Nationwide Rail (NR) in the UK is the buying and selling title licensed to be used by the Rail Supply Group, an unincorporated affiliation whose membership consists of the passenger practice working firms (TOCs) of England, Scotland, and Wales. The TOCs run the passenger companies beforehand supplied by the British Railways Board, from 1965 utilizing the model title British Rail. Northern Eire, which is bordered by the Republic of Eire, has a unique system. Nationwide Rail companies share a ticketing construction and inter-availability that usually don’t lengthen to companies which weren’t a part of British Rail.

Nationwide Rail and Community Rail[edit]

Nationwide Rail shouldn’t be confused with Community Rail. Nationwide Rail is a model used to advertise passenger railway companies, and offering some harmonisation for passengers in ticketing, whereas Community Rail is the organisation which owns and manages many of the mounted property of the railway community, together with tracks, stations and indicators.

The 2 usually coincide the place passenger companies are run. Most main Community Rail strains additionally carry freight site visitors and a few strains are freight solely. There are some scheduled passenger companies on privately managed, non-Community Rail strains, for instance Heathrow Specific, which partly runs on Community Rail observe. The London Underground additionally overlaps with Community Rail in locations.

Practice working firms (TOCs)[edit]

Twenty eight privately owned practice working firms, every franchised for an outlined time period by authorities, function passenger trains on the primary rail community in Nice Britain. The Rail Supply Group is the commerce affiliation representing the TOCs and offers core companies, together with the availability of the Nationwide Rail Enquiries service. It additionally runs Rail Settlement Plan, which allocates ticket income to the assorted TOCs, and Rail Workers Journey, which manages journey amenities for railway employees. It doesn’t compile the nationwide timetable, which is the joint accountability of the Workplace of Rail Regulation (allocation of paths) and Community Rail (timetable manufacturing and publication).

Design and advertising[edit]

Because the privatisation of British Rail there isn’t any longer a single method to design on railways in Nice Britain. The appear and feel of signage, liveries and advertising materials is essentially the protect of the person TOCs.

Nevertheless, Nationwide Rail continues to make use of BR’s well-known double-arrow image, designed by Gerald Burney of the Design Analysis Unit. It has been included within the Nationwide Rail logotype and is displayed on tickets, the Nationwide Rail web site and different publicity. The trademark rights to the double arrow image stay state-owned, being vested within the Secretary of State for Transport.[1]

The double arrow image can be a generic image for a railway station throughout Nice Britain, and is used to point a railway station on British site visitors indicators.[2]

Company id[edit]

The Nationwide Rail (NR) brand was launched by ATOC in 1999, and was used on the Nice Britain public timetable for the primary time within the version legitimate from 26 September in that yr. Guidelines for its use are set out within the Company Identification Model Tips revealed by the Rail Supply Group, accessible on its web site.[3] “In 1964 the Design Analysis Unit—Britain’s first multi-disciplinary design company based in 1943 by Misha Black, Milner Grey and Herbert Learn—was commissioned to breathe new life into the nation’s uncared for railway business”.[4] The NR title is typically described as a “model”.[5] Because it was utilized by British Rail, the only operator earlier than franchising, its use additionally maintains continuity and public familiarity; and it avoids the necessity to change signage.

The lettering used within the Nationwide Rail logotype is a modified type of the typeface Sassoon Daring. Some practice working firms proceed to make use of the previous British Rail Rail Alphabet lettering to various levels in station signage, though its use is now not common; nonetheless it stays obligatory (underneath Railway Group Requirements) for security signage in trackside areas and continues to be widespread (though not common) on rolling inventory.

The British Rail typefaces of selection from 1965 have been Helvetica and Univers, with others (notably Frutiger) coming into use throughout the sectorisation interval after 1983. TOCs could use what they like: examples embody Futura (Stagecoach Group), Helvetica (FirstGroup and Nationwide Specific), Frutiger (Arriva Trains Wales), Bliss (CrossCountry), and a modified model of Treasured by London Midland.

