Rail Transport in Great Britain

Rail Transport In Great Britain

The railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world; the world's first locomotive-hauled public railway opened in 1825. Most of the railway track is managed by Network Rail, which as of 2010 had a network of 15,754 kilometres (9,789 mi) of standard-gauge lines, of which 5,249 kilometres (3,262 mi) are electrified. These lines range from single to double to quadruple track. In addition, some cities have separate rail-based mass transit systems (including the extensive and historic London Underground). There are also several private railways (some of them narrow-gauge), which are primarily short tourist lines. The British railway network is connected with that of continental Europe by an undersea rail link, the Channel Tunnel, opened in 1994.

The United Kingdom is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The UIC Country Code for United Kingdom is 70.

The UK has the 18th largest railway network in the world and despite many lines having closed in the 20th century it remains one of the densest rail networks. It is one of the busiest railways in Europe, with 20% more train services than France, 60% more than Italy, and more than Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Portugal and Norway combined. In 2010, there were 1.33 billion journeys on the National Rail network, making the British network the fifth most used in the world (Great Britain ranks 23rd in world population). Unlike a number of other countries, rail travel in the United Kingdom has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years with kilometres/miles travelled matching and surpassing the highs of the 1940s (see usage figures below). This is partly attributed to a shift away from private motoring due to growing road congestion and increasing petrol prices, but also to the fact that travelling in general (for all modes) has increased with affluency.

Read more about Rail Transport In Great Britain:  Historical Overview, Passenger Services

Famous quotes containing the words rail, transport and/or britain:

    For this is the mark of a wise and upright man, not to rail against the gods in misfortune.
    Aeschylus (525–456 B.C.)

    One may disavow and disclaim vices that surprise us, and whereto our passions transport us; but those which by long habits are rooted in a strong and ... powerful will are not subject to contradiction. Repentance is but a denying of our will, and an opposition of our fantasies.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)

    I’ll stay until I’m tired of it. So long as Britain needs me, I shall never be tired of it.
    Margaret Thatcher (b. 1925)