List of countries by rail transport network size

This list of countries by rail transport network size based on length of rail lines.[1]

Definition

For the purposes of this page, railway has been defined as a fixed route laid with rails along which wagons can be transported. Wagons may be powered by various means and may be used to transport people or goods. Temporary lines laid for a specific purposes are not considered unless specified. Countries include the nations listed in the List of sovereign states along with reference ISO 3166 codes which list ISO 3166-1 numeric three-digit country codes which are maintained by the United Nations Statistics Division.

Countries with active network

Country/Territory Length (km) % of the total
electrified
(per route km) Historical peak
length (km)
Nationalized or private[a] Data year References ISO 3166-1
Total Electrified Area (km2) Population
 United States 220,044 1,847[b] 0.84% 44.69 1,522 428,180 (1917) Track ownership and freight mostly private, passenger mostly public 2019 [7][8] 840
 China 150,000 100,000 66.67% 63.80 9,570 150,000 (2021) Nationalized 2021 [9] 156
 Russia 105,000 54,054 51.48% 162.84 1,367 150,000 Nationalized 2022 [10] 643
 India 68,043 61,508 93.83% 48.3 20,996 Nationalized 2023 [11][12] 356
 Canada 49,422 129 0.20% 214.48 674 69,636 (1940) Freight - private
Passenger - public
2017 [13][14] 124
 Germany 40,625 22,500 55.38% 9.26 2,145 61,498 (1910) Nationalized with private operators 2017 [15][14] 276
 Argentina 36,966 190 0.51% 77.45 1,117 47,000 Both 2014 [13] 032
 Australia 33,168 3,393 10.23% 231.91 742 Both 2017 [16] 036
 Brazil 29,817 9,025 30.27% 299.6 7,225 Both[c] 2014 [17] 076
 France 29,273 15,687 53.59% 22.78 2,374 42,200 (1930) Nationalized 2017 [14] 250
 Japan 27,311 20,534 75.19% 16.10 5,451 Both 2015 [13] 392
 Mexico 23,389 802.7 3.43% 114.43 6,697 26,914 Both 2020 [18][19] 484
 South Africa 20,953 7,413 46.51% 58.28 2,577 Nationalized 2017 [20][21][22] 710
 Romania 20,077 6,600 30.42% 22.13 1,823 23,955[d] Nationalized with private operators 2023 [15] 642
 Italy 20,048 12,948 64.58% 15.03 3,026 Nationalized with private operators 2022 [24] 380
 Poland 19,886 12,174 62.53% 16.28 2,001 27,000 (1954) Nationalized with private operators[e] 2022 [25][26][27][28] 616
 Ukraine 19,787 9,319 46.78% 28.81 2,140 Nationalized 2019 [15][29] 804
 Iran 16,998 2,200 12.94% 148.41 6,816 Nationalized 2014 [30][31] 364
 Spain 16,355[f] 11,127 68.03% 31.73 2,920 18,000+ (in 1950s) Nationalized with private operators 2017 [35] 724
 United Kingdom 16,231[g] 6,065[h] 38% 14.94 4,126 34,075 (1929)[i] State owned infrastructure with passenger operations contracted out in Britain and publicly run in Northern Ireland. 2022 [36][37][38][39] 826
 Kazakhstan 15,530 4,200 27.04% 175 1,146 Nationalized 2016 [15] 398
 Turkey 12,740 5,467 42.91% 76 7,821 Nationalized 2018 [15][40] 792
 Myanmar 11,025 0 0.00% 171.07 12,127 Nationalized 2006 [13] 104
 Sweden 10,912 8,186 75.02% 41 958 16,900 (around 1938)[41] Nationalized with private operators
Most services subject to franchising.
2021 [42] 752
 Czech Republic 9,567 3,237 33.84% 8.24 1,106 Nationalized with private operators 2017 [43][15] 203
 Indonesia 8,260 621 7.51% 219.31 32,712 8,260 Nationalized 2023 [44] 360
 Hungary 7,945 2,889 36.36% 11.71 1,233 Nationalized with private operators 2017 [15] 348
 Pakistan 7,791 285 3.65% 117.74 32,433 8,122 (in 1947) Nationalized 2015 [45] 586
 Egypt 7,024 62 0.88% 153.43 13,888 Nationalized 2017 [46] 818
