A travel agency is a private retailer or public service that provides travel and tourism related services to the public on behalf of suppliers such as activities, car rentals, cruise lines, railways, travel insurance, package tours. In addition to dealing with ordinary tourists, most travel agencies have a separate department devoted to making travel arrangements for business travelers. There are travel agencies that serve as general sales agents for foreign travel companies, allowing them to have offices in countries other than where their headquarters are located; the modern travel agency first appeared in the second half of the 19th century with its root in 1758 as establishment of Cox & Kings Ltd. In the year 1970, Cox & Kings the longest established travel company centered its focus on its business of travel and tourism. Thomas Cook established a chain of agencies in the last quarter of the 19th century, in association with the Midland Railway, they not only in addition, represented other tour companies.
Other British pioneer travel agencies were Dean & Dawson, the Polytechnic Touring Association, the Co-operative Wholesale Society. The oldest travel agency in the United States is Brownell Travel. Travel agencies became more commonplace with the development of commercial aviation, starting in the 1920s. Travel agencies catered to middle and upper class customers, but the post-war boom in mass-market package holidays resulted in the proliferation of travel agencies on the main streets of most British towns, catering to a working class clientele looking for a convenient way to book overseas beach holidays. A travel agency's main function is to act as an agent, selling travel products and services on behalf of a supplier. Unlike other retail businesses, they do not keep a stock in hand, unless they have pre-booked hotel rooms and/or cabins on a cruise ship for a group travel event such as a wedding, honeymoon, or a group event. A package holiday or a ticket is not purchased from a supplier unless a customer requests that purchase.
The holiday or ticket is supplied to the agency at a discount. The profit is therefore the difference between the advertised price which the customer pays and the discounted price at which it is supplied to the agent; this is known as the commission. In many countries, all individuals or companies that sell tickets are required to be licensed as a travel agent. In some countries, airlines have stopped giving commissions to travel agencies. Therefore, travel agencies are now forced to charge a percentage premium or a standard flat fee, per sale. However, some companies pay travel agencies a set percentage for selling their product. Major tour companies can afford to do this, because if they were to sell a thousand trips at a cheaper rate, they would still come out better than if they sold a hundred trips at a higher rate; this process benefits both parties. It is cheaper to offer commissions to travel agents rather than engage in advertising and distribution campaigns without using agents. Other commercial operations are undertaken by the larger chains.
These can include the sale of in-house insurance, travel guide books, public transport timetables, car rentals, the services of an on-site bureau de change, dealing in the most popular holiday currencies. A travel agent is supposed to offer impartial travel advice to the customer, as well as coordinating travel details and assisting the customer in booking travel. However, this function disappeared with the mass market package holiday, some agency chains seemed to develop a "holiday supermarket" concept, in which customers choose their holiday from brochures on racks and book it from a counter. Again, a variety of social and economic changes have now contrived to bring this aspect to the fore once more with the advent of multiple, no-frills, low-cost airlines. Traditionally, travel agencies' principal source of income was, continues to be, commissions paid for bookings of car rentals, cruise lines, railways, sightseeing tours, tour operators, etc. A fixed percentage of the main element of the price is paid to the agent as a commission.
Commissions may vary depending on the type of the supplier. Commissions are not paid on the tax component of the price. Travel agencies receive a large variety of bonuses and other incentives from travel and tourism related companies as inducements for travel agents to promote their products; the customer is not made aware of how much the travel agent is earning in commissions and other benefits. Other sources of income may include the sale of insurance, travel guide books, public transport timetables and money exchange. Since 1995, many airlines around the world and most airlines in the United States now do not pay any commission to travel agencies. In this case, an agency adds a service fee to the net price. Reduced commissions started in 1995 in the United States, with the introduction of a cap of $50 on return trips and $25 on one way. In 1999, European airlines began eliminating or reducing commissions, while Singapore Airlines did so in parts of Asia. In 2002, Delta Air Lines announced a zero-commission base for the U.
