GB Rail Facts and Figures
There is no shortage of information about the UK rail network, but if you want information in a hurry it is not always very easy to find it, and sometimes not easy to interpret it either.
I am constantly having to waste time trying to find data, and not all of what I find I trust. To make my own life easier I have begun to store it here where it will not only be useful to me, but may also help others. I will try and keep it up to date, but if anything is spotted that is wrong or out of date, do let me know (and remember quote your source!).
General Industry Information Pages
The following pages offer links to general information about the GB rail industry, with explanation about the roles and responsibilities of the various players.
G01 The following link offers general information about the structure of the industry.
G02 - A listing of all the train operators in Great Britain together with owning groups and other information relating to their tenure. This includes franchised train operators and open access passenger and freight operators.
G03 - GB Rail technical descriptions and jargon words. A listing of the more frequently used technical expressions and 'jargon buster'.
Articles by Mike Horne
Essay about Dr Beeching and rail closures as contribution to the '50-years' debate
Article produced for the magazine Modern Railways debating the pros and cons of introducing 'driverless trains' on the London Underground, and what we actually mean by the term. It concludes that it may be technically feasible but there remain some formidable practical issues to address on such an old system, about which those promoting its deployment are as yet silent.
UK Rail Industry Data Pages
The following pages of data and statistics are now available.
P01 - A list of the total number of stations on the London Underground since 1863. Obtaining totals is fraught with the duplication of entries during times when when some stations were under different ownerships, when some stations were owned jointly, some stations were worked but not owned, and lack of clarity about definition of what 'a station' actually constitutes. This listing is offered to provide a source of data in a simplified form that is at least set out on a consistent basis. (I have a master list of about ten different categories but it is too complex for wider distribution).
P02 - A listing of the total number of passenger journeys made on the GB rail network, dating back to 1928. This set of data is fraught because of the constantly changing basis upon which the source data is collected and constantly changing selection of detailed data that is presented. An explanation of the issues is set out.
P03 - A listing of the total number of passenger journey volumes (in passenger-kilometres) made on the GB rail network and other modes, together with market share of rail. This set of data is complicated by the need for estimation, but offers a reasonable overall picture.
P04 - A listing of the total volume of GB freight traffic (in tonne-kilometres) made on the GB rail network and other modes, together with market share of rail. This set of data is complicated by the need for estimation, and frequent rebasing, but offers a reasonable overall picture.
P05 - A listing of the total number of stations on the main line railway back to 1947. The expression station means a place at which business with the railway could be transacted, being purchasing a ticket, catching a train, despatching a parcel or organizing the carrying of some goods. Perhaps amazing amongst all the statistics methodically compiled since the 1850s there was no requirement to report the number of stations until nationalization. The data is fraught with problems of defining and redefining what a station was..