In Great Britain, NATIONAL RAIL is the trading name licensed for use
Rail Delivery Group , an unincorporated association whose
membership consists of the passenger train operating companies (TOCs)
Great Britain that run the passenger services previously provided
British Railways Board , from 1965 using the brand name British
National Rail generally does not include services that do not
have a BR history; this distinction is important because National Rail
services share a ticketing structure and inter-availability that do
not necessarily extend to other services. The name and the
accompanying double arrow symbol are the intellectual property of the
Secretary of State for Transport .
National Rail (NR) logo was introduced by ATOC in 1999, and was
used on the
Great Britain public timetable for the first time in the
edition valid from 26 September in that year. Rules for its use are
set out in the Corporate Identity Style Guidelines published by the
Rail Delivery Group, available on its website. “In 1964 the Design
Research Unit—Britain’s first multi-disciplinary design agency
founded in 1943 by Misha Black, Milner Gray and Herbert Read—was
commissioned to breathe new life into the nation’s neglected railway
industry...". The NR title is sometimes described as a "brand". As
it was used by
British Rail , the single operator before franchising,
its use also maintains continuity and public familiarity; and it
avoids the need to replace signage.
National Rail and
* 2 Train operating companies (TOCs)
* 3 Design and marketing
* 4 Other passenger rail operators in
* 5 Ticketing
* 6 Timetables
National Rail Enquiries
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 External links
NATIONAL RAIL AND NETWORK RAIL
Young Person's railcard rail ticket from Wellington to
Shrewsbury Child return ticket from
East Kilbride to
National Rail should not be confused with
Network Rail . National
Rail is a title used to promote passenger railway services, and
providing some harmonisation for passengers (e.g. tickets to all
London Terminals), while
Network Rail is the organisation owning and
managing most of the fixed assets (tracks, signals etc.) of the
The two networks are generally coincident where passenger services
are run. Most major
Network Rail lines carry freight traffic and some
lines are freight only. There are some scheduled passenger services on
their own privately managed, non-
Network Rail lines, for example
Heathrow Express which also partly runs on
Network Rail track and the
London Underground also overlaps with
Network Rail in places.
TRAIN OPERATING COMPANIES (TOCS)
Main article: List of companies operating trains in the United
About twenty privately owned train operating companies, each
franchised for a defined term by government, operate passenger trains
on the main rail network in Great Britain. The
Rail Delivery Group is
the trade association representing the TOCs and provides core
services, including the provision of the
National Rail Enquiries
service. It also runs Rail Settlement Plan, which allocates ticket
revenue to the various TOCs, and Rail Staff Travel, which manages
travel facilities for railway staff. It does not compile the national
timetable, which is the joint responsibility of the Office of Rail
Regulation (allocation of paths) and
Network Rail (timetable
production and publication).
DESIGN AND MARKETING
Since the privatisation of
British Rail there is no longer a single
approach to design on railways in Great Britain. The look and feel of
signage, liveries and marketing material is largely the preserve of
the individual TOCs.
National Rail continues to use BR's famous double-arrow
symbol, designed by Gerald Burney of the
Design Research Unit . It has
been incorporated in the
National Rail logotype and is displayed on
National Rail website and other publicity. The trademark
rights to the double arrow symbol remain state-owned, being vested in
Secretary of State for Transport .
The double arrow was already prescribed for indicating a "railway
The lettering used in the
National Rail logotype is a modified form
of the typeface Sassoon Bold . Some train operating companies continue
to use the former
Rail Alphabet lettering to varying
degrees in station signage, although its use is no longer universal;
however it remains compulsory (under Railway Group Standards) for
safety signage in trackside areas and is still common (although not
universal) on rolling stock.
It is a common misconception that
Rail Alphabet was also used for
printed material, but with the exception of logos ("British Rail",
etc.) this has never been the case. The
British Rail typefaces of
choice from 1965 were
Univers , with others
(particularly Frutiger ) coming into use during the sectorisation
period after 1983. TOCs may use what they like: examples include
Stagecoach Group ),
FirstGroup and National Express
), Frutiger (
Arriva Trains Wales ), Bliss (
CrossCountry , an Arriva
franchise but not branded as such), and a modified version of Precious
London Midland .
