Railways in the UK date back to the days of George Stephenson and Richard Trevithick. Railway companies were private enterprises until nationalisation and forming of British Railways (later British Rail) in 1948. Motive power and rolling stock was inherited from the private railway companies. Some considerable regional variation still exists, such as the third-rail electrification of Southern Railway.
British Rail was privatised again between 1994 and 1997, and currently (2017) the infrastructure is operated by a national company called Network Rail, and utilised by private train operating companies (TOCs).
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