Library

 
View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
Field Listing :: Railways
Print Page
This entry states the total route length of the railway network and of its component parts by gauge, which is the measure of the distance between the inner sides of the load-bearing rails. The four typical types of gauges are: broad, standard, narrow, and dual. Other gauges are listed under note. Some 60% of the world's railways use the standard gauge of 1.4 m (4.7 ft). Gauges vary by country and sometimes within countries. The choice of gauge during initial construction was mainly in response to local conditions and the intent of the builder. Narrow-gauge railways were cheaper to build and could negotiate sharper curves, broad-gauge railways gave greater stability and permitted higher speeds. Standard-gauge railways were a compromise between narrow and broad gauges.
Country Comparison to the World
Country
Railways(km)
Albania total: 339 km
standard gauge: 339 km 1.435-m gauge (2009)
Algeria total: 3,973 km
standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2008)
Angola total: 2,764 km
narrow gauge: 2,641 km 1.067-m gauge; 123 km 0.600-m gauge (2008)
Argentina total: 36,966 km
broad gauge: 26,475 km 1.676-m gauge (94 km electrified)
standard gauge: 2,780 km 1.435-m gauge (42 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 7,711 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Armenia total: 869 km
broad gauge: 869 km 1.520-m gauge (818 km electrified)
note: some lines are out of service (2009)
Australia total: 38,445 km
broad gauge: 3,355 km 1.600-m gauge
standard gauge: 21,674 km 1.435-m gauge (650 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 9,539 km 1.067-m gauge (2,067 km electrified); 3,877 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Austria total: 6,399 km
standard gauge: 5,927 km 1.435-m gauge (3,853 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 384 km 1.000-m gauge (15 km electrified); 88 km 0.760-m gauge (10 km electrified) (2008)
Azerbaijan total: 2,918 km
broad gauge: 2,918 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2009)
Bangladesh total: 2,622 km
broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,676 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Belarus total: 5,537 km
broad gauge: 5,512 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)
standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Belgium total: 3,233 km
standard gauge: 3,233 km 1.435-m gauge (2,950 km electrified) (2008)
Benin total: 438 km
narrow gauge: 438 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Bolivia total: 3,652 km
narrow gauge: 3,652 km 1.000-m gauge (2010)
Bosnia and Herzegovina total: 601 km
standard gauge: 601 km 1.435-m gauge (392 km electrified) (2009)
Botswana total: 888 km
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Brazil total: 28,538 km
broad gauge: 5,627 km 1.600-m gauge (467 km electrified)
standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge
narrow gauge: 22,717 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Bulgaria total: 4,152 km
standard gauge: 4,072 km 1.435-m gauge (2,863 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 80 km 0.760-m gauge (2011)
Burkina Faso total: 622 km
narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge
note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire (2008)
Burma total: 5,031 km
narrow gauge: 5,031 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Cambodia total: 690 km
narrow gauge: 690 km 1.000-m gauge
note: under restoration (2010)
Cameroon total: 1,245 km
narrow gauge: 1,245 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Canada total: 46,552 km
standard gauge: 46,552 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Chile total: 7,082 km
broad gauge: 3,435 km 1.676-m gauge (850 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 3,647 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
China total: 86,000 km
standard gauge: 86,000 km 1.435-m gauge (36,000 km electrified) (2008)
Christmas Island total: 18 km
standard gauge: 18 km 1.435-m (not in operation) (2010)
Colombia total: 874 km
standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 498 km 0.950-m gauge; 226 km 0.914-m gauge (2008)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the total: 4,007 km
narrow gauge: 3,882 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified); 125 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Congo, Republic of the total: 886 km
narrow gauge: 886 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Costa Rica total: 278 km
narrow gauge: 278 km 1.067-m gauge
note: none of the railway network is in use (2008)
Cote d'Ivoire total: 660 km