 Chile 6,634 0 0.00% 128.2 2,931 8,930 (1930) Nationalized 2006 [14] 152
 Sudan 6,084 0 0.00% 339.81 5,640 Nationalized 2006 729
 Finland 5,926 3,270 55.18% 57.06 929 Nationalized 2017 [15] 246
 North Korea 5,735 3,894 61.03% 23.03 4,595 Nationalized 2006 [13] 408
 Saudi Arabia 5,590 453 8.10% 384.56 6,254 Nationalized 2019 [47] 682
 Cuba 5,476 0 0.00% 21.84 2,215 Nationalized 2007 192
 Belarus 5,459 874 16.01% 38.03 1,741 Nationalized 2016 [15] 112
 Switzerland 5,317 5,317 100.00% 7.76 1,631 5,868 (1930) Both, but majority is nationalized 2020 [48][49] 756
 Turkmenistan 5,080 0 0.00% 153.44 1,585 Nationalized 2014 795
 Austria 4,859 3,650 75.12% 15.18 1,587 7,166 (1930) Nationalized with private operators 2022 [50][14] 040
 South Korea 4,837 3,787 78.29% 20.76 10,716 Nationalized 2020 [51][52] 410
 Uzbekistan 4,669 2,500 38.65% 94.8 6,969 6,950 Nationalized 2020 [53] 860
 Algeria 4,560 480 10.53% 522.31 9,061 4,815 (1930) Nationalized 2022 [54][14] 012
 Norway 4,240 2,895 68.3% 76.36 1291 4,471 (1950) Nationalized with private operators 2023 [55][14] 578
 New Zealand 4,128 506 12.26% 64.64 1,070 5,681 (1950) Nationalized 2018 [13][14] 554
 DR Congo 4,096 852 11.20% 585.19 16,463 2008 180
 Thailand 4,044 107 2.18% 126.04 16,084 Nationalized 2017 [13] 764
 Bulgaria 4,030 2,880 71.46% 27.54 1,762 6507 Nationalized 2017 [15] 100
 Serbia 3,764 1,279 33.98% 23.48 1,866 Nationalized 2017 [15] 688
 Slovakia 3,626 1,587 43.77% 13.52 1,499 Nationalized 2017 [15] 703
 Portugal 3,622 1,794 49.53% 36.13 4,049 3,592 (Around 1949) Nationalized 2022 [15] 620
 Belgium 3,607 2,960 82.06% 8.48 3,140 5,081 (1940) Nationalized 2018 [56][14] 056
 Nigeria 3,600 0 0.00% 261.84 44,904 Nationalized 2006 566
 Vietnam 3,364 0 0.00% 141.12 27,765 Nationalized 2007 704
 Mozambique 3,249 0 0.00% 256.54 6,604 2008 508
 Zimbabwe 3,136 313 9.98% 130.25 4,190 Nationalized 2010 716
 Netherlands 3,055 2,314 75.74% 13.59 5,591 3,407 (1920) Nationalized with private operators
Rural lines subject to franchising.
2017 [14] 528
 Uruguay 2,993 0 0.00% 58.88 1,121 Nationalized 2006 858
 Bolivia 2,866 0 0.00% 383.32 3,638 Nationalized 2007 068
 Bangladesh 3,600 0 0.00% 50.79 53,392 Nationalized 2008 050
 Malaysia 2,783 767 27.56% 118.52 11,732 Nationalized 2018 [13] 458
 Angola 2,761 0 0.00% 451.54 6,911 2,764 Nationalized 2006 [13] 024
 Syria 2,750 0 0.00% 86.57 11,078 Nationalized 2010 760
 Tanzania 2,600 0 0.00% 348.02 15,866 Nationalized 2006 834
 Croatia 2,604 985 37.83% 21.71 1,595 Nationalized 2017 [15] 191
 Kenya 2,541 0 0.00% 228.4 17,643 Nationalized 2013 [57] 404
 Namibia 2,382 0 0.00% 346.05 877 Nationalized 2006 [13] 516
 Greece 2,240 764 34.11% 58.91 4,808 2,632 (1940) Semi-Privatized 2017 [14] 300
 Ethiopia 2,185 1,401 64.12% 1,675.72 150,935 Nationalized 2016 [58] 231
 Tunisia 2,165 0 0.00% 75.57 5,326 2,173 (1950) Nationalized 2018 [46][14] 788
 Morocco 2,109 1,022 48.46% 211.74 16,946 Nationalized 2017 [46] 504
 Azerbaijan 2,068 1,278 61.80% 41.88 4,666 Nationalized 2015 [15] 031
 Iraq 2,032 0 0.00% 215.71 15,587 Nationalized 2006 368
 Peru 2,020 0 0.00% 636.25 14,585 4,205 (1930) Private 2008 [14] 604
 Denmark 1,987 640 32.21% 21.69 2,893 5,290 (1931) Nationalized , rural lines franchised 2017 [15][59] 208
 Lithuania 1,910 156 6.38% 33.8 1,490 Nationalized 2021 [15][60] 440
 Latvia 1,860 257 13.82% 35.11 1,048 Nationalized 2017 [15][61] 428
 Mongolia 1,810 0 0.00% 864.15 1,560 Nationalized 2008 496
 Taiwan 1,782 1,300 72.95% 21.25 13,638 5,000 Nationalized (Conventional network)
Private (High-Speed network)
