The railway network is like the backbone of any country, as it plays a major role in its commercial, industrial and economic growth. Besides being used to transport goods from one place to another, railways are the main source of passenger transport too, carrying such people to the desired destinations, who cannot afford to travel by air. Moreover, in addition to being one of the cheapest means of transport, railways also boast of great comfort and ease of travel, which is why it is preferred by even those who can spend money on air travel. These days, every country is working on proving a high-speed railway network which is also known as Bullet Train. The speed of a bullet train is 320 Km/h and in April 2015, one of the trains reached a record speed of 603 Km/h during the test. Such trains can enable inter-city or even inter-continent travel in short duration of time.
In this way, railway network is an asset for any nation as well its citizens. Countries with extensively large railway networks have witnessed phenomenal role in the overall growth and development in all sectors, over the past few decades. In this article, we have listed the top 10 countries with the largest railway network in the world.
Here is the list of 10 countries with the largest railway networks:
1. The United States of America – 224792 KMs
The USA is the country which tops the list of countries with largest railway network in the world. The country has a private railway network, which extends to a length of 224792 km. The USA developed it railway network at a very early stage and this played a major factor in the growth of USA. The country is still developing its rail network to support higher capacity and higher speeds.
2. China – 112000 KMs
Following closely on the list, with a length reaching 112000 km is the railway network of China. Out of this length, its electrified length measures 55811 km. in this country too, the railway is nationalized. The country has grown at a really fast pace in last 2 decades and the backbone of China is its manufacturing industry thus, the railway network supports the country by providing an infrastructure to transport containers and raw material from one point to another.
3. Russia – 86000 KMs
Russia comes next on the list of top 10 countries with largest railway network, with a nationalized rail network, reaching a tremendous length of 86000 km. out of which nearly 50000 km is electrified. The country is huge and it surely needs a massive railway infrastructure to support the needs of the population and the country. The rail transport in Russia is often described as an economic wonder of the 19th, 20th and 21st century.
4. India – 65808 KMs
India features on number 4 in the list, with its railway network spread over a distance of 65808 km, with and electrified length of 20884 km. the railway in the country is a nationalized department. The railway network in the country is still in development phase and the country is also setting up a network of a bullet train. A massive network of the railway is required for supporting the massive population.
5. Canada – 46552 KMs
Canada boasts of the fifth largest railway network in the world, with a private rail network extending to a total length of 46552 km. Nearly 129 km of the railway network is electrified. The major operator in the country is CN Rail, CP Rail, and Via Rail. The country has a ridership 80 Million. The railway network of the country is also connected to the USA.
6. Germany – 43468 KMs
The next name on the list of top 10 countries with the largest railway network is that of Germany, with a length of 43468 km, out of which 20497 km is the electrified length. The railway network of Germany is nationalized. The country has autobahns with no speed limits and similarly, the country also has a massive network of a bullet train as well. There is a total ridership of 2.01 billion in the country.
7. Australia – 38445 KMs
Australia is the country which comes seventh on this list. It has a nationalized railway network, which is 38445 km long, out of which the length of electrified line is 2715 km. Most of the Australian Network is nationalized but there is a small portion which is privately owned. The network also serves to the core mining industry of the country.
8. Argentina – 36966 KMs
The South American country Argentina features next among the countries with the largest railway network. The nationalized network reaches a length of 36966 km, with 136 km of it being electrified. There are three different gauge in the railway network of Argentina. It was once known as one of the most extensive and prosperous networks in the world.
9. South Africa – 31000 KMs
The total network of South African is about 31000 Kms. There are some luxury rails in South Africa and one of the most notable trains is known as the Blue Train. The train runs between Cape Town to Johannesburg. A high-speed rail network has been proposed in the country but the work is yet to begin. The country has one of the best networks in the world.
10. France – 29640 KMs
Next on this list is France, which has a railway network which is 29640 km long and 15140 km out of this length is electrified. France, too, has a nationalized railway network. The rail network of thecountry is owned by SNCF and the total ridership of the country is 1122 million. The country has about 1300 tunnels in the rail network and the longest bridge is 2.178 Km.
Some other countries of the world which deserve a special mention while talking about largest railway networks are Japan, Italy, Mexico, Ukraine, and Romania. The railway network is going to be the major force that would help in the development of the country. In addition to this, some of the countries are developing railway network which can be used to travel from one country to another.