narrow gauge: 660 km 1.000-m gauge
note: an additional 622 km of this railroad extends into Burkina Faso (2008)
Croatia total: 2,722 km
standard gauge: 2,722 km 1.435-m gauge (984 km electrified) (2011)
Cuba total: 8,203 km
standard gauge: 8,134 km 1.435-m gauge (124 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 69 km 1.000-m gauge
note: 48 km of standard gauge track is not for public use (2011)
Czech Republic total: 9,469 km
standard gauge: 9,449 km 1.435-m gauge (3,165 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 20 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)
Denmark total: 2,667 km
standard gauge: 2,667 km 1.435-m gauge (640 km electrified) (2008)
Djibouti total: 100 km (Djibouti segment of the 781 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway)
narrow gauge: 100 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway is under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia but is largely inoperable (2008)
Dominican Republic total: 142 km
standard gauge: 142 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Ecuador total: 965 km
narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Egypt total: 5,083 km
standard gauge: 5,083 km 1.435-m gauge (62 km electrified) (2009)
El Salvador total: 283 km
narrow gauge: 283 km 0.600-m gauge
note: railways have been inoperable since 2005 because of disuse and high costs that led to a lack of maintenance (2008)
Eritrea total: 306 km
narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge (2008)
Estonia total: 1,196 km
broad gauge: 1,196 km 1.520-m and 1.524-m gauge (133 km electrified) (2011)
Ethiopia total: 681 km (Ethiopian segment of the 781 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad)
narrow gauge: 681 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway is under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia but is largely inoperable (2008)
European Union total: 461,096 km (2013)
Fiji total: 597 km
narrow gauge: 597 km 0.600-m gauge
note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation; used to haul sugarcane during the harvest season, which runs from May to December (2008)
Finland total: 5,944 km
broad gauge: 5,944 km 1.524-m gauge (3,067 km electrified) (2013)
France total: 29,640 km
standard gauge: 29,473 km 1.435-m gauge (15,361 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (63 km electrified) (2008)
Gabon total: 649 km
standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Georgia total: 1,612 km
broad gauge: 1,575 km 1.520-m gauge (1,575 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 km electrified) (2008)
Germany total: 41,981 km
standard gauge: 41,722 km 1.435-m gauge (20,053 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 220 km 1.000-m gauge (75 km electrified); 39 km 0.750-m gauge (24 km electrified) (2008)
Ghana total: 947 km
narrow gauge: 947 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Greece total: 2,548 km
standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (764 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge; 22 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)
Guatemala total: 332 km
narrow gauge: 332 km 0.914-m gauge (2008)
Guinea total: 1,185 km
standard gauge: 238 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 947 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Honduras total: 44 km
narrow gauge: 44 km 1.067-m gauge
note: (4 km are in use) (2012)
Hungary total: 8,057 km
broad gauge: 36 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 7,802 km 1.435-m gauge (2,911 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 219 km 0.760-m gauge (2009)
India total: 63,974 km
broad gauge: 54,257 km 1.676-m gauge (18,927 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 7,180 km 1.000-m gauge; 2,537 km 0.762-m gauge and 0.610-m gauge (2009)
Indonesia total: 5,042 km
narrow gauge: 5,042 km 1.067-m gauge (565 km electrified) (2008)
Iran total: 8,442 km
broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge
standard gauge: 8,348 km 1.435-m gauge (148 km electrified) (2008)
Iraq total: 2,370 km
standard gauge: 2,370 km 1.435-m gauge (2012)
Ireland total: 3,237 km
broad gauge: 1,872 km 1.600-m gauge (37 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,365 km 0.914-m gauge (operated by the Irish Peat Board to transport peat to power stations and briquetting plants) (2008)
Isle of Man total: 63 km
narrow gauge: 6 km 1.076-m gauge (6 km electrified); 57 km 0.914-m gauge (29 km electrified)
note: primarily summer tourist attractions (2008)
Israel total: 975 km
standard gauge: 975 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Italy total: 20,255 km
