Library

 
FIELD LISTING :: RAILWAYS Print
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

CountryRAILWAYS(KM)
Albania total: 677 km
standard gauge: 677 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Algeria total: 3,973 km
standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.432-m gauge (283 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2014)
Angola total: 2,852 km
narrow gauge: 2,729 km 1.067-m gauge; 123 km 0.600-m gauge (2014)
Argentina total: 36,917.4 km
broad gauge: 26,391 km 1.676-m gauge (149 km electrified)
standard gauge: 2,745.1 km 1.435-m gauge (41.1 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 7,523.3 km 1.000-m gauge; 258 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)
Armenia total: 780 km
broad gauge: 780 km 1.520-m gauge (780 km electrified)
note: 726 km operational (2014)
Australia total: 36,967.5 km
broad gauge: 3,727 km 1.600-m gauge (372 km electrified)
standard gauge: 18,727 km 1.435-m gauge (650 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 14,513.5 km 1.067-m gauge (2,075.5 km electrified) (2014)
Austria total: 5,267.7 km
standard gauge: 5,267.7 km 1.435-m gauge (3,556.4 km electrified) (2014)
Azerbaijan total: 2,068 km
broad gauge: 2,068 km 1.520-m gauge (1,240 km electrified) (2014)
Bangladesh total: 2,460 km
broad gauge: 659 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,801 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Belarus total: 5,528 km
broad gauge: 5,503 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified)
standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Belgium total: 3,592 km
standard gauge: 3,592 km 1.435-m gauge (2,960 km electrified) (2014)
Benin total: 438 km
narrow gauge: 438 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Bolivia total: 3,504 km
narrow gauge: 3,504 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Bosnia and Herzegovina total: 965 km
standard gauge: 965 km 1.435-m gauge (565 km electrified) (2014)
Botswana total: 888 km
narrow gauge: 888 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Brazil total: 28,538 km
broad gauge: 5,822.3 km 1.600-m gauge (498.3 km electrified)
dual gauge: 492 km 1.600-1.000-m gauge
standard gauge: 194 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 23,341.6 km 1.000-m gauge (24 km electrified) (2014)
Bulgaria total: 5,114 km
standard gauge: 4,989 km 1.435-m gauge (2,880 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 125 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
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 (2014)
Burma total: 5,031 km
narrow gauge: 5,031 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Cambodia total: 642 km
narrow gauge: 642 km 1.000-m gauge
note: under restoration (2014)
Cameroon total: 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway connections generally efficient but limited; rail lines connect major cities of Douala, Yaounde, Ngaoundere, and Garoua; passenger and freight service provided by CAMRAIL (2014)
Canada total: 77,932 km
standard gauge: 77,932 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Chile total: 7,281.5 km
broad gauge: 3,428 km 1.676-m gauge (1,691 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 3,853.5 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
China total: 191,270 km
broad gauge: 100 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 190,000 km 1.435-m gauge (92,000 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 670 km 1.000-m gauge; 500 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
Christmas Island total: 18 km
standard gauge: 18 km 1.435-m (not in operation) (2010)
Colombia total: 2,141 km
standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,991 km 0.914-m gauge (2015)
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 (2014)
Congo, Republic of the total: 510 km
narrow gauge: 510 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Costa Rica total: 278 km
narrow gauge: 278 km 1.067-m gauge
note: the entire rail network fell into disrepair and out of use at the end of the 20th century; since 2005, certain sections of rail have been rehabilitated (2014)
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 (985 km electrified) (2014)
Cuba total: 8,285 km
standard gauge: 8,125 km 1.435-m gauge (105 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 160 km 1.000-m gauge
note: 82 km of standard gauge track is not for public use (2014)
Czech Republic total: 9,621.5 km
standard gauge: 9,519.5 km 1.435-m gauge (3,240.5 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 102 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
Denmark total: 2,633 km
standard gauge: 2,633 km 1.435-m gauge (642 km electrified) (2015)
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: 496 km
standard gauge: 354 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 142 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
Ecuador total: 965 km
narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Egypt total: 5,085 km
standard gauge: 5,085 km 1.435-m gauge (62 km electrified) (2014)
El Salvador total: 12.5 km
narrow gauge: 12.5 km 0.914-m gauge (2014)
Eritrea total: 306 km
narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge (2014)
Estonia total: 1,196 km
broad gauge: 1,196 km 1.520-m and 1.524-m gauge (133 km electrified)
note: includes 277 km of private rail (2014)
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 (2015)
European Union total: 230,548 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: 5,919 km
broad gauge: 5,919 km 1.524-m gauge (3,067 km electrified) (2014)
France total: 29,640 km