Although TOCs compete against each other for franchises, and for
passengers on routes where more than one TOC operates, the strapline
used with the
National Rail logo is 'Britain's train companies working
OTHER PASSENGER RAIL OPERATORS IN GREAT BRITAIN
Commuter rail in the United Kingdom
Several conurbations have their own metro or tram systems, most of
which are not part of National Rail. These include the London
Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway , Blackpool Tramway , London
Glasgow Subway ,
Tyne and Wear Metro , Manchester Metrolink
Sheffield Supertram ,
Midland Metro and
Nottingham Express Transit .
On the other hand, the largely self-contained
Merseyrail system is
part of the
National Rail network, and urban rail networks around
Birmingham , Cardiff ,
Glasgow and West Yorkshire consist entirely of
National Rail services.
London Overground (LO) is a hybrid: its services are operated via a
concession awarded by Transport for
London , and are branded
accordingly, but until 2010 all its routes used infrastructure owned
Network Rail . LO now also possesses some infrastructure in its own
right, following the reopening of the former East
London line of
London Underground as the East
London Railway of LO. Since all the
previous LO routes were operated by
National Rail franchise Silverlink
until November 2007, they have continued to be shown in the National
Rail timetable and are still considered to be a part of National Rail.
Heathrow Express and
Eurostar are also not part of the National Rail
network despite sharing of stations and routes (
Heathrow Express and
Heathrow Connect only).
Northern Ireland Railways were never part of
British Rail, which was always confined to Great Britain, and
therefore are not part of the
National Rail network.
There are many privately owned or heritage railways in Great Britain
which are not part of the
National Rail network and mostly operate for
heritage or pleasure purposes rather than as public transport.
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National Rail services have a common ticketing structure inherited
British Rail . Through tickets are available between any pair of
stations on the network, and can be bought from any station ticket
office. Most tickets are inter-available between the services of all
operators on routes appropriate to the journey being made. Operators
on some routes offer operator-specific tickets that are cheaper than
the inter-available ones.
Through tickets involving
Heathrow Express and
London Underground are
also available. Oyster pay-as-you-go can be used on
National Rail in
London from 2 January 2010.
Passengers without a valid ticket boarding a train at a station where
ticket-buying facilities are available are required to pay the full
Open Single or Return fare. On some services penalty fares apply - a
ticketless passenger may be charged the greater of £20 or twice the
full single fare to the next stop. Penalty Fares can be collected only
by authorised Revenue Protection Inspectors, not by ordinary Guards.
National Rail distributes a number of technical manuals on which
travel on the railways in
Great Britain is based, such as the National
Rail Conditions of Carriage , via their website.
Pocket timetables for individual operators or routes are available
free at staffed stations. The last official printed timetable with up
to 3000 pages was published in 2007. Now the only complete print
edition is published by Middleton Press (as of October 2016). A
digital version of the full timetable is available as a pdf file
without charge on the
Network Rail website, however passengers are
recommended to obtain their timetables from the individual train
NATIONAL RAIL ENQUIRIES
National Rail Enquiries website includes a journey planner , fare
and live departure information. The site is designed to complement the
myriad different websites of Britain's privatised rail companies, so
when users have selected which tickets they wish to buy, they are
redirected to the most relevant train company website, where they can
buy their tickets without booking fees.
In 2012 the website was joined by a mobile app mirroring its
functionality. The app is available for iPhone , Android and Windows
Phone . However
Trainline remains the most downloaded rail app in
the UK with 9.4 million users.
Rail Accident Investigation Branch
Rail transport in the United Kingdom
* ^ http://www.ipo.gov.uk trade mark EU001733575
* ^ http://www.nationalrailguidelines.co.uk
* ^ : "British Rail’s double-arrow"
* ^ : "
National Rail is the collective brand for Britain's train
companies working together"
* ^ Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002, Schedule
Network Rail - Current Timetable
* ^ "
National Rail Enquiries announces a new app for iPhone &
National Rail blog.
National Rail Enquiries. 1 May 2012.
Retrieved 1 October 2016.
* ^ "Download our FREE app and become more mobile and get FREE
National Rail Enquiries. National Rail. Retrieved 1 October
* ^ "Mobile App - Trainline". Trainline. Retrieved 1 October 2016.