Overview of the Rail Industry
Rail transport involves the movement of passengers and goods are transported via a train which runs on tracks; the train has an engine and carriages and freight wagons are coupled on to it. This is known as Line Haul.
Early trains were operated by steam and George Stephenson built the Locomotion to be used on the world’s first public steam railway. Four years on, in 1929, he built The Rocket which led on to a spate of success for him. Technology and design evolved quickly, and within 20 years, Britain had in excess of 7,000 miles of railway! Great Britain can lay claim to the oldest railway system in the world which used to be entirely independent and not linked to any other country until the Channel Tunnel was completed in 1994 with allowed Britain to be connected with France by means of an undersea rail link.
Locomotives are the engines that enable the carriages to move. They usually are situated at the front of the train where they can pull the carriages and wagons, but some are also placed at the rear of the carriages so that they can assist by means of a push-pull operation. Some railway enthusiasts, who run their own miniature steam railways and need parts for their locomotive engines or would like to view early models. Passenger Railroads are big business in Great Britain and are divided into different franchises run by private rail companies throughout regional sectors of the UK. Figures show that during 2002-3, the combined amount of rail journeys provided by the different franchise companies was in excess of 976 million.
Many people like the freedom that rail travel provides. It is a free travel time which commuters can use to prepare paperwork for their pending meeting or work on their laptops on their journeys to and from their place of work. Friends and families can enjoy the experience of travelling together with the bonus that everyone is able to have a glass of wine or a beer without worrying about whether they are over the limit! It is a great place to relax and take in the cross-country scenery and doesn’t seem to cause motion sickness in those who are unfortunate to suffer from it. From time to time various rail operators offer special deals and discounts, combining rail travel with a London show or attraction and this can be a great incentive to book as a surprise anniversary or birthday gift.
Within Great Britain, there are 28 separate Railway Operators. Some interconnect with each other and obviously share lines, whilst others are just area specific operators such as Docklands Light Railway – which deals directly with the newly developed Docklands area in London and transports different areas of the city to the Docklands area. The London Underground or The Tube is known worldwide for its jumbled spaghetti-shaped mass of underground rail lines and collectively makes approximately 3.5 million journeys each day. To book or plan a journey or to find out cost and which company is specifically geared for your journey, look online at a business directory listing and this will direct you to the required company or operator.
The Railway Network Infrastructure is a vast capillary of lines and track covering some 20,000 miles and containing over 40,000 bridges and tunnels within its tracks. It brings in huge revenue and employs many staff such as technicians, engineers, electricians, train drivers, signal operators, track inspectors, platform guards and ticket inspectors. It is a requirement that all workers working on or around the track have to undertake a Personal Track Safety assessment.
Because of the sheer volume of usage on the railways, the many miles of track are constantly in need of repair, updating and replacing such as the 2008 renewal of the London to Glasgow main line which required an upgrade costing billions of pounds. Well as the constant overseeing of the track, there are also the signal boxes, electric power supplies to stations and tracks, updating of stations and amenities, the upkeep of carriages and engines, lighting, level-crossing gates etc.
To access information about Rail Maintenance and Equipment, all relevant information can be found by visiting the business index business directory which will instantly direct to required company or phone number.