10 surprising things to know about travelling by train

10 surprising things to know about travelling by train

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Saturday 30th April 2022


10 surprising things to know about travelling by train

Every year, an incredible 1.8 billion people travel by train – that’s close to a quarter of the world’s population! Indeed, Great Britain’s 9000 miles of railway are among the busiest in Europe, connecting hundreds of communities and cities all across the country.

With plenty to explore, it’s no wonder that countless journeys start and finish at British train stations every day. If it’s time to begin planning your next adventure, then the following fascinating train trivia is sure to give you plenty of inspiration for your next trip.

  1. It all starts at the capital

London is the city where approximately 70% of all train journeys in Great Britain start and finish. The capital attracts visitors by the bucket load, so it’s important it connects the rest of the country to each other.

Thanks to high-speed trains, journeys from York to London can take under two hours! It’s no surprise then that London Waterloo is Great Britain’s busiest station, with 100 million people travelling through it every year.

  1. The best way to get to work

Did you know that when you commute by train, you can earn exclusive rewards? To help you make the most out of your ‘me-time’ on your journey to work, National Rail are giving commuters access to an abundance of special offers and rewards including Tastecard subscriptions, up to 50% off theatre tickets and so much more.

  1. Our first ever train stations opened in 1830

Crown Street railway station in Liverpool and Manchester Liverpool Road were the first operable train stations in Britain. Helping to lay the groundwork for the networks across the rest of the country, these stations were served by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway – the world’s first completely steam-operated railway.

Sadly, Crown Street station closed in 1836. However, the third station down that line, Broad Green, is still in use today.

  1. Train stations make excellent film backdrops

With a long history of rail transport in Great Britain, trains have played an essential part in our everyday lives for years. It’s no surprise then that they regularly feature as backdrop representations of typical English life throughout many films and TV shows.

From the gateway to the magical wizard world of Harry Potter at London’s Kings Cross to the remote corners of the highlands that featured in the 1996 film, Trainspotting, Britain is home to some of the world’s most iconic filming locations.

  1. Trains Keep Great Britain connected

With 2,576 train stations on the National Rail network and more planned to open this year, Britain has a fantastic rail network that connects hundreds of communities across the country. Whatever the occasion and wherever you plan to travel, trains can help you get there.

  1. Britain’s rail network has 142 request stops

Request stops are some of the least used stations in Britain, where trains only call on passenger request. There are 142 of these stations on the National Rail network, and most are usually found at beautiful remote corners of Britain including Conwy in Wales and Dunrobin Castle, Inverness.

Here, if you wish to board the train, you must inform the train manager before travel or signal with your arm to the driver while stood on the platform.

  1. London St Pancras was voted Europe’s best station

Home to Eurostar services to France, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as National Rail routes, London’s St Pancras is one of Britain’s busiest hubs. Situated in a Grade-I listed building with unique Victorian architecture, this station was named Europe’s best train station in a 2020 ranking by the European Railway Station Index. And with its numerous restaurants, shopping facilities and the longest champagne bar in Europe, it’s easy to see why!

  1. Enjoy must-see attractions for less with train travel

Travelling by train doesn’t just make your journey quicker and more convenient – it also saves you money on entry into many popular British days out. Get 2-for-1 tickets to the London Eye, Brighton Pavilion, Legoland, SEA LIFE centres across the country – making planning excursions a total breeze.

  1. Britain’s last mainline steam passenger train ran in 1968

On 12 August 1968, the last steam passenger train ran from Liverpool to Carlisle via Manchester and back. This was after British railways imposed a ban on mainline steam traffic following the fall in the price of oil and the rise of diesel trains. Diesel meant that engines could run faster, cleaner and were easier to maintain.

However, because of their large popularity in recent years, steam trains have been given a new lease of life as heritage railways run by enthusiasts across Great Britain. You can often see some heritage specials operating on mainline tracks today!

  1. Trains are really quite fascinating

Although we often tend to pass our journey time in autopilot with our heads lost in a good book, podcast or our favourite playlist – when you think about it, trains are really interesting and exciting. There’s a certain whimsical charm about taking a train, especially on long, scenic journeys across the country.

One of the most relaxing forms of transport, travelling by train means you can switch off while someone else takes care of the driving, enjoy more legroom and move around freely. If train enthusiasts such as social media sensation Francis Bourgeois have taught us anything, it’s simply how amazing trains are on their own.

Ready to begin planning your next journey? Check out National Rail to find a route

By  National Rail



The Top 10: Jokes

  1. I wouldn’t say I was angry about my Peruvian ancestry. Incandescent is the word I would use.
  2. I bought my friend an elephant for his room. He said: “Thanks.” I said: “Don’t mention it.”
  3. I was the first person to install trampolines in musicians’ tour buses and now everybody is jumping on the bandwagon.
  4. “You’re right, Harold. That is a nasty eye wound.” William the Concurrer.
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  6. It’s weird; usually I go ages without accidentally mentioning ice cream flavours but then again there are some days when I can’t stop myself. There’s just no rum or raisin to it.
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John Rentoul


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