Portal:UK railways

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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.

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21C1 35001 Channel Packet.jpg
The SR Merchant Navy Class, also known as Bulleid Pacifics, Spam Cans or Packets, was a class of air-smoothed 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotives designed for the Southern Railway of the United Kingdom by Oliver Bulleid. The Pacific design was chosen in preference to several others proposed by Bulleid. The first members of the class were constructed during the Second World War, and the last of the 30 locomotives in 1949.

Incorporating a number of new developments in British steam locomotive technology, the design of the Packets was among the first to use welding in the construction process; this enabled easier fabrication of components during the austerity of the war and post-war economies. The locomotives featured thermic syphons and Bulleid's controversial, innovative chain-driven valve gear. The class members were named after the Merchant Navy shipping lines involved in the Battle of the Atlantic, and latterly those which used Southampton Docks, an astute publicity masterstroke by the Southern Railway, which operated Southampton Docks during the period.

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Manchester Piccadilly railway station from the footbridge.jpg
Credit: Richard Kelly

Manchester Piccadilly station, known locally as just Piccadilly, is the principal railway station of Manchester in England, and lies on the Manchester loop of the West Coast Main Line. It serves intercity routes to London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Cardiff Central and the south, Glasgow Central, and routes throughout the north of England. Operated by Network Rail, it is the largest and busiest of the five city centre railway stations in Central Manchester/Salford, the others being Manchester Victoria, Salford Central, Deansgate and Manchester Oxford Road. It is the fourth busiest major station in the United Kingdom outside London for footfall (visitor numbers) and the busiest in England outside London for passenger usage. (more...)

Did you know...

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  • ...that most of the Thomas The Tank Engine characters are based on genuine British Rail locomotives, and that Thomas is based on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway's E2 0-6-0 locomotive?
  • ...that there are ten stations where the train operator responsible for the management of the station has no services calling at that station?
  • ...that there is a total of 262 million journey and fare combinations on the British railway network?

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16 May 2018 – Economy of the United Kingdom
The British government renationalises the Virgin Trains East Coast-operated East Coast Main Line. The Department for Transport will run the rail service until 2020. (Reuters) (BBC)

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