Though TOCs compete towards one another for franchises, and for passengers on routes the place a couple of TOC operates, the strapline used with the Nationwide Rail brand is ‘Britain’s practice firms working collectively’.

Different passenger rail operators in Nice Britain[edit]

A number of conurbations have their very own metro or tram methods, most of which aren’t a part of Nationwide Rail. These embody the London Underground, Docklands Gentle Railway, London Tramlink, Blackpool Tramway, Glasgow Subway, Tyne & Put on Metro, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram, West Midlands Metro and Nottingham Specific Transit. However, the largely self-contained Merseyrail system is a part of the Nationwide Rail community, and concrete rail networks round Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and West Yorkshire consist totally of Nationwide Rail companies.

London Overground is a hybrid: its companies are operated by way of a concession awarded by Transport for London, and are branded accordingly, however till 2010 all its routes used infrastructure owned by Community Rail, that’s due to the East London line which was a London Underground line transformed to a mainline however it’s nonetheless Nationwide Rail. London Overground now additionally owns some infrastructure in its personal proper, following the reopening of the previous London Underground East London line. Since all of the earlier LO routes have been operated by Nationwide Rail franchise Silverlink till November 2007, they’ve continued to be proven within the Nationwide Rail timetable and are nonetheless thought of to be part of Nationwide Rail.

Heathrow Specific and Eurostar are additionally not a part of the Nationwide Rail community regardless of sharing of stations (Heathrow Specific additionally share its route with GWR and TfL Rail). Northern Eire Railways have been by no means a part of British Rail, which was restricted to England, Scotland and Wales, and subsequently should not a part of the Nationwide Rail community.

There are various privately owned or heritage railways in Nice Britain which aren’t a part of the Nationwide Rail community and largely function for heritage or pleasure functions quite than as public transport, however some have connections to Nationwide rail observe.


Nationwide Rail companies have a typical ticketing construction inherited from British Rail. By tickets can be found between any pair of stations on the community, and may be purchased from any station ticket workplace. Most tickets are inter-available between the companies of all operators on routes acceptable to the journey being made. Operators on some routes provide operator-specific tickets which are cheaper than the inter-available ones.

By tickets involving Heathrow Specific and London Underground are additionally accessible. Oyster pay-as-you-go can be utilized on Nationwide Rail in Better London from 2 January 2010.[6] These similar areas can be journeyed to utilizing a contactless debit/bank card. Contactless additionally covers some areas that oyster does not such because the Crossrail line to Studying, or the Thameslink station at Oakleigh Park.[7][8]

Passengers with no legitimate ticket boarding a practice at a station the place ticket-buying amenities can be found are required to pay the total Open Single or Return fare. On some companies penalty fares apply – a ticketless passenger could also be charged the higher of £20 or twice the total single fare to the following cease. Penalty Fares may be collected solely by authorised Income Safety Inspectors, not by extraordinary Guards.[9]

Nationwide Rail distributes a variety of technical manuals on which journey on the railways in Nice Britain relies, such because the Nationwide Rail Circumstances of Journey,[10] by way of their web site.


Pocket timetables for particular person operators or routes can be found free at staffed stations. The final official printed timetable with as much as 3000 pages was revealed in 2007. Now the one full print version is revealed by Middleton Press (as of October 2016). A digital model of the total timetable is obtainable as a pdf file with out cost on the Community Rail web site,[11] nonetheless passengers are beneficial to acquire their timetables from the person practice firms.

Nationwide Rail Enquiries[edit]

The Nationwide Rail Enquiries web site features a journey planner, fare and dwell departure info. The location is designed to enhance the myriad completely different web sites of Britain’s privatised rail firms, so when customers have chosen which tickets they want to purchase, they’re redirected to probably the most related practice firm web site, the place they will purchase their tickets with out reserving charges.

In 2012 the web site was joined by a cellular app mirroring its performance. The app is obtainable for iPhone, Android and Home windows Telephone.[12][13] Nevertheless Trainline stays probably the most downloaded rail app within the UK with 9.four million customers.[14]

See additionally[edit]


Exterior hyperlinks[edit]

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