How many different types of trains are there in the UK and do freight trains and passenger trains use the same lines?

Bex and Dan find out more!

Dan and Bex are thinking about the different users of the rail network – passenger, freight and maintenance trains, all of which need enough space to do their job.

Just think about all the different types of trains there are!

You’ve got passenger trains, helping people travel all around the country, underground trains taking people to work on lines underneath cities, trams taking people right into city centres…

There are freight trains, carrying valuable goods to and from factories and ports, and then you’ve got maintenance trains that come out when most of us are tucked into bed or at weekends!

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There are over 30,000 vehicles that can travel on the rail network and they come in all shapes and sizes.

They’re all used in different ways and the railways have to work for everyone.

On train networks, there are main lines that carry people between cities and large towns at a much higher speed than slower local lines that link larger towns with smaller towns.

You can see why engineers working on developing the rail network have to think hard about how these different trains will use the tracks, and where they’ll be stored and maintained.

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When different trains use a track is another puzzle – after all we don’t want any train traffic jams!

Sometimes passenger and freight trains run on the same track. Sometimes, there might be lines dedicated for one or the other.

Find out more about Britain’s railways!

Bex and Dan from Fun Kids learn all about the future of Britain’s railways, from signals to trains and tracks, in this new podcast series!

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Kids Guide to Trains: Britain's Digital Railways

Bex and Dan learn all about the future of Britain's railways, from signals to trains and tracks!


Explore all the free Fun Kids podcasts!

Download a series to listen to on your phone, tablet or in the car!


Britain’s Digital Railways, in association with the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious scheme

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