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!

Model Rail Useful Links



Rails of Sheffield

Producers of Rolling Stock




Rapido Trains

Revolution Trains


Greenock Model Rail Club




Brassmasters Suppliers of kits, accessories and detailing kits, as well as parts which complement the Scalescenes range of buildings

Dart Castings – manufacture and supply miniature figures and scenic accessories, made from etched brass and cast white metal, in the Dart Castings, Monty’s Models and Shire Scenes product ranges along with model railway vehicle detailing parts in the MJT Scale Components range.

Foamex Apparently very good for building scenic buildings etc

Fox Transfers – waterslide transfers, etched products and vinyl stickers.

Harburn Hobbies

Lanarkshire Models & Supplies

Precision Labels – a similar offering to Fox Transfers above.

Scalescenes Downloadable, printable, and customisable kits of a variety of buildings for use on many scales of layout.

Shawplan – locomotive names plates and etching details


Ten Commandments

West Hill Wagon Works – suppliers of Hunt couplings, as well layout accessories, scenics for workshop & depot, lineside, station platform, figures, locomotive drivers and parts.

DCC Digital Decoders

DCCex Homespun DCC using Raspberry Pi and Arduino

DCC with Python DCC automation with Python – RPi – Hornby Elite

ESU DCC and Loksound decoders

Trains Specific Information

Rail Online – the UK’s largest online railway photograph library for your prototype photographs

Class 24/25/26 – DerbySulzers (also includes pics and info of other classes here)

BR Database

Music Recommendations 2022

If you’re musically fluid, you might be interested in, care of the music discovery and cataloging site Discogs, new music similar to the albums you know and love. Fans of 2022’s most celebrated releases can explore handpicked recommendations rooted in genres, artistic influences, collaborations, and melodic affinity.

The Chronological Order of Isaac Asimov Books

Now that I’m actively out of employment, I have time to read books – I did have the time before, but precious “me time” and life’s priorities meant that making time for books was lower down the pecking order.

These days I also find myself re-reading some books that I read when I wore a younger man’s clothes. Usually this is because I intend to complete trilogies/series of books for which I’d only read the first novel.

Recent examples of the latter are, in 2022, reading the nine book series of The Expanse. Before embarking on this epic read, I’d just completed watching the final season of Amazon’s Prime Video series of The Expanse and can say, as is usually the case, that the books are better … ‘though the TV series is nonetheless very good, even despite the odd patch of wooden acting and stilted dialog.

Prior to that, in 2021, I read Frank Herbert’s Dune. Mind you, only the original trilogy and NOT the other 22 books which, in my opinion, flog an original concept to death.

In the same vein, in 2023, I intend to read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series of books. This started off as a trilogy, but was subsequently expanded by the author and then, following his death, other high profile sci-fi authors doffed their cap by inserting their inclusions into the Foundation timeline.

I expect the Foundation books to be a very different experience from the aforementioned Expanse novels, simply because The Expanse was written by an author as a complete, one after the other, end-to-end epic, with each subsequent book starting either days/weeks/months/years/decades after the previous installment, but nonetheless tied together in terms of literary style, characters, storylines etc.

Similar to The Expanse, Apple TV have also serialised the Foundation books. Thankfully, mid-20th century misogynistic world-views have been updated with some previously male characters being replaced by women. In fact, I can’t recall women ever being mentioned in Asimov books – I think everybody was based on wholesome, white, middle class 1950s Americans!

Story Arc of Asimov’s Universe

Some digging about was required, but the story arc of Asimov’s universe can be presented in the order shown below. However, for the OCD completionists out there, it should be noted there are the following omissions…

  • Between the first two entries (The End of Eternity and I, Robot), the young reader orientated series of six books featuring space ranger David Starr.
  • Between the third and fourth Robot novels (The Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire), the four book Robot Mystery series by Robert Tiedemann and Alexander Irvine.
  • Between the fourth Robot novel and the first Empire novel (Robots and Empire and The Stars, Like Dust), the Caliban trilogy by Robert McBride Allen

1 The main protagonist in this novel, Andrew Harlan, decided against Eternity Inc. and their constant change of the timeline. By so doing, he set in motion the necessary conditions that will eventually lead humanity to colonise space. In fact, in Foundation’s Edge, Dom tells the story (somewhat distorted by time) of the Eternals to Perolat and Trevize.


2 The first robot short stories collection, which were all included in The Complete Robot, though it also contains binding text (Mind and Iron), no longer in The Complete Robot.


3 A collection of thirty-one robot short stories published between 1940 and 1976.


4 Robot short stories. Anthologized in a book with the same title.


5 Robot short stories. Anthologized in a book with the same title.


6 Co-written with Robert Silverberg, this robot novel is based on Asimov’s short story The Bicentennial Man


7 The first of the Robot novels (as opposed to what had, up until now, had been short stories)


8 The second of the Robot novels.


9 The third Robot novel.



0The fourth Robot novel.



1 The first of the Empire novels.



2 The second Empire novel.



3 The third Empire novel, albeit the first novel to be published.




The first Foundation novel.




Part of the second Foundation trilogy, penned by Gregory Benford.




The second Foundation novel, although it is, chronologically, the last written.



7 Part of the second Foundation trilogy, written by Greg Bear.



8 Part of the second Foundation trilogy, written by David Brin.



9The third Foundation novel. It as actually a collection of four stories, originally published between 1942 and 1944, plus an introductory section written for the book in 1949. Published in 1955, and slightly abridged, as part of an Ace Double paperback with the title The 1000-Year Plan.



0 The fourth Foundation novel, made up of two stories, originally published in 1945. Published in 1952 as an Ace paperback with the title The Man Who Upset the Universe.



1 The fifth Foundation novel, made up of two stories, originally published in 1948 and 1949.



2 The sixth Foundation novel.



3 The seventh Foundation novel.