British Rail Passenger TimetableWikipedia open wikipedia design.
The first edition of the timetable, published in 1974
|Publisher||British Rail, National Rail, The Stationery Office, Middleton Press|
|First issue||May 6, 1974|
|Final issue||December 15, 2019|
|Website||National Rail timetable|
The British Rail Passenger Timetable, later the National Rail Timetable, was a book that contained the times of all passenger rail services in Great Britain. It was first published by British Rail in 1974.
The first combined railway timetable was produced by George Bradshaw in 1839. His guide assembled timetables from the many private railway companies into one book. Bradshaw's continued to be published until 1961, with demand dwindling after the grouping of the railways in 1923, as each of the new "Big Four" companies published their own comprehensive timetable.
After the Big Four were brought into public ownership in 1948 to form British Railways (later British Rail), each of the six regions published their own timetable, containing details of all services in their region. After Bradshaw's ceased printing in 1961 (as it couldn't compete with the cheaper regional timetables), there was a gap of 13 years without a system-wide schedule.
This changed in 1974, when British Rail launched their first nationwide timetable, costing 50p (roughly £10 in 2020) and running to 1,350 pages. The British Rail Passenger Timetable continued to be published annually until 1986, at which point it was split into summer and winter issues. It was then released twice a year until the privatisation of British Rail in 1997.
National Rail (owned by the Association of Train Operating Companies) was set up to provide information about passenger services after privatisation. It continued the publication of the network-wide timetable (renamed the National Rail Timetable), stopping in 2007 due to low demand.
Network Rail, who produce the scheduling data, started publishing the timetable on their website for free in 2006, which is still available to download as a PDF file. The timetable continued to be published in paper format by The Stationery Office and Middleton Press. The Stationery Office published their last edition in 2014, and Middleton Press stopped production in 2019, by which point the timetable cost £26 and was available by mail order only, meaning that there is no longer any means of obtaining a full published timetable.
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