S. and Canada. The majority of travel agents have felt the need to protect themselves and their clients against the possibilities of commercial failure, either their own or a supplier's, they will
Concessionary fares on the British railway network
There is no single'discount railcard' available on the UK railway network. In addition to the large number and variety of short-term or localised promotional fares that have been available to passengers on the British railway network in recent decades, there are many permanent concessionary fare schemes available to passengers; some of these take the form of Railcards, which can be purchased by people who qualify according to the conditions, which give discounts for all journeys over a period. In all cases, details of the type of concession will be printed on the passenger's travel ticket, to distinguish reduced-rate tickets from those sold at the standard full fare. Before the rail network was privatised, British Rail introduced several discount cards that were available to certain groups of people. Various reasons are cited: To encourage off-peak and leisure travel To provide greater access to rail services for low-income groups, creating a social benefit To generate new sources of income: certain groups of people may be encouraged to perform a modal switch to rail transport if given the benefit of cheaper faresAll of the schemes were retained after privatisation, despite some threats of abolition.
By generating extra income at off-peak times when trains are less crowded, they offer a potential commercial benefit for the TOCs. Participation in the Young Persons and Disabled Persons Railcard schemes is mandatory for all TOCs under their franchise agreements. For the Network Railcard, which has a restricted geographical area, all TOCs in the relevant area are members of the scheme and participate in it; the revenue applicable to each TOC from the use of each Railcard is calculated by the Association of Train Operating Companies, voting rights and costs payable are attributed accordingly.7% of fare revenue is derived from travel using one of the Railcard schemes. This amounts to £400m, of which £60m is estimated by ATOC to be attributable to the existence of the Railcards – if they were not available, journeys to a total value of £60m per year would not be made by rail. 2,200,000 Railcards are in use at any one time in Britain. Many passengers qualify for more than one railcard; the main differences between the main railcard types are summarised below, although the terms and conditions are detailed in each case, so potential passengers are advised to check the links for each: This railcard costs £30.00, is available to anybody between the ages of 16 and 25 - a person may purchase one the day before their 26th birthday and use it up to their 27th.
Full-time students aged 26 or above may buy one. The standard discount on the full adult fare is 34%, to the nearest £0.05. No discounts are available for accompanying children. In addition, a minimum fare applies before 10:00 Monday to Friday. However, from 17 May 2009 the minimum fare changed to £12 regardless of whether it was a single or a return ticket bought. Although most discounted tickets become available after 09:30, the minimum fare of £12 is still charged until 10:00. During July and August the minimum fare rule does not apply. Tickets issued at the minimum fare bear the wording MIN. In the 2017 Autumn Budget the Chancellor Philip Hammond, confirmed that the'Millennial railcard' would extend the current benefits of the 16-25 Railcard to those aged up to 30 years old. 10,000 “digital railcards” became available to eligible people living in the Greater Anglia area a further 10,000 were made available nationwide on 13 March 2018. Due to the limited number of cards available, more people tried to access the 26-30 railcard website at once than the website could handle, thus became unresponsive leading to failed purchases, error messages or a lack of any loading whatsoever.
The railcard was launched on 2 January 2019 without a cap on the numbers allowed to buy it. It will only available via the Railcard app and there will not be a physical version of the card; this railcard costs £30.00, is available to anybody aged 60 or over. Applications must be supported by a valid birth certificate, passport or driving licence confirming the applicant's age. Up to the early 1990s, up to four accompanying children could travel for £1.00 each, the standard discount on the full adult fare was 50%. The railcard was known at that time as the Senior Citizen Railcard. In 1992, the "new" Senior Railcard was phased in. Again, not all ticket types qualify for a discount. Certain county councils or other local authorities subsidise Senior Railcards for their residents; this railcard costs £30.00, is available to anybody aged 16 or over. A second adult can be named as a co-holder. At least one adult and one child must travel in order to receive the discounts, which are: Adult: 34% off the full adult fare Child: 60% off the full child fare, subject to a minimum fare of £1.00The maximum group size is four adults and four children.
