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About UrbanRail.Net

What is it? | Who maintains it? | Links policy | Who sponsors it? | How can you help? | What is a metro? | Other FAQ | Impressum

 What is UrbanRail.Net?

UrbanRail.Net is your gateway to any information related to metros, subways, trams and light rail or similar urban rail transit systems around the world. UrbanRail.Net gives you a general overview of each city's metro system and links you to other relevant sites. UrbanRail.Net wants to be as updated as possible to make the most out of this fascinating media which is the internet. UrbanRail.Net does not want to duplicate information given in English elsewhere on the Internet. UrbanRail.Net also wants to be respectful with copyright laws and publish only "self-made" contents (maps, photos, texts etc.)

See how it all began in 1995

 Who maintains UrbanRail.Net?

UrbanRail.Net is maintained by Robert Schwandl, a mere metro fan not related in any way to any metro operating company or the rail industry. Although I have done the biggest part to set it up over the last 20 years, this site would not be possible without the help of hundreds of often anonymous helpers all around the world who contribute to the site in many different ways, by sending the latest info from their city, providing photographs, correcting inevitable mistakes, suggesting new details, etc.

Thanks to everybody out there!

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 Can I link my website to UrbanRail.Net?

Yes, certainly, if your website is also about urban railways. You can link directly to a city page or to the start page. You can use this button:

If you wish, we can place a link to your website, but only if it is about urban railways [Mail] We do not collaborate with travel portals or websites dedicated to other subjects.

 Who sponsors UrbanRail.Net?

Nobody, unfortunately. It's a very idealistic project and I've been paying for the server to host the pages and spent many many hours putting it together and keeping it updated. And it has been great fun with so many positive mails received from around the world. Apparently, the Google ads you have to bear with when viewing the website create some revenue to cover costs.

But there are some ways you can help to finance the project if you want:
1) Donation to UrbanRail.Net (ask for PayPal or other options [Mail])
2) Buy books about metros published by the author and sold at schwandl.com
3) Place a paid advert on UrbanRail.Net (only if product offered is related to the subject of the site)

 What can you do to improve UrbanRail.Net?

You can keep sending your contributions by email:
1) Updated info
2) Corrections
3) Report dead links
4) Photos - ONLY if you have the copyright (click here for parameters required). Do NOT send images from other websites! Send me a link to these pictures instead.
5) Prepare a full page to copy and paste into the existing structure (requires minimum knowledge of webpage editing)
6) If you are familiar with basic drawing programmes, you can also design a map for a system that is not yet covered, or update a map directly and send it to me (always keep the size and file format of the original map so I can just copy&paste it).

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 What is a metro? A subway? An underground?

My personal definition is:

1) An urban electric mass rail transport system, i.e. it is primarily used to move within the city
2) Totally independent from other traffic, rail or street traffic
3) High frequency service (maximum interval approx. 10 minutes during normal daytime service)

Obviously a metro does not have to be underground (this is why I prefer this term to 'subway' or 'underground' or 'U-Bahn' as all these terms imply a tunnel), it can also be elevated or at grade. A metro does not necessarily use heavy rail technology, therefore the Docklands Light Railway or the Lille VAL are full metro services, with the only difference that their capacity is smaller according to the needs of the city/area they serve. It's also irrelevant whether the metro runs on steel wheels or rubber tyres, is monorail or conventional double rail, uses third rail power supply or overhead wire, is fully automated or has a driver, has standard, narrow or broad gauge.

For many years now, UrbanRail.Net has also covered all sorts of tramways, streetcars or light rail systems, but only selected suburban rail systems are included as the list of cities may otherwise be to long to maintain.

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 Other FAQs

Why is the website no longer called 'metroPlanet'?

- Because the world's fifth largest retailer based in Germany claimed that the former name would infringe their registered trademark and we didn't have the financial resources to sort this out in court.

Why is UrbanRail.Net only in English?

- Because English is the language most people can understand, and keeping a website updated in various languages turns out to be too time consuming. If you don't understand English sufficiently I suggest to use Google automatic translation. Go to Google, type in urbanrail and then click 'Translate this page'. It will be displayed in the langauge Google has detected on your computer.

Which programme do you use to draw your maps?

- Paint Shop Pro 5, which is an easy to use Shareware programme you can download everywhere, though a bit old-fashioned nowadays, but it does the job.

Which format is the best to draw maps?

- Newer maps are in .png, some older still in .gif (for the initial sketch I use .psp, Paintshop's native format)


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 How to send photographs to UrbanRail.Net?

There are two options:

1) Photos are ready to publish
2) Photos have to be edited to be published

In any case, NEVER send us pictures taken from other websites! The copyright has to be known and shown! Do not send pictures for pages which already include a large amount of photos unless your pictures show something new or are of better quality.

1) If you are used to editing photos for the Internet, these are the parameters I use in UrbanRail.Net:
- jpg - compression factor should be 10% - 15% for best quality and minimum file size (which should not exceed 250K)
- approx. 450-600 pixels in width
- the copyright (and if known also the location) should be printed on the image
- the name of the file should explain briefly the content of the image (e.g. lon-jub-waterloo1.jpg)
- we no longer use small preview images (thumbnails)

2) If you are not familiar with photo editing but have a digital camera then send them as follows:
- any compatible format, preferably jpg, tif or bmp
- best possible quality - only send smartphone pictures if you are sure the quality of the images is good, we won't publish mediocre pictures or snapshots
- pixel size approximately double the final size (1500 x 800 or so in jpg or tif, not more than 1000 x 650 in bmp) to allow editing and maintaining the best quality
- check in Windows Explorer to make sure the file size is not too large (maximum 5 MB per file)
- do not print your copyright onto it (has to be done in definitive size)


Send your pictures by [Mail], but don't put too many in one message, send them in separate mails. Thanks

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Robert Schwandl
Hektorstr. 3
D-10711 Berlin

Tel. +49 (0)30 - 3759 1284
Fax +49 (0)30 - 3759 1285


Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer gemäß § 27 a Umsatzsteuergesetz: DE221699358
Inhaltlich Verantwortlicher gemäß § 10 Absatz 3 MDStV: Robert Schwandl (Anschrift wie oben)


Trotz sorgfältiger inhaltlicher Kontrolle übernehmen wir keine Haftung für die Inhalte externer Links. Für den Inhalt der verlinkten Seiten sind ausschließlich deren Betreiber verantwortlich.



2007 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl