Suburban train or rapid transit


New Member
Hello everyone

Could you please tell me whether it's common to say "suburabn train" in the US?.Or do the people just say "rapid transit".Thanks in advance
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    US English
    Yes, "suburban train" is common.

    Wikipedia says that "rapid transit" refers to electric-powered trains, usually found in cities. Those are not suburban trains. Those are subways and metro lines.

    "Suburban" doesn't mean "in cities". It means "in suburbs". Usually "suburban trains" are not electric.


    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    I think it depends on what the particular rail system itself is called. I'd use 'commuter rail' or 'light rail' rather than 'suburban train' for a system that goes from the city center far into the suburbs. 'Suburban train' might suggest that it does not go into the city itself.
    For example, the commuter rail system that serves the Boston, Massachusetts suburbs begins in either of two railroad stations near the center of Boston (North Station and South Station) and stops at more than 80 stations southeast, south, and southwest of the city and about 140 station northeast, north, and northwest of the city.
    This is different from the subway-and-trolley system in Boston and its near suburbs.