One of the adults in the group must always be the cardholder (or
Plusbus is an add-on ticket, which can be purchased with National Rail train tickets in the United Kingdom. It allows unlimited travel on participating bus and tram operators' services in the whole urban area of rail-served towns and cities; the Plusbus scheme was launched in October 2002 across an initial 35 railway stations. The scheme is administered by Journey Solutions, a not for profit partnership of bus operators Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead, National Express and Stagecoach, the Confederation of Passenger Transport and the Rail Delivery Group. Plusbus won the International Road Transport Union Eurochallenge Award in 2007 for its model of private partnership providing outstanding social and customer value. Plusbus is available in 290 towns and cities, London is a notable exception, it gives the rail traveller unlimited local bus travel around the whole urban area of the origin and/or destination town of their rail journey. It is not valid with train journeys made within town. Prices start from £2.50 for a day's travel, in addition to the rail fare.
Season tickets are available for most destinations. Railcard holders get one-third off Plusbus day ticket prices. Children get 50% off Plusbus day ticket prices. Plusbus tickets can be purchased with train tickets from all National Rail station ticket offices, by phone, through National Rail travel agents and selected self-service ticket machines. Over 200 bus and tram operators participate in Plusbus schemes across Britain. Tickets are sold by all train operating companies online and most third-party online rail ticket retailers. Issued in traditional paper format, some operators have facilitated its inclusion on their smart card platforms. Plusbus website
Rail transport is a means of transferring of passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails known as tracks. It is commonly referred to as train transport. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Tracks consist of steel rails, installed on ties and ballast, on which the rolling stock fitted with metal wheels, moves. Other variations are possible, such as slab track, where the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface. Rolling stock in a rail transport system encounters lower frictional resistance than road vehicles, so passenger and freight cars can be coupled into longer trains; the operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities. Power is provided by locomotives which either draw electric power from a railway electrification system or produce their own power by diesel engines.
Most tracks are accompanied by a signalling system. Railways are a safe land transport system. Railway transport is capable of high levels of passenger and cargo utilization and energy efficiency, but is less flexible and more capital-intensive than road transport, when lower traffic levels are considered; the oldest known, man/animal-hauled railways date back to the 6th century BC in Greece. Rail transport commenced in mid 16th century in Germany in the form of horse-powered funiculars and wagonways. Modern rail transport commenced with the British development of the steam locomotives in the early 19th century, thus the railway system in Great Britain is the oldest in the world. Built by George Stephenson and his son Robert's company Robert Stephenson and Company, the Locomotion No. 1 is the first steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825. George Stephenson built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use only the steam locomotives all the time, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830.
With steam engines, one could construct mainline railways, which were a key component of the Industrial Revolution. Railways reduced the costs of shipping, allowed for fewer lost goods, compared with water transport, which faced occasional sinking of ships; the change from canals to railways allowed for "national markets" in which prices varied little from city to city. The spread of the railway network and the use of railway timetables, led to the standardisation of time in Britain based on Greenwich Mean Time. Prior to this, major towns and cities varied their local time relative to GMT; the invention and development of the railway in the United Kingdom was one of the most important technological inventions of the 19th century. The world's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, opened in 1863. In the 1880s, electrified trains were introduced, leading to electrification of tramways and rapid transit systems. Starting during the 1940s, the non-electrified railways in most countries had their steam locomotives replaced by diesel-electric locomotives, with the process being complete by the 2000s.
During the 1960s, electrified high-speed railway systems were introduced in Japan and in some other countries. Many countries are in the process of replacing diesel locomotives with electric locomotives due to environmental concerns, a notable example being Switzerland, which has electrified its network. Other forms of guided ground transport outside the traditional railway definitions, such as monorail or maglev, have been tried but have seen limited use. Following a decline after World War II due to competition from cars, rail transport has had a revival in recent decades due to road congestion and rising fuel prices, as well as governments investing in rail as a means of reducing CO2 emissions in the context of concerns about global warming; the history of rail transport began in the 6th century BC in Ancient Greece. It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of track material and motive power used. Evidence indicates that there was 6 to 8.5 km long Diolkos paved trackway, which transported boats across the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece from around 600 BC.
Wheeled vehicles pulled by men and animals ran in grooves in limestone, which provided the track element, preventing the wagons from leaving the intended route. The Diolkos was in use for over 650 years, until at least the 1st century AD; the paved trackways were later built in Roman Egypt. In 1515, Cardinal Matthäus Lang wrote a description of the Reisszug, a funicular railway at the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Austria; the line used wooden rails and a hemp haulage rope and was operated by human or animal power, through a treadwheel. The line still exists and is operational, although in updated form and is the oldest operational railway. Wagonways using wooden rails, hauled by horses, started appearing in the 1550s to facilitate the transport of ore tubs to and from mines, soon became popular in Europe; such an operation was illustrated in Germany in 1556 by Georgius Agricola in his work De re metallica. This line used "Hund" carts with unflanged wheels running on wooden planks and a vertical pin on the truck fitting into the gap between the planks to keep it going the right way.
