A national railway system can be analyzed as a collection of regional sub-systems joined by an inter-regional trunk network. A major weakness of the British railway system, as developed in Victorian Britain, was that it failed to generate coherent regional sub-systems. This was because most regions were served both by an established company and a competitive invader. Each company operated its own network and the established company sought to inhibit the interchange of traffic between them. Thus, although competition at the regional level produced a relatively high density of lines, duplication was rife and network connectivity was poor.
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