History of railways

 
Marc Seguin designed this engine to pull coal trains from the mines to waterways. This steam locomotive dates from 1829 and had a tubular boiler
Marc Seguin designed this engine to pull coal trains from the mines to waterways. This steam locomotive dates from 1829 and had a tubular boiler
(Photo : SECO-RAIL)

Railways were invented in Great Britain, starting at the end of the 18th century.

In France it was not until 1826 that the first section of railway was built, thanks to the pioneering work of Marc Seguin.

Rail tansport expanded considerably during the 2nd half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, but there was a considerable decline in the second half of the 20th century due to the increase in car and lorry use. As a consequence many branch lines were permanently closed.

In the last twenty years, high speed trains (TGVs), saturated roads and the development of urban rail transport have led to a new expansion of railways.

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Before 1800
Published on 19 February 2008
 
From 1800 to 1850 in England
Published on 19 February 2008
 
1800 to 1850 in France
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1850 to 1870
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1870 to 1914
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1914 to 1945
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1945 to 1981
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The TGV
Published on 19 February 2008
 
21st century
Published on 19 February 2008
 
Maintenance before 1940
Published on 19 February 2008
 
Maintenance from 1945 to 1980
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Track renewal before 1940
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Track renewal 1945-1980
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Track renewal since 1980
Published on 19 February 2008