The miners called the wagons Hunde from the noise. There are many references to their use in central Europe in the 16th century; such a transport system was used by German miners at Cal
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
The Interrail Pass, is a rail pass available to European residents. Residents of countries outside Europe may purchase the Eurail Pass instead. Types of Interrail Pass include the Interrail Global Pass, the Interrail One Country Pass, the Interrail Premium Pass; the pass allows unlimited rail travel in all 31 participating countries for a certain period of time. High-speed trains and night trains require a paid seat reservation; the Interrail One Country Pass allows unlimited rail travel within one European country. Interrail passes are available to those who "are citizens or official residents from one of the countries of the European Union or one of the countries listed hereafter": Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Russian Federation, San Marino, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican City. Proof of citizenship may be identity card, or government-issued residency document. Interrail Passes four age categories: Child Pass: For unaccompanied travelers who are younger than 12 years old.
Children aged 4 to 11 years old can travel free with a full-fare adult, with a maximum of two children per Adult Pass. Youth Pass: For travelers who are 27 or under Adult Pass: For travelers over 27 years old Senior Pass: For travelers over 60 years old The Interrail Global Pass is valid in the following European countries: Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. Interrail Global Passes include ferry crossings from Patras and Igoumenitsa to Venice and Bari operated by Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries. Interrail passes are not valid on the countries of the former Soviet Union. There are no railways in Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Malta, or San Marino. L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre in France is the closest railway station for Andorra. Rimini, in Italy, is the closest station for San Marino; until the end of 2015, Interrail passes were not valid in the traveller's country of residence, although a discount was granted on journeys to or from the border.
On 1 January 2016, the pass became valid for two free journeys in the traveller's country of residence: one to and one from the border. The limit exists to prevent people from using Interrail for business travel; the Interrail Global Pass has the following lengths: 3 days within one month 5 days within one month 7 days within one month 10 days in one month 15 days in one month 15 days 22 days 1 month 2 months 3 months The One Country Pass allows unlimited travel on the rail network of one country, with unlimited journeys on each travel day. One-country passes are available for three, five, six, or eight travel days within one month for each of the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greek Islands, Great Britain, Ireland, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. There are no separate passes for Belgium and the Netherlands, but there is a Benelux pass, it is available to residents of Belgium and the Netherlands, but it is only valid in the two countries other than the country of residence.
With an Interrail pass, reservations are not required for local and regional trains. Surcharges are required in many countries to guarantee seat reservations and other benefits, such as meals, free Wi-Fi, access to first-class lounges; these reservations can be avoided by taking regional or local trains. Reservations may be made at the station, on the rail-company website, with the Rail Planner app, or at a travel agency. Many high-speed trains require reservation and, sometimes, an extra fee sold as a supplement or pass-holder fare: Eurostar require a seat-booking fee in standard class, plus a service fee for bookings made at a station or by phone. Thalys TGV, first or second class Trenitalia: Frecciabianca, Frecciarossa, first or second class. Reservations are recommended for intercity trains in Italy. AVE First and second class. Second-class reservation fees are charged on most other long-distance trains in Spain, such as Arco, Alvia and Altaria. ICE train reservations are available; the SJ high-speed train requires a reservation, booking two months in advance is recommended.
