A matrix timetable for bus services in England in the 1940s and 1950s
The first compilation of railway timetables in the United Kingdom was produced in 1839 by George Bradshaw. Greater speeds and the need for more accurate timings led to the introduction of standard railway time in Great Western Railway timetables in 1840, when all their trains were scheduled to "London time", i.e. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which replaced solar time. Until railway time was introduced, local times for London, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester could differ by as much as 16 to 20 minutes; in India and North America these differences could be 60 minutes or more.
The European Rail Timetable, a compendium of the schedules of major European railway services, has been in publication since 1873 (appearing monthly since 1883). Originally, and for most of its history, it was published by Thomas Cook & Son and included Thomas Cook or Cook's in its title. Although Thomas Cook Group plc ceased publication in 2013, the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable was revived by a new company in early 2014 as simply the European Rail Timetable. From 1981 to 2010, Cook also produced a similar bi-monthly Overseas volume covering the rest of the world, and some of that content was moved into the European Timetable in 2011.