standard gauge: 18,611 km 1.435-m gauge (12,662 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 123 km 1.000-m gauge (123 km electrified); 1,290 km 0.950-m gauge (151 km electrified); 231 km 0.850-m gauge (2008)
Japan total: 27,182 km
standard gauge: 4,251 km 1.435-m gauge (4,251 km electrified)
dual gauge: 486 km 1.435-1.067-m gauge (486 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 96 km 1.372-m gauge (96 km electrified); 22,301 km 1.067-m gauge (15,222 km electrified); 48 km 0.762-m gauge (48 km electrified) (2009)
Jordan total: 507 km
narrow gauge: 507 km 1.050-m gauge (2008)
Kazakhstan total: 15,333 km
broad gauge: 15,333 km 1.520-m gauge (4,000 km electrified) (2012)
Kenya total: 2,066 km
narrow gauge: 2,066 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Korea, North total: 5,242 km
standard gauge: 5,242 km 1.435-m gauge (3,500 km electrified) (2009)
Korea, South total: 3,381 km
standard gauge: 3,381 km 1.435-m gauge (1,843 km electrified) (2008)
Kosovo total: 430 km
standard gauge: 430 km 1.435-m gauge (2007)
Kyrgyzstan total: 470 km
broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2008)
Latvia total: 2,239 km
broad gauge: 2,206 km 1.520-m gauge
narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)
Lebanon total: 401 km
standard gauge: 319 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 82 km 1.050-m gauge
note: rail system unusable because of the damage done during fighting in the 1980s and in 2006 (2008)
Liberia total: 429 km
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge
note: most sections of the railways were inoperable because of damage suffered during the civil wars from 1980 to 2003, but many are being rebuilt (2008)
Liechtenstein total: 9 km
standard gauge: 9 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified)
note: belongs to the Austrian Railway System connecting Austria and Switzerland (2008)
Lithuania total: 1,767 km
broad gauge: 1,745 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2011)
Luxembourg total: 275 km
standard gauge: 275 km 1.435-m gauge (243 km electrified) (2008)
Macedonia total: 699 km
standard gauge: 699 km 1.435-m gauge (234 km electrified) (2012)
Madagascar total: 854 km
narrow gauge: 854 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Malawi total: 797 km
narrow gauge: 797 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Malaysia total: 1,849 km
standard gauge: 57 km 1.435-m gauge (57 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,792 km 1.000-m gauge (150 km electrified) (2010)
Mali total: 593 km
narrow gauge: 593 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Mauritania 728 km
standard gauge: 728 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Mexico total: 17,166 km
standard gauge: 17,166 km 1.435-m gauge (22 km electrified) (2008)
Moldova total: 1,190 km
broad gauge: 1,176 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Mongolia total: 1,908 km
broad gauge: 1,908 km 1.520-m gauge
note: the railway is 50 percent owned by the Russian State Railway (2010)
Montenegro total: 250 km
standard gauge: 250 km 1.435-m gauge (169 km electrified) (2010)
Morocco total: 2,067 km
standard gauge: 2,067 km 1.435-m gauge (1,022 km electrified) (2008)
Mozambique total: 4,787 km
narrow gauge: 4,787 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Namibia total: 2,626 km
narrow gauge: 2,626 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Nepal total: 59 km
narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2008)
Netherlands total: 3,013 km
standard gauge: 3,013 km 1.435-m gauge (2,195 km electrified) (2012)
New Zealand total: 4,128 km
narrow gauge: 4,128 km 1.067-m gauge (506 km electrified) (2008)
Nigeria total: 3,505 km
narrow gauge: 3,505 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Norway total: 4,237 km
standard gauge: 4,237 km 1.435-m gauge (2,784 km electrified) (2012)
Pakistan total: 7,791 km
broad gauge: 7,479 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 312 km 1.000-m gauge (2007)
Panama total: 76 km
standard gauge: 76 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Paraguay total: 36 km
standard gauge: 36 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
Peru total: 1,907 km
standard gauge: 1,772 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 135 km 0.914-m gauge (2012)
Philippines total: 995 km
narrow gauge: 995 km 1.067-m gauge (484 km are in operation) (2010)
Poland total: 19,428 km
broad gauge: 399 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 19,029 km 1.435-m gauge (11,805 km electrified) (2007)
Portugal total: 3,319 km
broad gauge: 2,700 km 1.668-m gauge (1,436 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 192 km 1.000-m gauge; 427 km 0.760-m gauge (2008)
Romania total: 10,777 km
