is light, lightweight diesel, petrol, or electronic engines quite comfortably carry these vehicles. 


As mentioned earlier, trains are used for long-distance transportation. As the travel prolongs, trains frequently stop at long stations.

Say, if your travel on a train is 24 hours, you are likely to stop at the stations after every 4-5 hours. This marks another main difference between trains and trams. 

Unlike trains, trams are used for short-distance travel, and the stoppage is also brief and frequent. In a 5 hours travel via tram, you are likely to have quite often stoppages for refreshment. 


The speed is another major difference between trains and trams.

Trains move steadily on the iron tracks, and trains, on the other hand, move with a swift and high speed on tramways.

Since trains carry massive passengers and the railways are quite complex, they move relatively slower.  

Unlike trains, trams develop a great speed on the road, which is laid on the ground’s surface. Generally, trams run on lanes or two-way roads.

As they progress on the road, so does the speed. In contrast, trains run on single iron tracks, and their speed remains almost constant. 

Summing Up 

The major difference between trains and trams is their weight. It is the weight of these vehicles that, in turn, give birth to other differences. For instance, trains are heavyweight vehicles.

That is why trains require a high-power engine, separate tracks, different stoppage schedules, and present a whole different long-distance traveling platform. 

Unlike trains, trams are lightweight. And it then dictates the other differences, like engine, carriages, stoppages, speed, and mode of conveyance.

Depending on the mode and purpose of your transportation, both of these vehicles are reliable.  

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