2018 [62] 158
 Ireland 1,680 53 3.15% 41.83 3,065 4,354 (1921) Nationalized 2016 [37][63][39][64] 372
 Colombia 1,663 0 0.00% 648.85 27,770 Private 2007 170
 Georgia 1,576 1,288 81.73% 44.23 2,360 Nationalized 2016 [15] 268
 Sri Lanka 1,508 0 0.00% 43.51 13,696 1,530 (1930-1940) Nationalized 2010 [14] 144
 Israel 1,511 250 16.55% 14.61 6,487 Nationalized 2022 [46][65][66] excludes urban rail 376
 Uganda 1,244 0 0.00% 930.65 122,780 Nationalized 2002 800
 Zambia 1,237 0 0.00% 608.42 10,547 2006 894
 Slovenia 1,209 503 41.60% 16.75 1,709 Nationalized 2017 [15] 705
 Estonia 1,161 132 11.37% 38.96 1,134 3,000 Both 2017 [15] 233
 Moldova 1,151 0 0.00% 29.4 3,084 Nationalized 2017 [15] 498
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,018 565 55.50% 50.29 3,445 Nationalized 2017 [15] 070
 Cameroon 977 0 0.00% 486.63 23,367 1,104 2015 [67] 120
 Ecuador 966 0 0.00% 293.54 14,810 1,131 (1930) 2006 [13][14] Services ceased 2020 218
 Ghana 953 0 0.00% 250.30 25,429 2006 288
 Senegal 906 0 0.00% 217.12 16,534 2015 [57] 686
 Botswana 888 0 0.00% 655.1 2,488 2014 072
 Guatemala 885 0 0.00% 123.04 16,228 Private 2004 Service halted since 2006 320
 United Arab Emirates 869 0 0.00% 96.2 10,681 869 Nationalized 2023 784
 Madagascar 848 0 0.00% 692.27 28,573 2015 [57] 450
 Guinea 837 0 0.00% 293.74 11,926 2006 [13] 324
 Gabon 810 0 0.00% 330.45 1,858 2007 266
 Malawi 797 0 0.00% 148.66 18,696 2007 454
 Congo 795 0 0.00% 430.19 5086 Nationalized 2006 178
 Benin 758 0 0.00% 148.58 11,581 2006 204
 Mali 729 0 0.00% 1,701.22 22,606 2013 466
 Mauritania 728 0 0.00% 1,415.80 4,753 Nationalized 2008 478
 Armenia 703 703 100.00% 42.31 4,168 Nationalized 2016 [15] 051
 Honduras 699 0 0.00% 160.36 11,753 2006 [13] 340
 North Macedonia 683 313 45.83% 37.65 3,037 Nationalized 2017 [15] 807
 Cambodia 650 0 0.00% 278.52 24,994 Nationalized 2018 [68] 116
 Ivory Coast 639 0 0.00% 504.64 30,889 2007 384
 Burkina Faso 622 0 0.00% 440.84 25,291 2006 854
 Jordan 622 0 0.00% 143.64 15,598 2017 [46] 400
 Tajikistan 616 0 0.00% 232.31 11,167 Nationalized 2007 762
 Fiji 597 0 0.00% 30.61 1,442 2006 [13] 242
 Togo 568 0 0.00% 100 10,613 2006 [13] 768
 El Salvador 562 0 0.00% 37.44 10,221 2007 222
 Philippines 532 53 10.01% 560.15 211,800 1,352 (1940) Nationalized 2021 [14] 608
 Dominican Republic 517 0 0.00% 94.14 18,141 2006 [13] 214
 Liberia 490 0 0.00% 227.28 8,151 Private 2006 [13] 430
 Laos 424 414 97.64% 561.2 17,587 Nationalized (operated by China) 2021 418
 Kyrgyzstan 417 0 0.00% 479.38 13,446 2012 [15] 417
 Panama 355 0 0.00% 212.45 9,594 2006 [13] 591
 Venezuela 336 0 0.00% 2,714.43 87,458 1020 (1950) 2006 [14] 862
 Albania 334 0 0.00% 86.07 8,602 Nationalized with private operators 2016 [15] 008
 Eritrea 306 0 0.00% 384.31 17,170 Nationalized 2006 [13] 232
 Eswatini 301 0 0.00% 57.69 3,940 2008 748
 Costa Rica 278 0 0.00% 183.81 16,416 2007 [13] 188
 Luxembourg 275 275 100.00% 9.4 2,148 534 (1920-1940) Nationalized 2017 [14] 442
 Hong Kong 268 268 100.00% 5.08 33,165 De facto Nationalized 2014 [69] 344
 Montenegro 250 225 90.00% 55.25 2,490 Nationalized 2017 [15] 499
 South Sudan 248 0 0.00% 2,598.10 48,864 728
 Singapore 240 240 100.00% 2.95 24,776 De facto Nationalized 2021 [70][71] 702
 Suriname 166 0 0.00% 986.87 3,163 2001 [13] activity ceased 1980's 740
 Niger 143 0 0.00% 8,860.14 171,220 Private 562
 Guyana 127 0 0.00% 1,149.57 4,197 166 (1920) 2001 est. [13][14] activity ceased around 2007 328
 Djibouti 92 0 0.00% 252.17 9,203 80 2016 [72] 262
