History of railways
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.