Classification of UK Trains

Below is a table of the different classification of operational trains, and their speed limits.

Note that whilst postal trains are technically freight (unless carrying Royal Mail staff on board) they tend to be class “1” trains, which are signalled as Express Passenger.

The full classification of trains in the UK is…….

ClassTypeMax MPH
0Light engine60
Unless line speed 90mph or more, in which case 75mph
1Express passenger or Postal
2Local Passenger
3Parcels train
4Fully fitted freight train75
5Empty coaching stock
6Fully fitted freight train60
7Fully fitted freight train45
8Fully fitted freight train35
9aPartially fitted freight train35
9bUnfitted Freight Train25
Table of UK Train Classifications

In the modern era, Class 9 trains do not run anymore (e.g. every freight train is fully fitted), and with very few, if any vacuum braked wagons around, class 8’s may now only exist in the history books.

I only drive 1’s, 2’s and 5’s these days, but i have driven them all throughout my career, and i can say that on a class 9b, 25mph seems very fast indeed when approching a red signal downhill with 1500 tons pushing you, with only the locomotive brakes!

Author: Al

New town Edinburgher, turned Weegie. Discovered IT, loved IT, studied IT, worked IT, retired from IT, but still luvin' IT

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