Patrick Boylan wrote:Please take off those Amtrak long distance blinders.
Once upon a time, 1970's or maybe later, although perhaps different regs at the time but still on what I assume were FRA regulated operations, the Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines and the Delaware Lackawanna and Western regularly split and combined Budd RDC's for Cape May and Wildwood at Tuckahoe Junction and electric MU's with trailers for Dover and Gladstone at Summit.
This forum does say "light rail". NJT's Riverline has its first weekday trip at Burlington South originate as a 2 car train, travels north 1 stop to Burlington Town Center. One car continues to Trenton, the other splits, changes ends and goes south to Camden. The dozen or so times I've gotten up early enough to ride it they made no announcements, and I've never seen anything in print from NJT that warns newbies to get into the correct car. The Riverline has an FRA arrangement that I assume imposes different rules than a regular railroad.
In both of your examples, you're discussing DMUs. Multiple units have every car providing its own power and having its own cab. Which makes splitting trains far easier to do - assuming you have enough engineers/drivers/operators to pilot the trains. I suggest most of the trains being split in England are multiple unit trains, either EMUs or DMUs.
Here's a list of DMU trains in use today in Amercia.
*Alaska Railroad - with just one DMU.
CapMetro Metrorail - with 6 DMUs on just one corridor.
Denton County Transit Authority - with 11 DMUs on just one corridor.
New Jersey Transit Riverline - with 20 DMUs on just one corridor.
North County Transit District Sprinter - with 12 DMUs on just one corridor.
*TriMet WES - with 3 modern DMUs and 2 RDCs on just one corridor.
*TriRail = with 3 modern DMUs on just one corridor.
* = fully FRA compliant which are easier to use on additional corridors.
Having just one corridor or just one DMU makes it difficult to find a reason to split the trains - short of the example for the NJT Riverline stated before.
Additionally, there are EMU operations in America too.
Long Island Railroad - 836 M7 and 170 M3 on at least nine electric corridors
MERTA - 130 St.Louis, 35 Bombardier, and 25 Nippon-Sharyo on one electric corridor
Metro North Railroad - 380 M8, 336 M7, 46 M6, 53 M4, 142 M3, and 242 M2 on at least seven electric corridors.
New Jersey Transit - 430 Arrow III on at least seven electric corridors.
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District South Shore - 68 single level and 14 bi-level Nippon-Sharyos on one electric corridor.
Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority - 231 Silverliner IV and 120 Silverliner V on at least thirteen electric corridors.
I'm not aware of any of these EMU operators splitting trains or combining trains as part of their normal operations - although there appears plenty of opportunities to do so. There's apparently plenty of business to just run dedicated trains for each line. Or as in the case in the Chicago metro area, two different commuter rail agencies serving the same common electric line into downtown Chicago, but running on separate branches at the split.