Categories: General Studies

Largest Railway Network in the World, List of Top-10

Railways have played a pivotal role in shaping the socio-economic landscape of nations, fostering connectivity and facilitating the movement of goods and people. Among the various railway networks around the globe, some stand out for their sheer size and complexity. In this article, we delve into the vast expanse of the largest railway network in the world and explore the significance of these intricate systems.

World’s Largest Railway Network

The largest railway network in the world is found in the United States, holding the top position in terms of the total length of operational tracks. Following closely are China and India, securing the second and third spots as the world’s second and third largest railway networks. In-depth profiles of the top-10 largest railway networks in the world, emphasizing their extensive coverage. These profiles are constructed on the basis of measurement of total operating length, a pivotal metric that reflects the vast scale and magnitude of each country’s railway infrastructure.

List of Top-10 Largest Railway Networks in the World

The United States rail network with the total operating route of length 250,000 km, holds the title of the world’s largest railway network, followed by the railway network of China, Russia and India.

Here is the list of top-10 largest railway networks in the world:

Largest Railway Network in the World
S. No. Railway Network Length
1. United States’s Rail Network 250,000 km
2. China’s Rail Network 124,000 km
3. Russia’s Rail Network 86,000 km
4. India 68,525 km
5. Canada 48,000 km
6. Germany 43,468 km
7. Australia 40,000 km
8. Brazil 37,743 km
9. Argentina 36,966 km
10. South Africa 31,000 km

Largest Railway Network in the World – US’s Rail Network

Length: 250,000 km

The United States boasts the world’s largest rail network, spanning over 250,000 km. Approximately 80% of this extensive system is dedicated to freight, managed by 538 railroads, including major players like Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway. Amtrak, the national passenger rail network, covers 35,000 km and connects 500 destinations across 46 states.

Second Largest Railway Network in the World – China’s Rail Network

Length: 124,000 km

China possesses the world’s second largest rail network, surpassing 124,000 km in length. Operated by the state-owned China Railway Corporation, this expansive network transported 2.08 billion passengers and 3.32 billion tonnes of freight in 2013, ranking second globally in both categories. The country aims to expand its total rail network to over 270,000 km by 2050.

Third Largest Railway Network in the World – Russia’s Rail Network

Length: 86,000 km

Russia’s vast rail network, operated by state-owned Russian Railways (RZD), spans 86,000 km. In 2013, it transported 1.08 billion passengers and 1.2 billion tonnes of freight. The iconic Trans-Siberian Railway, at 9,289 km, is one of the world’s longest and busiest lines. RZD plans a dedicated high-speed corridor.

Fourth Largest Railway Network – India’s Rail Network

Length: 68,525 km

India’s extensive railway system, ranking as the fourth longest in the world, is managed by the state-owned Indian Railways. With an operating route surpassing 68,525 km, Indian Railways holds the position as the world’s eighth-largest employer, boasting 1.331 million employees as of the end of 2015-16.

World’s Fifth Largest Network in the World – Canada’s Rail Network

Length: 48,000 km

Canada possesses the world’s fifth-longest rail network, spanning 48,000 km. Key players include Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), both major freight rail operators. Via Rail manages the 12,500 km intercity passenger service, while smaller railways like Algoma Central Railway and Ontario Northland Railway serve specific rural areas.

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FAQs

Which is the largest railway network in the world?

The United States rail network with the total operating route of length 250,000 km, holds the title of the world’s largest railway network.

Which is the second largest railway network in the world?

China possesses the world’s second largest rail network, surpassing 124,000 km in length.

Name the top-5 largest railway network in the world.

The top-5 largest network in the world are - U.S., China, Russia, India and Canada.

Akansha Arora

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