Some scenic trains have a panoramic coach. In addition to high-speed trains, many overnight trains require reservations for sleeping accommodations such as couchettes or sleeping cars. With Interrail's Flexi Global Pass, a direct overnight train leaving before midnight only uses one travel day. Although Interrail passes are valid only on national railway systems, some private rail systems offer free or discounted service (usually 2
Rail freight in Great Britain
The railway network in Great Britain has been used to transport goods of various types and in varying volumes since the early 19th century. Network Rail, which owns and maintains the network, aims to increase the amount of goods carried by rail. In 2015-16 Britain's railways moved 17.8 billion net tonne kilometres, a 20% fall compared to 2014-15. Coal accounted for 13.1% of goods transport in Britain, down from previous years. There are no goods transported by railway in Northern Ireland. In the 16th century, mining engineers used crude wooden rails to facilitate the movement of mine wagons steered by hand. In Nottingham, 1603, a tramway was constructed to transport coal from mines near Strelley to Wollaton. Horse-drawn lines were common by the 18th and early 19th centuries, chiefly to haul bulk materials from mines to canal wharves or areas of consumption; the world's first steam locomotive engine was demonstrated by Richard Trevithick in 1804. Steam powered rail freight operated on the Middleton Railway, near Leeds, long before any passenger services.
Many of the early railways of Britain carried goods, including the Stockton and Darlington Railway and the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The LMR was intended to carry goods between the Port of Liverpool and east Lancashire, although it subsequently developed as mixed passenger-goods railway; the network expanded as small private firms rushed to build new lines. Over the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries, these amalgamated or were bought by competitors until only a handful of larger companies remained; the Post Office began using letter-sorting carriages in 1838, the railway proved to be a much quicker and more efficient means of transport than the old mail coaches. It was estimated in 1832 that using the LMR to transport mail between the two cities reduced the expense to the government by two-thirds, it was much faster to send newspapers across Great Britain. The First World War was dubbed the "Railway War" at the time. Indeed, thousands of tonnes of munitions and supplies were distributed from all over Great Britain to ports in the South East of England for shipping to France and the Front Line.
Due to pre-war inefficiencies in the rail goods transport, a number of economisation programmes were needed to allow the railways to meet with the huge demand, being put on their services. The Common User Agreement for wagon usage and regulation of coal services through the Coal Transport Act of 1917 are examples of such programmes, which enabled better utilisation of railway assets across the industry; the success of such schemes was down to the collaboration of more than 100 railway companies, who abandoned the fierce competition of the pre-war years to work together in the national interest. In no sector was this more obvious than in rail goods transport. During the Second World War, vast quantities of materials were moved around Britain by rail. During the early stages of the war, goods trains ran to rural stations in Norfolk to enable airfields to be constructed. In 1944, 500 special trains ran every day on the network and over a million wagons were controlled by the government's Inter-Company Freight Rolling Stock Control organisation.
Beer was a major rail-hauled commodity, but switched to the improving road network. The complex network of brewery railways in Burton upon Trent became disused by 1970. Milk was transported by rail until the late 1960s; the last Milk Tank Wagons ran in 1981. Britain's railways were nationalised in 1947 including goods operations. Under the 1955 British Rail Modernisation Plan, massive investment was made in marshalling yards at a time when the use of small wagon load traffic with which they dealt was in steep decline. Railway freight services had been in steady decline since the 1930s because of the loss of the manufacturing industry and road haulage's cost advantage in combination with higher wages. By 1959 it was realised; the wagon load traffic lost £57 million on receipts of £105 million in 1961. Signal boxes would have to be manned 24 hours a day; the most rural stations transported goods in the form of postal services. The Beeching cuts included a reduction in freight services the marshalling yards, to concentrate on long distance bulk transport.
In contrast to passenger services, they modernised the goods sector, replacing inefficient wagons with containerised regional hubs. The industry today is similar to Dr Beeching's vision half a century ago. In the 1980s, British Rail was reorganised into "sectors" including four goods sectors: Trainload Freight took trainload goods Railfreight Distribution took non-trainload goods Freightliner took intermodal traffic Rail Express Systems took parcel trafficThe 1980s, however brought a huge down-turn in freight traffic, with the sector seen as irrelevant and without a future. In 1986, quarrying company Foster Yeoman prompted a turnaround in the reliability of rail freight by obtaining permission to run its own locomotives, importing the first four EMD class 59s; this design was developed into the class 66 which became used by EWS and other operators over a decade later. British Rail was privatised in the 1990s. Six freight operating companies were set up: Trainload goods was split into three geographical units: Mainline Freight in the south-east Load-Haul in the north-east Trans-Rail in the west Railfreight Distribution was sold to EWS in 1997 Rail Express Systems was sold