Britain is extraodinarily well endowed with rail lines (despite
the drastic cuts that followed the Beeching Report in 1963).
It now has over 10,000 miles of railway track on the mainland,
serving 2500 stations, with a further 300 miles of track in Northern
Ireland. There are some thirty different train operators. Inevitably
the routes are subject to a complex ticketing structure -always
ask what the difference in price would be to travel at different
times, or to buy two singles rather than a return ticket. Moneysavingexpert.com
has some good tips for getting the best price on train tickets.
Trains are super sustainable
in comparison with plane travel. According to figures published
by Eurostar, the CO2 emmissions resulting from
a return trip to Paris, are around ten times higher for the plane.
Happily the building of the channel
tunnel put many international rail routes within direct. reach
of the UK, although the traditional of young people doing Europe
by Eurorail has declined witrh the advent of cheap airfares.
From November 2007, Eurostar launched direct high speed services
Pancras, putting Paris just 135 minutes and Brussels 111
minutes from North London.
The Eurostar and France's high
speed train, the TGV, will get you to your destination rapidly,
but nothing gives the same elegance as the legendary Venice-Simplon
Express, which offers exclusive travel from London to Paris,
Prague, Vienna, Warsaw, Krakow, Venice, Rome and Istanbul.
Most of the major international
Rail Companies are listed below; for more information on national
and international rail travel, see the brilliant site The
Man in Seat 61.
Rail -gateway to the
rail network information on air-rail and sea-rail routes, rail
maps and much more.
Rail -the company resonsible
for the rail infrastructure -website includes rail timetables.
Translink: Company responsible for all public
transport (bus and rail) in Northern Ireland.
Transportwatch -site authored by transport planner
Paul Writhrington, that sets out to be non-governmental point
of reference for factual data dealing with Transport generally
and road and rail in particular.
Future -the UK's independant
voice for train and railway users
Railway Touring Co
-organise tours in vintage steam trains and fantastic locations
-routes include Hill Stations of India, The Devil's Nose in Ecuador,
Trans Sinerian Express, Hedjaz Railway and many other classic