 Sierra Leone 84 0 0.00% 854.05 69,857 544 (1920) 2001 [13][14] 694
 Qatar 82 82 100.00% 141.11 34,091 634
 Afghanistan 75 0 0.00% 8,696.40 418,827 Nationalized (operated by neighbouring countries) 2011 [73] 004
 Jamaica 65 0 0.00% 40.41 9,948 348 (1950) 2003 [13][14] 388
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 58 0 0.00% 5.22 1,040 2006 [13] 659
 Nepal 57 0 0.00% 2,582.12 514,035 146 2017 [74] 524
 Paraguay 38 0 0.00% 11,298.67 173,056 2006 [13] 600
 Mauritius 30 30 100.00% 68 42,182 30 Nationalized 2022 480
 Puerto Rico 17 17 100.00% 143.65 38,810 370 2006 [13] 630
 Brunei 13 0 0.00% 443.46 30,692 2001 est. [13] see next table 096
 Macau 12 12 100.00% 9.83 6,200 Nationalized 2019 LRT 446
 Liechtenstein 9.5 9.5 100.00% 17.78 4,017 Nationalized (operated by Switzerland and Austria) 2017 [13] 438
 Nauru 3.9 0 0.00% 4.20 2,000 2001 [13] 520
 Monaco 1.7 1.7 100.00% 1.18 20,588 Nationalized (operated by France) 2019 [13] 492
 Lesotho 1.6 0 0.00% 10,118.33 723,667 1995 [13] 426
 Vatican City 0.3 0 0.00% 1.47 3,333 0.3 Nationalized (operated by Italy) 2019 336
 European Union[j] 211,430 118,363 55.98% 20.33 2,113.37 Both 2017 [15]
World 1,374,001 426,313 31.03% 107.95 372.12 4,814 2006 [13]
Notes
  1. ^ This refers to both track ownership and train operation
  2. ^ This figure is the sum of the electrified lengths of the following railways: Amtrak (735 km),[2] Deseret Power Railway (53 km),[3] Iowa Traction Railway (9 km),[4] Long Island Rail Road (237 km),[2] Metra (99 km),[2] Metro-North Railroad (255 km),[2] Navajo Mine and Railroad (23 km),[5] NJ Transit Rail Operations (159 km)[2] and SEPTA Regional Rail (277 km)[6].
  3. ^ Freight operated by private on public tracks
    commuter and metro operated by state
  4. ^ The figure is mentioned as the total network length in 1990,[23] but the total network length may have grown after 1990.
  5. ^ Most of the railway lines in Poland belong to state-owned or local government companies, which in the case of the latter have a smaller share for the entire country. In the case of narrow-gauge lines, after the restructuring in 2000, none of them belong to PKP anymore, and most of them were taken over by local governments, private companies or associations of railway enthusiasts. Some industrial lines and a short line to Świnoujście Centrum are managed by private managers.
  6. ^ The Spanish railway network comprises the 11,934.3 km of the ADIF network (6,706.4 of them are electrified),[32] the 3,455.7 electrified km of the ADIF AV network,[33] the electrified Catalan FGC (253.4 km) and the electrified Metro networks of Madrid (293 km), Barcelona (166 km), Valencia (156.4 km), Bilbao (51 km), Seville (18 km), Palma (15.6 km) and Málaga (12 km).[34]
  7. ^ This figure is a combination of the British (15,874 km)[36] and Northern Irish (357 km)[37] networks.
  8. ^ This is the figure for Britain as Northern Ireland does not have any electrified railways.
  9. ^ This figure is a combination of the British (20,419 mi)[38] and Northern Irish (754 mi)[39] networks in 1929. This gives a total of 21,173 mi, which is 34,075 km.
  10. ^ The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The EU is included as a separate entity because it has many attributes of independent nations, being much more than a free-trade association such as ASEAN, NAFTA, or Mercosur.[75] Transport and trans-European networks are among shared competence between EU and member states. As the EU is not a country, the United States is the first ranked country on these lists.