standard gauge: 29,473 km 1.435-m gauge (15,561 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 167 km 1.000-m gauge (63 km electrified) (2014)
Gabon total: 649 km
standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Georgia total: 1,363 km
broad gauge: 1,326 km 1.520-m gauge (1,251 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 km electrified) (2014)
Germany total: 43,468.3 km
standard gauge: 43,209.3 km 1.435-m gauge (19,973 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 220 km 1.000-m gauge (79 km electrified); 15 km 0.900-m gauge; 24 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)
Ghana total: 947 km
narrow gauge: 947 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
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 (2014)
Guatemala total: 800 km
narrow gauge: 800 km 0.914-m gauge (2014)
Guinea total: 662 km
narrow gauge: 662 km 1.000-m gauge (20014)
Honduras total: 699 km
narrow gauge: 164 km 1.067-m gauge; 115 km 1.057-m gauge; 420 km 0.914-m gauge (2014)
Hungary total: 8,049 km
broad gauge: 36 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 7,794 km 1.435-m gauge (2,889 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 219 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
India total: 68,525 km
broad gauge: 58,404 km 1.676-m gauge (23,654 electrified)
narrow gauge: 9,499 km 1.000-m gauge; 622 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
Indonesia total: 8,159 km
narrow gauge: 8,159 km 1.067-m gauge (565 km electrified)
note: 4,816 km operational (2014)
Iran total: 8,483.5 km
broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge
standard gauge: 8,389.5 km 1.435-m gauge (189.5 km electrified) (2014)
Iraq total: 2,272 km
standard gauge: 2,272 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Ireland total: 3,237 km
broad gauge: 1,872 km 1.600-m gauge (49 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) (2014)
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: 1,250 km
standard gauge: 1,250 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Italy total: 20,181.7 km
standard gauge: 18,770.1 km 1.435-m gauge (12,893.6 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 122.3 km 1.000-m gauge (122.3 km electrified); 1,289.3 km 0.950-m gauge (151.3 km electrified) (2014)
Japan total: 27,311 km
standard gauge: 4,800 km 1.435-m gauge (4,800 km electrified)
dual gauge: 132 km 1.435-1.067-m gauge (132 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 124 km 1.372-m gauge (124 km electrified); 22,207 km 1.067-m gauge (15,430 km electrified); 48 km 0.762-m gauge (48 km electrified) (2015)
Jordan total: 507 km
narrow gauge: 507 km 1.050-m gauge (2008)
Kazakhstan total: 14,184 km
broad gauge: 14,184 km 1.520-m gauge (4,056 km electrified) (2014)
Kenya total: 3,334 km
narrow gauge: 3,334 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Korea, North total: 7,435 km
standard gauge: 7,435 km 1.435-m gauge (5,400 km electrified)
note: figures are approximate; some narrow-gauge railway also exists (2014)
Korea, South total: 3,460 km
standard gauge: 3,460 km 1.435-m gauge (1,422 km electrified) (2014)
Kosovo total: 333 km
standard gauge: 333 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Kyrgyzstan total: 470 km
broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)
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 due to damage sustained from 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 inoperable due to damage sustained 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: 1,768 km
broad gauge: 1,746 km 1.520-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Luxembourg total: 275 km
standard gauge: 275 km 1.435-m gauge (275 km electrified) (2014)
Macedonia total: 699 km
standard gauge: 699 km 1.435-m gauge (223 km electrified) (2014)
Madagascar total: 836 km
narrow gauge: 836 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Malawi total: 767 km
narrow gauge: 767 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Malaysia total: 1,849 km
standard gauge: 59 km 1.435-m gauge (59 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,792 km 1.000-m gauge (339 km electrified) (2014)
Mali total: 593 km
narrow gauge: 593 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Mauritania total: 728 km
standard gauge: 728 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Mexico total: 15,389 km
standard gauge: 15,389 km 1.435-m gauge (27 km electrified) (2014)
Moldova total: 1,171 km
broad gauge: 1,157 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Mongolia total: 1,815 km
broad gauge: 1,815 km 1.520-m gauge
note: national operator Ulannbaator Railway is jointly owned by the Mongolian Government and by the Russian State Railway (2016)
Montenegro total: 250 km
standard gauge: 250 km 1.435-m gauge (169 km electrified) (2014)
Morocco total: 2,067 km
standard gauge: 2,067 km 1.435-m gauge (1,022 km electrified) (2014)
Mozambique total: 4,787 km
narrow gauge: 4,787 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Namibia total: 2,628 km
narrow gauge: 2,628 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Nepal total: 53 km
narrow gauge: 53 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
Netherlands total: 3,223 km
standard gauge: 3,223 km 1.435-m gauge (2,321 km electrified) (2014)
New Zealand total: 4,128 km
narrow gauge: 4,128 km 1.067-m gauge (503 km electrified) (2014)
Nigeria total: 3,798 km
standard gauge: 293 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 3,505 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Norway total: 4,250 km
standard gauge: 4,250 km 1.435-m gauge (2,518 km electrified) (2014)
Pakistan total: 7,789 km
