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A 1050mm gauge 2-8-0 steam locomotive pulls a train of construction materials on the Palestine Railways in 1946
Image: Candidates · Archive

In rail transport, a train is a vehicle or (more frequently) a string of vehicles capable of being moved along a continuous line of rails or other guideway for the purpose of conveying freight or passengers between points on a predetermined route. The train may be hauled or propelled by one or more vehicles designed exclusively for that purpose (locomotives) or may be driven by a number of motors incorporated in all or several of the vehicles (multiple units).

As of 2006, there are approximately 1,370,782 kilometres (851,764 mi) of railway track in use worldwide.



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A FGW HST and a suburban class 166 at Hungerford in 2009

First Great Western is a major British train operating company owned by FirstGroup. It provides the majority of commuter and outer-suburban services from its Central London terminus at London Paddington station to West London and the Thames Valley region including Berkshire, parts of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire along with long-distance inter-city services via the Great Western Main Line to South West England and South Wales. It also provides regional services throughout the South West of England and to the south coast of England. All regular services serving London are operated to and from London Paddington station. First Great Western operates 208 stations, and its services call at over 270. Intercity trains run to Cardiff, Swansea, Plymouth, Bristol, Exeter and Hereford, and to the towns of Carmarthen, Pembroke (summer), Newquay (summer), Great Malvern, Penzance, Weston-super-mare and Cheltenham. First Great Western also serves two of London's airports: Heathrow (through Heathrow Connect) and Gatwick. First Great Western operates a large diesel fleet, and services are operated by diesel trains only (with the exception of Heathrow Connect). High-speed services are operated by British Rail Class 43 (HST) locomotives with Mk3 coaches. Commuter services in the Thames Valley use Class 165 and Class 166 Thames Turbo trains, while local services in the south-west are operated with a variety of one-, two- and three-car diesel multiple unit trains. On 1 April 2006, First Great Western, First Great Western Link and Wessex Trains were combined into the new Greater Western franchise. First had been announced in December 2005 as the operator of the combined franchise for a 7-year period.

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CP at Castelo Branco Junction in May 2014

A Comboios de Portugal regional train approaches Castelo Branco Junction in May 2014.

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Builder's photo of Virginian Railway 900, a USRA 2-8-8-2

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A replica of the Tom Thumb as seen in 1927



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