The Top 10 Largest Railway Networks Globally

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Railways, often regarded as the lifelines of nations, have played an indispensable role in human progress for centuries. As a crucial infrastructure, railway lines have an important responsibility to participate in providing linkages. One of the most reliable and effective means of transport is considered to be railway lines. It is one of the most important, commonly used, and cost-effective modes of commuting. It is also used to carry goods carriage over distances. It has an inherent benefit of lesser frictional resistance which helps attach more load in terms of wagons or carriages. These top 10 largest railway networks in the world are responsible for ensuring day-to-day transportation across the globe.

1. The United States of America- 220,480 Kilometers

The United States is deemed the region with the largest railway network in the world. It has a total length of 220,480 kilometers. Of this, 2, 025 kilometers of the rail network is electrified making 0.92% of the total network of railway network electrified in the United States. The railway networks in the U.S. are made up of a complex system of private and public railroads. It also includes the seven largest railroads known as the Class I railroads. They are responsible for the operation of over 90% of the country’s freight rail network.Largest railway network

2. The Republic of China- 150,000 Kilometers

In second place in the top 10 largest railway networks is the Republic of China. It has a railway network of 150,000 kilometers, of which 100,000 kilometers are electrified. This feat gives China the honorable mention of being the country with the second most electrified railway network at 66.67%. It is also the fastest growing railway network in the world with over 10,000 new tracks laid out annually. The railway network in China facilitates the transportation of passengers across the country. It also facilitates in transportation of goods such as manufactured goods and raw materials from the ports.

3. Russia- 105,000 Kilometers

Ranking in third place is Russia with a railway network covering 105,000 kilometers making it the largest in Europe.  54,054 kilometers of this network is electrified which totals 51.48%. The rail network in Russia is also the longest in the world with trains running from Moscow to Vladivostok. This is a distance of over 9,000 kilometers.

4. India-  92,952 Kilometers

India relies on railway transport as its main means of transport more than any other country in the world. Globally, India is the world’s largest passenger rail network. It carries over 23 million passengers every day, all year round. It is also the fourth largest network in the world in the top 10 largest railway networks globally. It covers a total length of 92,852 kilometers. 84,140 kilometers of these railway networks are electrified totaling 90.52% of electrified railway networks. This makes India the country with the most electrified railway network in the world.India train derailments highlight dire state of network

5. Canada- 49,422 Kilometers

Ranking in fifth place in the largest railway networks globally is Canada covering a distance of 49,422 kilometers. It is the lowest electrified network at 0.20% with only 129 railway networks being electrified. Nonetheless, it is the longest rail network in North America with trains running from Vancouver to Halifax. This covers a distance of over 6,000 kilometers.

6. Germany-  40,625 Kilometers

In sixth place is Germany, with its networks covering a total distance of 40,625 kilometers. Of these, 22,500 kilometers of the network is electrified which totals 55.38%. Germany’s railway network is considered to be the second densest rail network in all of Europe with over 6,000 train stations across different regions. It has a population per route in kilometers of 2,145.Trains in Germany |

7. Argentina- 36,966 Kilometers

Argentina has the seventh-largest rail network in the world, with a total length of 36,966 kilometers. It is the longest network in South America, with trains running from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, a distance of over 3,000 kilometers. Out of the 36,966 kilometers covered by the railway network, 190 of these are electrified totaling 0.51%.

8. Australia- 33,168 Kilometers

Australia ranks eighth globally with a total of 33,168 as the distance its rail network covers. 3,393 kilometers of the distance mentioned is an electrified railway network which makes the total percentage 10.23%. t is the longest network in Oceania, with trains running from Sydney to Perth, a distance of over 4,000 kilometers.Largest Railway Networks

9. Brazil- 29,817 Kilometers

South America’s Brazil has the ninth largest rail network in the world with a distance of 29,817 kilometers. Of the 29,817 kilometers mentioned, 9,025 kilometers of it is an electrified railway network system. It is the longest in Latin America, with trains running from São Paulo to Brasília, a distance of over 1,000 kilometers.Largest Railway network

10. France- 29,273 Kilometers


Clinching 10th place in the top 10 largest rail networks in the world is Europe’s France. It has a total length of 29,273 kilometers. It is the densest railway network in Europe, with over 30,000 train stations. 15,687 kilometers of its network is electrified which totals a percentage of 53.59%.

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