broad gauge: 7,477 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 312 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Panama total: 77 km
standard gauge: 77 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Paraguay total: 30 km
standard gauge: 30 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Peru total: 1,854.4 km
standard gauge: 1,730.4 km 1.435-m gauge (34 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 124 km 0.914-m gauge (2014)
Philippines total: 995 km
narrow gauge: 995 km 1.067-m gauge (484 km are in operation) (2015)
Poland total: 19,837 km
broad gauge: 395 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 19,442 km 1.435-m gauge (11,899 km electrified) (2014)
Portugal total: 3,075.1 km
broad gauge: 2,439 km 1.668-m gauge (1,633.4 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 108.1 km 1.000-m gauge
other: 528 km (gauge unspecified) (2014)
Romania total: 11,268 km
broad gauge: 60 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 10,781 km 1.435-m gauge (3,292 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 427 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
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 (2014)
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) (2014)
Senegal total: 906 km
narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Serbia total: 3,808 km
standard gauge: 3,808 km 1.435-m gauge (1,196 km electrified) (2014)
Slovakia total: 3,624 km
broad gauge: 99 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 3,475 km 1.435-m gauge (1,616 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 50 km 1.000-m or 0.750-m gauge (2014)
Slovenia total: 1,229 km
standard gauge: 1,229 km 1.435-m gauge (503 km electrified) (2014)
South Africa total: 20,986 km
standard gauge: 80 km 1.435-m gauge (80 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 19,756 km 1.065-m gauge (8,271 km electrified)
other: 1,150 km (passenger rail, gauge unspecified, 1,115.5 km electrified) (2014)
South Sudan total: 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 UN funds (2014)
Spain total: 16,101.5 km
broad gauge: 11,873 km 1.668-m gauge (6,488 km electrified)
standard gauge: 2,312 km 1.435-m gauge (2,312 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,884.9 km 1.000-m gauge (807 km electrified); 28 km 0.914-m gauge (28 km electrified); 3.6 km 0.600-m gauge (2014)
Sri Lanka total: 1,447 km
broad gauge: 1,447 km 1.676-m gauge (2014)
Sudan total: 7,251 km
narrow gauge: 5,851 km 1.067-m gauge; 1,400 km 0.600-m gauge for cotton plantations (20014)
Swaziland total: 301 km
narrow gauge: 301 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Sweden total: 11,915 km
standard gauge: 11,850 km 1.435-m gauge (7,567 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 65 km 0.891-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2014)
Switzerland total: 5,651.5 km
standard gauge: 4,424.8 km 1.435-m gauge (3,634.1 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 2 km 1.200-m gauge (2 km electrified); 1,188.3 km 1.000-m gauge (1,167.3 km electrified); 36.4 km 0.800-m gauge (36.4 km electrified) (2014)
Syria total: 2,052 km
standard gauge: 1,801 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 251 km 1.050-m gauge (2014)
Taiwan total: 1,597 km
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge (345 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,102 km 1.067-m gauge (692 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 (2014)
Tajikistan total: 680 km
broad gauge: 680 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)
Tanzania total: 4,567 km
narrow gauge: 1,860 km 1.067-m gauge; 2,707 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Thailand total: 4,070.8 km
standard gauge: 28.8 km 1.435-m gauge (28.8 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 4,042 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Togo total: 568 km
narrow gauge: 568 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Tunisia total: 2,173 km (1,991 in use)
standard gauge: 471 km 1.435-m gauge
dual gauge: 8 km 1.435-1.000-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,694 km 1.000-m gauge (65 km electrified) (2014)
Turkey total: 12,008 km
standard gauge: 12,008 km 1.435-m gauge (3,216 km electrified) (2014)
Turkmenistan total: 2,980 km
broad gauge: 2,980 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)
Uganda total: 1,244 km
narrow gauge: 1,244 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Ukraine total: 21,733 km
broad gauge: 21,684 km 1.524-m gauge (9,250 km electrified)
standard gauge: 49 km 1.435-m gauge (49 km electrified) (2014)
United Kingdom total: 30,858.5 km
broad gauge: 303 km 1.600-m gauge (in Northern Ireland)
standard gauge: 30,555.5 km 1.435-m gauge (5,357 km electrified) (2014)
United States total: 293,564.2 km
standard gauge: 293,564.2 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Uruguay total: 1,641 km
standard gauge: 1,641 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Uzbekistan total: 3,645 km
broad gauge: 3,645 km 1.520-m gauge (620 km electrified) (2014)
Venezuela total: 447 km
standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge (41.4 km electrified) (2014)
Vietnam total: 2,600 km
standard gauge: 178 km 1.435-m gauge; 253 km mixed gauge
narrow gauge: 2,169 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
World total: 1,148,186 km (2013)
Zambia total: 3,126 km
narrow gauge: 3,126 km 1.067-m gauge
note: includes 1,860 km of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) (2014)
Zimbabwe total: 3,427 km
narrow gauge: 3,427 km 1.067-m gauge (313 km electrified) (2014)
GO TOP