Railways in Britain
Since our railway system was privatised, I do not think that anyone really knows who is running the trains. The tracks are owned by one company, but the trains are run by many operating companies. Each of these operating companies has bid for the right to operate trains on a certain route- it then has a monopoly on that route for a number of years before the franchise comes up for renewal.
For example this means that if you are in Penzance, different companies will operate the trains that would take you to London or to Scotland. The result is that it has prooved difficult for travellers to get reliable information if they wish to take a journey that involves changing trains onto a different companies network.
But in spite of this it would appear that rail passes for unlimited travel in britain can still be purchsed, provided that they are bought outside Britain (they don't want the natives getting any good deals).
If you are buying a ticket inside Britain remember that there are always lots of deals, senior citazens, young persons (under 25), students all get concessions, as do Day Returns and Off Peak. If you travel outside peak hours - as a guide after 9.30 in the morning, and not between 4pm and 6pm travel is very much cheaper. on top of that you get the other savings for age, travel card, etc.
There are not many steam trains still running, and most of those steam trains that do run are on private lines and only run for a few mile. There is also the National Railway Museum at York which has a fantastic coillection of real trains.
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