Difference Between Rail and Train


Primary Difference

Usually we have heard many people say that we have traveled by rail and some say that we have traveled by train which makes the majority think that rails and trains are both different modes of transportation. In actual, this is not the case, rails are the metal bars that makes the track and all the infrastructure associated with it and a trail is the actual vehicle which runs on the rail in which people travel. The basic composition of rail is two metal or iron rods connected parallel to each other with many small iron rods joined between them and to form a railway track also known as Rail, on which the train a locomotive with many compartments and an engine runs on the railway track to transport people. Rails stay at one place and do not move like trains. Rails are made of metal because metal is a good conductor of heat. It is made of metal because trains run very fast and move on rails against friction which produces a lot of heat energy and because of heat combustion the rails are usually rusted and eroded so metal slows the erosion of the rail plus the weight of the train is also very much. A rail track is made for the constant movement of the train because unlike other vehicle a train does not have a brake, it will start from one destination and travel very fast and stop only at the desired destination stated. That’s why trail cannot travel on the normal roads but need a rail which holds the train in it to travel and does not let the train deviate from its rail track.

Comparison Chart

DefinitionThe vehicle and the mode of transport.The track on which the train runs.
SpeedVery fast moving.Stay at one place since they are static.
ExplanationA locomotive with an engine and different compartments joined together.The tracks as well as the whole infrastructure associated with the railways.
Alternative DetailThe carrier of the passengers who want to travel.The carrier or transport mode of the trains in which the passengers travel.

Definition of Rail

Rail is the complete system of the railway tracks and all the infrastructure involved in it. A rail consists of two metal bars or rods covering over a huge distance made parallel to each other and joined with many small metal rods in between like a ladder which makes the whole railway track. It is made of metal to support the intense heat energy which is produced by the train when it is run on the rail and also to slow down the process of erosion and combustion caused by the heat combustion and also the heavy weight of the train because metal is a good conductor of heat. A rail is constructed in such a way to balance the weight of the train, as the wheels of the train are fit into the parallel bars and it travels uniformly over the small metal bars which are joined in between, so the train does not move away or deviate from its path because this will lead to major accident. A rail is constructed away from the traffic and hustle of the city and usually on a traffic free and plain land to construct a straight track without any thing in between because a train needs to travel without stopping.


Definition of Train

Train is an exclusive and a very fast mode of transport. It is very useful in covering long distance from one city to another because it travels in a jiffy. Also trains do not have brakes so they travel without stopping. Trains are locomotives with engine and many coaches or compartment joined together which causes many passengers to travel at once without the interruption of traffic or signals as it travels on a rail which is a separate track for trains. Trains travel on rails against friction. Nowadays trains have become very luxurious for people to travel from all walks of life. Trains are faster now and also more convenient as families can travel together and bow the facility of comfortable seats and food are also available.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Train is the vehicle and the mode of transport while rails are the track on which the train runs.
  2. Rails stay at one place and are static while the trains are very fast moving vehicles.
  3. Rails are the parallel tracks made of metal and trains travel with their wheels places on the parallel tracks of the rails.
  4. Rails are the tracks as well as the whole infrastructure associated with the railways while train is a locomotive with an engine and different compartments joined together.
  5. Trains are the carrier of the passengers who want to travel while the rails are the carrier or transport mode of the trains in which the passengers travel.
  6. Trains cause erosion of the rails due to high speed which produces heat energy.


Trains are one of the most common and fastest modes of traveling around the world but there are various terms associated with it which can get confusing. All in all, this article has looked at the main differences between rail and train so that people know how they differ and how are they related.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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