Countries without active network

Former operators

Countries with defunct rail networks[76]
Country Comment ISO 3166-1
1  Antigua and Barbuda Had agricultural / industrial lines 028
2  Bahamas Had a plantation railway 044
3  Barbados Had a public railway. Has a 3 km tourist line opened in 2019. 052
4  Belize Had a minor railway 084
5  Brunei Has a 4 km section of pier railway (so is outside the definition for this article) 096
6  Burundi Had an internal port railway 108
7  Cape Verde Had a harbour railway 132
8  Central African Republic Had a short portage railway 140
9  Comoros Had plantation railways 174
10  Cyprus Cyprus Government Railway operated 1905 to 1951 196
11  Dominica Had a forestry railway 212
12  Equatorial Guinea Had a line on Isla de Boiko 226
13  Gambia Had minor port / industrial lines 270
14  Grenada Had a very minor industrial line 308
15  Guinea-Bissau 624
16  Guatemala Ceased operating around 2006; rebuilt to standard gauge in 2019 320
17  Guyana Had a number of public lines until the 1970's and industrial lines until around 2007[77] 328
18  Haiti Rails still in Port-au-Prince from railway from factories to port, left out of service since the 1970s. 332
19  Iceland Had short industrial lines, see Rail transport in Iceland for proposals 352
20  Kiribati Had industrial lines 296
21  Lebanon Had from 1890 until 1970 (future projects to build a railway from Tyr to Tripoli) 422
22  Libya 1912 to 1965 (peak length of 399 km[14]); (network under construction in 2008–2011, but works stopped, see Libyan Railways) 434
23  Malta Operated 1883 to 1931 470
24  Micronesia 583
25  Nicaragua Suspended in September 2001 558
26  Oman Proposals as part of Gulf Railway. Has a short tourist line at the Al Hoota Cave. 512
27  Palau Had an industrial line. Has a short tourist monorail (of small “gauge”) 585
28  Papua New Guinea Had numerous plantation and mining railways, all closed by the early 1990s. Line from Lae to Vanimo proposed (see Transport in Papua New Guinea). 598
29  Rwanda Had industrial lines, out of use since the 1990s. Lines to Uganda and/or Tanzania (see Isaka–Kigali Standard Gauge Railway) proposed 646
30  Saint Lucia 662
31  Samoa 882
32  San Marino A short section (800 metres or 0.5 miles) of the electric railway that linked Rimini (Italy) and San Marino City until 1944 has been restored. 674
33  São Tomé and Príncipe 678
34  Solomon Islands Small railways used to transport bananas and copra, all closed by 1970. 090
35  Somalia Mogadishu–Villabruzzi Railway existed from 1914 to 1941 706
36  Suriname 740
37  Tonga 776
38  Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad Government Railway from 1876 until 1968; Trinidad Rapid Railway was planned but cancelled 780
39  Vanuatu Suggested to have had a line on Efate 548
40  Yemen Had lines from the mountains to Aden and Al Hudaydah, all closed by 1929 887

 Bermuda, a British overseas territory, had a railway operating from 1931 to 1948.

Never had a network

Countries which never had railways[76]
Country Comment ISO 3166-1
1  Andorra There are proposals to construct a line 020
2  Bahrain Proposed as part of Gulf Railway 048
3  Bhutan A link to India is proposed 064
4  Chad See Rail transport in Chad for proposals 148
5  East Timor 626
6  Kuwait Proposed as part of Gulf Railway 414
7  Maldives 462
8  Marshall Islands 584
9  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 670
10  Seychelles 690
11  Tuvalu Planned but cancelled 798

See also

References

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  3. ^ Railroad Coordination Manual of Instruction (PDF) (Report). May 2015. p. 102. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Iowa Traction Railway Company". American-Rails.com. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Navajo Mine Railroad". www.trainweb.org. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
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  31. ^ The figure includes passenger, commercial and industrial railroads; More information can be found at Islamic Republic of Iran Railways
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