Rail transport in the United Kingdom

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National Rail (Rest of UK)

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 and present-day state of railways in these areas is by geographical division, rather than the political division of nation states.

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

Furthermore, there are rail systems in two Crown Dependencies:

  • Rail transport in the Isle of Man: discusses rail transport on the Isle of Man, which has the largest narrow gauge railway network in the British Isles with several historic railways and tramways still in operation.
  • Rail transport in Alderney: discusses the railway in Alderney, in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the only working railway in the Channel Islands.

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 two separate cross border train services:

See also[edit]