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List of companies operating trains in the United Kingdom

UK Train Operating Companies

Since the privatisation of British Rail, trains on the British railway system are operated by several companies, mainly on the basis of a regional franchises. Tracks and signalling are not operated by the train companies but by Network Rail (which took over from Railtrack in 2002).

The exceptions are South Eastern Trains and Translink. South Eastern Trains, which took over from Connex South Eastern, is a wholly-owned subsidary of the Strategic Rail Authority. The SRA hopes to award the franchise to a private operator in 2005. Translink is the Government-owned train company in Northern Ireland, where services were never privatised.

At first glance it looks as if a large number of companies are involved in the UK's rail system. However, many of the companies are in fact parts of larger companies which operate multiple franchises. The biggest are National Express Group, First Group, Virgin Trains and Arriva.

National Rail is the coordinating body of the railway companies.

Train operators include:


Plus several heritage lines and light rail systems.