Britannia rides the rails

Abstract

Great Britain is coal country. And the logic in rail transportation, from the beginning, was steam. Consequently, one of the first European nations to operate a rail system became one of the last to go electric. But once it decided `to make the switch'-which was not until after World War II-its program of mainline electrification was as rapid as its high-speed trains and, today, the British system is the model for those of its European neighbors.

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