Rail transport in the United Kingdom

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National Rail (Great Britain) National Rail logo.svg
National Rail (Great Britain)
NI Railways (Northern Ireland) NIR logo.svg
NI Railways (Northern Ireland)

The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and previously consisted of Great Britain and the whole of Ireland. Rail transport systems developed independently on the two island masses of Great Britain and Ireland, and most of the railway construction in the Republic of Ireland was undertaken before the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. Thus, the logical division to discuss the history and present-day state of railways in these areas is by geographical division, rather than the nationalist division of nation states.

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

Additionally, there are rail systems in two Crown Dependencies, namely:

None of the British Overseas Territories have railways at present, although some, such as Bermuda were historically served by railways. Gibraltar is accessible by the Spanish and Moroccan rail systems. Hong Kong was the last dependent territory to have an extant rail system.

Similarly, for the history of rail transport, rather than the current situation (described in the above articles), see history of rail transport in Great Britain and history of rail transport in Ireland. The United Kingdom, despite its island geography, runs three separate cross border train services:

See also

Related Research Articles

Most of the transport system in Ireland is in public hands, either side of the Irish border. The Irish road network has evolved separately in the two jurisdictions into which Ireland is divided, while the Irish rail network was mostly created prior to the partition of Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transport in the United Kingdom</span> Overview of the transport in the United Kingdom

Transport in the United Kingdom is facilitated with road, air, rail, and water networks. A radial road network totals 29,145 miles (46,904 km) of main roads, 2,173 miles (3,497 km) of motorways and 213,750 miles (344,000 km) of paved roads. The National Rail network of 10,072 route miles (16,116 km) in Great Britain and 189 route miles in Northern Ireland carries over 18,000 passenger and 1,000 freight trains daily. Urban rail networks exist in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle. There are many regional and international airports, with Heathrow Airport in London being one of the top ten busiest in the world. The UK also has a network of ports which received over 486 million tons of goods in 2019. Transport is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions by the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">NI Railways</span> Parastatal rail transport organisation of Northern Ireland

NI Railways, also known as Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) ; and for a brief period Ulster Transport Railways (UTR), is the railway operator in Northern Ireland. NIR is a subsidiary of Translink, whose parent company is the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHCo), and is one of seven publicly owned train operators in the United Kingdom, the others being Direct Rail Services, Northern Trains, Transport for Wales Rail, Southeastern, LNER, and ScotRail. It has a common Board of Management with the other two companies in the group, Ulsterbus and Metro.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">CIÉ</span> Statutory transport organisation of Ireland

Córas Iompair Éireann, or CIÉ, is a statutory corporation of Ireland, answerable to the Irish Government and responsible for most public transport within the republic and jointly with its Northern Ireland counterpart, the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company for the railway service between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The company is headquartered at Heuston Station, Dublin. It is a statutory corporation whose members are appointed by the Minister for Transport.

The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and previously consisted of Great Britain and the whole of Ireland. Rail transport systems developed independently on the two islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and most of the railway construction in the Republic of Ireland was undertaken before independence in 1922. Thus, the logical division to discuss the history of railways in these areas is by geographical division, rather than the political division of nation states.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of rail transport in Ireland</span>

The history of rail transport in Ireland began only a decade later than that of Great Britain. By its peak in 1920, Ireland had 3,500 route miles (5,630 km). The current status is less than half that amount, with a large unserviced area around the border area between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rail transport in Ireland</span>

Rail transport in Ireland is provided by Iarnród Éireann in the Republic of Ireland and by Northern Ireland Railways in Northern Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Iarnród Éireann</span> Irelands national railway operator

Iarnród Éireann or Irish Rail, is the operator of the national railway network of Ireland. Established on 2 February 1987, it is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ). It operates all internal InterCity, Commuter, DART and freight railway services in the Republic of Ireland, and, jointly with Northern Ireland Railways, the Enterprise service between Dublin and Belfast. In 2019, IÉ carried 50 million passengers, up from 48 million in 2018, and a record peak.

There are effectively two separate mainline railway systems in the United Kingdom – the Great Britain system and the Northern Ireland system, which are regulated and operated separately, and are constituted under separate pieces of United Kingdom legislation.

A train operating company (TOC) is a business operating passenger trains on the railway system of Great Britain under the collective National Rail brand. TOCs have existed since the privatisation of the network under the Railways Act 1993.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">IE 201 Class</span>

The Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) / Northern Ireland Railways 201 Class locomotives are the newest and most powerful diesel locomotives operating in Ireland and were built between 1994 and 1995 by General Motors Diesel. They are model type JT42HCW, fitted with an EMD 12-710G3B engine of 3,200 hp (2,400 kW), weigh 108.862 tonnes and have a maximum speed of 164 km/h (102 mph). A freight version, the EMD Series 66, with the same engine, is used on privately operated European mainline freight duties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transport in Wales</span> Overview of the transportation system in Wales

Transport in Wales is heavily influenced by the country's geography. Wales is predominantly hilly or mountainous, and the main settlements lie on the coasts of north and south Wales, while mid Wales and west Wales are lightly populated. The main transport corridors are east–west routes, many continuing eastwards into England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Belfast–Dublin line</span> Railway route in Ireland

The Belfast–Dublin Main Line is a main and busiest railway route on the island of Ireland that connects Dublin Connolly station in the Republic of Ireland and Belfast Lanyon Place station in Northern Ireland. It is the only railway line that crosses the Republic of Ireland–United Kingdom border.

Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands. It is part of the Common Travel Area, allowing passport-free travel to and from the United Kingdom or Jersey. Travel to and from mainland Europe requires a passport or an EU national identity document. Non EU citizens may need a visa.

There are a number of proposed fixed connections—road or rail, bridge or tunnel—designed to connect the islands of Ireland and Great Britain, connect the island of Great Britain to mainland Europe, as well as to build other connections amongst the smaller islands in the British & Irish Isles.

There have been two railways within the state territories of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency comprising six inhabited islands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outline of the United Kingdom</span> Overview of and topical guide to the United Kingdom

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; a sovereign country in Europe, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK), or Britain. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, it includes the island of Great Britain—a term also applied loosely to refer to the whole country—the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Index of United Kingdom–related articles</span>

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United Kingdom.

References