Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A heritage railway or a preserved railway is a term used, especially in Great Britain, for a railway which is run as a tourist attraction and is usually but not always run by volunteers, and seeks to re-create railway scenes of the past. They may be operated in concert with area museums (particularly transport museums).
Heritage railways are usually railway lines which were once run as proper commercial railways, but were later no longer needed, or were closed down, and were taken over or re-opened by volunteers.
Heritage railways often have limited service, only operating at times when volunteers are available to run the trains. However, some lines operate in regular service and provide a valuable transportation option to the community while also attracting tourists. This is becoming popular in the United States, where several heritage streetcar (tram) lines are being put in place alongside modern light rail systems. Additionally, many heritage streetcar lines turn out to be much more economical than their modern counterparts, often with installations that go in at a fraction of the cost of newer lines (though there are trade-offs).
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