Population69,638 million inhabitants – Administrative language: English (services in Welsh are available in Wales and in Scottish Gaelic in Scotland)
Political capital: London
Political system: Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy. Parliament (Westminster) is the main legislative body (House of Commons and House of Lords). Unlike many other countries, Great Britain does not have a single written constitution. Great Britain is made up of three constituent countries: England, Wales and Scotland. Each of these countries has its own devolved government with legislative and executive powers in certain matters, a process known as devolution.

Was a member of the European Union (1973 to the end of December 2020), but has never joined the Schengen area or the euro zone.

Brief rail characteristics:
• UIC code : 70
• Main track gauge: 1435mm
• Main electrification: 25kV AC 
• High Speed > V250 : yes

Rail transport
• History of rail in Great Britain
• Details of institutional organisation
British rail news highlights

Notified bodies
• Regulation : Office of Rail and Road
• Security : Office of Rail and Road

Public transport
• National / local and regional authorities

The 10 top ranking cities:
• London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bristol, Edinburgh

Organisation of rail transport in Great Britain

Manager of the main railway network
Network Rail depuis octobre 2002, dépendant directement  du Département for Transports (DfT). 

Main historical railway company
British Railways between 1947 and December 1996.
Since 1997, passenger train services have been run by various private operators, originally under a concession (franchise).
Since 2021, the franchise system has no longer been used and has been temporarily replaced by relatively short-term NRCs (National Rail Contracts), until a new structure called GBR (Great British Railway) is put in place, which is currently following its legislative course.

Liberalisation (depends on the legal scope given to it)
International passenger traffic: restricted to Eurostar high-speed services only
National mainline passenger traffic: various private operators under NRC
Regional and local national passenger traffic: various private operators under NRC
Freight traffic: independent open access operators

Mainline and international train services
Non-subsidised mainline trains: restricted to Eurostar high-speed services only
Subsidised mainline trains: various private operators under NRC

Alternative mainline operators
To be considered here “outside the NRC system”, i.e. open access: Grand Central, Hull Trains, Lumo

Local / regional train services
Subsidised regional and local trains: various private operators under NRC
Scotland and Wales operate their regional and local trains under contract and according to their own terms and conditions.

Other local and regional operators
None. All passengers traffic was initially under franchise, then under NRC contract.

Freight train services
Private rail freight operators, all open access

Alternative rail freight operators
Opérateurs privés de fret ferroviaire, tous en open access

Bus / lightrail / metro
The communities, which vary greatly from one region to another, are responsible for programming, planning and supervising their public transport, as are the major cities.

Glossary of rail transport in Great Britain

◼ Main network manager:
• Network Rail
• 15,904km of lines
◼ Others secondary network managers:
• —
◼ Passenger stations :
• 2,567
◼ Companies registered:
• —
◼ Main issues:
• Tracks doubling
• Signalisation & ETCS
• Electrification
• HS2

Rolling stock:
◼ Authorized vehicles:
• Electric vehicles
• Autonomous vehicles
• Emu
• Dmu
• Railway cars
• Freight wagons
• Others
◼ Suppliers:
• History of the industry
• Industry today

Passenger services:
◼ Incumbent operator:
• British Rail (†)
• National services yesterday
• Main lines
• Transport today
• Liberalisation
Avanti West Coast
• Cross-border traffic
◼ Other operators:
• Various
◼ Secondary operators:
• —
◼ international trafic :
• Traffic organisation
• Eurostar
◼ British operations abroad:
• National Express
• Go Ahead
◼ Stations:
• 2,567
• History & Heritage
◼ Flow analysis:
• Main lines / local lines
• Modal shares & Economy

Freight services
◼ Industry sectors:
• Steel
• Chemical
• Intermodal
• Wood / Paper
• Others
◼ Operators:
• Various operators
◼ British operations abroad:
• none
◼ Infrastructure :
• little freight stations
• Marshalling yards
• Main north-south routes
• Ports
◼ Flow analysis:
• Main freight lines
• Modal share & Economy

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