Top 10 Largest Railway Networks In The World

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Top 10 Largest Railway Networks in The World

Top 10 Largest Railway Networks in The World

Railways have been the chariots to humanity leading them towards progress. It was after the railway system was introduced to us that the flow of goods, people, languages, and ideas became seamless. Railways have played an essential role in the evolution of society. The role of railways in the Industrial Revolution was noteworthy in shaping the modern world. The railways brought a revolution in transportation. It created new markets for goods and labor and fueled the growth of industries. Railways helped languages and culture expand beyond boundaries and it helped communities grow stronger together into the 21st century. It is impossible to imagine the growth of the last century and a half without the invention of trains.

Here are the top 10 Largest Railway Networks in the world.

 1. United States

The world’s largest railway network is in the jurisdiction of the United States.  With a total length of around 250000kms, most of it is dedicated to freight. Earliest railroads were built in the 1820s and 1830s, but as the 20th century rolled around and flight services became available, passenger railways declined in popularity and the world’s largest railway network primarily became the means for freight transportation across the country. The US railway network extends to Mexico and Canada as well. 


2. China

China State Railway Group Co. Ltd performs as China’s national passenger and freight railways. Chinese railways stretch over 124,000 km in distance and operate throughout China with 18 regional subsidiaries. China also hosts international passenger and freight trains from China to Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Vietnam, and Laos. China’s railway network is second on the list of the World’s largest Railway network.


3. Russia

Russia Railway is the third longest network and third by volume of freight pulled. Russia has a total railway network length of 105000km. Russia is one of the most freight-dominated railways in the world. Russia holds the world’s longest railway line, the Trans-Siberian railway stretching from Moscow to Vladivostok spanning a length of 9,289km.


4. India

India has the fourth largest railway network in the world and it is the largest passenger railway network in the world. India’s railway network is spread across a total distance of 92,952 kilometers. The Indian Railway Network carries over 23 million passengers every day. The Indian Railways are under the direct control of the Government of India and are monitored by the Ministry of Railways.


5. Canada

Canada has the fifth largest railway network in the world ranging up to 49,422 km. In Canada various provinces have their legislation over these unless a particular railway is of national importance then it is undertaken by the federal government. Canada’s railway system primarily transports freight. Canada railways link Vancouver to Halifax covering a distance of 6000kms, establishing itself as the longest railway network in North America.


 6. Germany

Germany has the sixth largest railway network in the world with a total length of 40,625km and one of the densest worldwide. Germany is a member of the International Union of Railways which is an international rail transport industry body. Deutsche Bahn is the national railway company of Germany and it operates the vast majority of long-distance trains in Germany. Trains in Germany are still the second most preferred transport medium after cars.


7. Argentina

With a railway network stretching up to 36966km, Argentina stands seventh on the list of largest railway networks in the world. It has the longest railway network in South America covering a distance of 3000km from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. The first railway in Argentina was inaugurated on August 30th, 1857.


8. Australia

With a total length of 33168 km, Australia has the eighth-largest railway network in the world. It has the longest railway network among the oceanic counties, covering a distance of 4000 km from Sydney to Perth. Except for a small number of private railways, most of the Australian railway network is federal or state government-owned.

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9. Brazil

Brazil’s railway network ranges up to 29817km, making it the longest in Latin America with trains running from Sao Paulo to Brasilia, a distance of over 1000km. Most railways in Brazil are for freight transportation. Some of the heaviest iron ore trains in the world is owned by Brazil. The first ever Brazilian railway was inaugurated on 30 April 1854, with a 14.5km track.


10. France

The tenth largest railway Network in the world is spread in France with a 29273km railway network. With over 30000 train stations, France’s railway network is the densest in Western Europe. The first railway line here opened in 1827. The French national railway network is managed by SNCF Réseau, a branch of the nationalized company SNCF (Société Nationale des chemins de fer français).


Rail transport is widely considered to be better organized than any other form of transport. It has fixed routes and schedules. It is one of the fastest mediums of long-distance transport except airways. This makes it the best choice for long-distance journeys. Comparatively, it is also the cheaper option for long-distance journeys. The carrying capacity of the railways is extremely large and adjustable which can easily be increased by adding more carts. The greatest advantage of railway transport is that it is the most dependable mode of transport as it is the least affected by weather conditions such as rain, fog, etc. compared to other modes of transport. 

It has its own set of disadvantages, but its services towards the masses are a giant in front of its setbacks. Especially in a country like India, where it is also one of the major sources of employment.  Railway of India has been the biggest employment provider in India for a while now.

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