broad gauge: 134 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 10,639 km 1.435-m gauge (4,020 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 4 km 1.000-m gauge (2012)
Russia total: 87,157 km
broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (on Sakhalin Island)
note: an additional 30,000 km of non-common carrier lines serve industries (2006)
Saint Kitts and Nevis total: 50 km
narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)
Saudi Arabia total: 1,378 km
standard gauge: 1,378 km 1.435-m gauge (with branch lines and sidings) (2008)
Senegal total: 906 km
narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Serbia total: 3,809 km
standard gauge: 3,809 km 1.435-m gauge (1,279 km electrified) (2010)
Slovakia total: 3,622 km
broad gauge: 99 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 3,473 km 1.435-m gauge (1,615 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 50 km 1.000-m or 0.750-m gauge (2008)
Slovenia total: 1,228 km
standard gauge: 1,228 km 1.435-m gauge (503 km electrified) (2007)
South Africa total: 20,192 km
narrow gauge: 19,756 km 1.065-m gauge (8,271 km electrified); 122 km 0.750-m gauge; 314 km 0.610-m gauge (2008)
South Sudan 248 km; note - a narrow guage, single-track railroad between Babonosa (Sudan) and Wau, the only existing rail system, was repaired in 2010 with $250 million in United Nations funds (2014)
Spain total: 15,293 km
broad gauge: 11,919 km 1.668-m gauge (6,950 km electrified)
standard gauge: 1,392 km 1.435-m gauge (1,054 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,954 km 1.000-m gauge (815 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (2008)
Sri Lanka total: 1,449 km
broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge (2007)
Sudan total: 5,978 km
narrow gauge: 4,578 km 1.067-m gauge; 1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations (2008)
Swaziland total: 301 km
narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
Sweden total: 11,633 km
standard gauge: 11,568 km 1.435-m gauge (7,567 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 65 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2008)
Switzerland total: 4,876 km
standard gauge: 3,846 km 1.435-m gauge (3,591 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,020 km 1.000-m gauge (1,013 km electrified); 10 km 0.800-m gauge (10 km electrified) (2008)
Syria total: 2,052 km
standard gauge: 1,801 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 251 km 1.050-m gauge (2008)
Taiwan total: 1,580 km
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge (345 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.067-m gauge (685 km electrified); 150 km 0.762-m gauge
note: the 0.762 gauge track belongs to three entities, the Forestry Bureau, Taiwan Cement, and TaiPower (2009)
Tajikistan total: 680 km
broad gauge: 680 km 1.520-m gauge (2008)
Tanzania total: 3,689 km
narrow gauge: 969 km 1.067-m gauge; 2,720 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Thailand total: 4,071 km
standard gauge: 29 km 1.435-m gauge (29 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 4,042 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Togo total: 568 km
narrow gauge: 568 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Tunisia total: 2,165 km (1,991 in use)
standard gauge: 471 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,694 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2011)
Turkey total: 12,008 km
standard gauge: 12,008 km 1.435-m gauge (3,216 km electrified) (2012)
Turkmenistan total: 2,980 km
broad gauge: 2,980 km 1.520-m gauge (2008)
Uganda total: 1,244 km
narrow gauge: 1,244 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Ukraine total: 21,619 km
broad gauge: 21,619 km 1.524-m gauge (10,242 km electrified) (2012)
United Kingdom total: 16,454 km
broad gauge: 303 km 1.600-m gauge (in Northern Ireland)
standard gauge: 16,151 km 1.435-m gauge (5,248 km electrified) (2008)
United States total: 224,792 km
standard gauge: 224,792 km 1.435-m gauge (2007)
Uruguay total: 1,641 km
standard gauge: 1,641 km 1.435-m gauge (1,200 km operational) (2010)
Uzbekistan total: 4,230 km
broad gauge: 4,200 km 1.520-m gauge (930 km electrified) (2012)
Venezuela total: 806 km
standard gauge: 806 km 1.435-m gauge (41 km electrified) (2008)
Vietnam total: 2,632 km
standard gauge: 527 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 2,105 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
World total: 657,382 km (2013)
Zambia total: 2,157 km
narrow gauge: 2,157 km 1.067-m gauge
note: includes 891 km of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) (2008)
Zimbabwe total: 3,427 km
narrow gauge: 3,427 km 1.067-m gauge (313 km electrified) (2008)
Back to Top
 
GO TOP