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Following decline after World War II due to competition from cars, rail transport has had a revival in recent decades due to road congestion and rising fuel prices, as well as governments investing in rail as a means of reducing CO The history of rail transport began in the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece.It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used.The change from canals to railways allowed for "national markets" in which prices varied very little from city to city.The spread of the railway network and the use of railway timetables, led to the standardisation of time (railway time) in Britain based on Greenwich Mean Time.
The invention and development of the railway in the United Kingdom was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century.
In contrast to road transport, where vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles (rolling stock) are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run.
Tracks usually consist of steel rails, installed on ties (sleepers) and ballast, on which the rolling stock, usually fitted with metal wheels, moves.
The operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities.
Power is provided by locomotives which either draw electric power from a railway electrification system or produce their own power, usually by diesel engines.