List of British Rail classes

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A wide variety of Locomotives and Multiple units have been operated on Great Britain's railway network. This page lists every locomotive and multiple unit allocated a TOPS classification and all modern traction (e.g. diesel, electric, gas, petrol) stock used on the mainline network since 1948 (i.e British Rail and post-privatisation). It excludes coaching stock, modern traction used prior to 1948 and steam locomotives used prior to 1968. Links to lists of these types can be found at the bottom of the page.

British Locomotive and Multiple Unit Numbering and Classification explains in full the numbering and classification system used on this page. In brief, from 1968 British Rail classified its locomotives and multiple units using the TOPS system. Locomotives were given two-digit class numbers, and Multiple units three-digit numbers. Similar types were allocated blocks within the range, e.g. 01-69 for diesel locomotives, 70-79 for DC electric and electro-diesel locomotives, and 80-96 for AC electric and multi-voltage locomotives.

Diesel locomotives

The 1955 diesel locomotive classes are given in brackets where applicable.


A large number of different shunter types were purchased by British Rail and its predecessors, many of which were withdrawn prior to the introduction of TOPS. The table below attempts to list the different types and the different classifications used to describe them as clearly as possible:

Small shunters under 350 hp (261 kW)

TOPS Class 1948 Class 1955 Class 1962 Class 1948 Numbers 1957 Numbers
52 hp (39 kW) 11104
DY1 D1/1 1/15 11500-11502 D2950-D2952
Class 01 DY2 D1/2 1/12 11503-11506 D2953-D2956
DY5 D1/3 1/16 11507-11508 D2957-D2958
Class 02 D1/4 1/17 D2850-D2869
DY11 D2/1 2/4A 11700-11707 D2700-D2707
Class 03 DJ15 D2/2 2/1 11187-11211 D2000-D2199, D2370-D2399
Class 04 DJ12 D2/3 2/13A 11100-03, 11105-15 D2200-D2214
DJ12/1 D2/4 2/13 11121-35, 11149-60, 11212-29 D2215-D2273
DJ12/2 D2/13 2/13 D2274-D2341
DJ14 D2/5 2/12A 11177-11186 D2400-D2409
D2/7 2/14 11116-20, 11144-48 D2500-D2509
Class 05 DJ13 D2/8 2/15A 11136-43, 11161-76 D2550-D2573
DJ13/2 D2/9 2/15 D2574-D2618
Class 06 D2/6 2/12 D2410-D2444
DY11 D2/10 2/4 11708-11719 D2708-D2719
2/4B D2720-D2780
D2/11 2/2 D2999/D9998
D2/12 2/14A D2510-D2519
Class 07 2/16 D2985-D2998
250hp 13000
D3/1 3/4 D2900-D2913

Large shunters 350 hp (261 kW) and over

TOPS Class 1948 Class 1955 Class 1962 Class 1948 Numbers 1957 Numbers
Class 08 DEJ4 D3/2 3/1 13000-13366 excl.: D3000-D4192 excl.:
Class 09 D3665-71, D3719-21, D4099-D4114
D3/3 3/1B 13117-13126 D3117-D3126
Class 10 DEJ5 D3/4 3/1C 13137-13151 D3137-51, D3439-53, D3473-D3502, D3612-51, D4049-94
DEJ6 D3/5 3/1D 13152-13166 D3152-D3166
D3/6 12000-12002
D3/7 3/8 12003-12032
Class 11 DEJ3 D3/8 3/8A 12033-12138
DEJ1 D3/9 3/10 15000-15003
D3/10 3/11A 15100
D3/11 3/11 15101-15106
360hp 15107
D3/12 3/9A 15201-15203
Class 12 D3/13 3/9 15211-15236
DEJ2 D3/14 3/2 15004
500hp 11001
Class 13 7/1 D4501-D4502
Class 14 6/1 D9500-D9555

Type 1s

TOPS Classes

Pre-1955 Classes

Type 2s

File:31271 'Stratford 1840-2001' at York Railfest.JPG
Class 31 no. 31271 at York. This locomotive is preserved at the Midland Railway Butterley, but is currently on loan to the Nene Valley Railway.

Type 3s

TOPS classes

Pre-TOPS Classes

Type 4s

TOPS Classes

Pre-1955 Classes

Type 5s

Electric locomotives

DC electric locomotives

TOPS Classes

Pre-TOPS Classes

AC electric locomotives

Miscellaneous locomotives




Gas turbine

Builders' demonstrators

These were locomotives built and owned by private firms, but used by British Rail to test them.

Diesel multiple units (DMUs)

1st generation "heritage" DMUs

File:56208 and 51935 at Bewdley.JPG
Preserved Class 108 DMU nos. 56208 and 51935 on the Severn Valley Railway.

TOPS classes

Pre-TOPS Classes

2nd generation DMUs





Diesel Desiro

Diesel-electric multiple units (DEMUs)

Main article: Diesel-electric multiple unit

These units had electric transmission (as opposed to mechanical or hydraulic).

Southern Region DEMUs

The Southern Region of British Rail, used single letter codes to classify their DEMU classes.

Western Region Prototype DEMU

Voyager-style Express DEMUs

High speed trains

Electric multiple units (EMUs)

British Rail operated a wide variety of electric multiple units.

  • AC units operated off 25 kV AC from overhead wires. Where clearances for the overhead wires on the Great Eastern and London, Tilbury & Southend routes were below standard, a reduced voltage of 6.25 kV AC was used. The Midland Railway units used 6.6 kV AC. Under the computer numbering, AC units (including mixed-voltage units that can also work off a DC supply) were given a Class in the range 300-399.
  • DC units operated off 650-850 V DC from a third rail on the Southern Region and North London, Merseyside and Tyneside networks. The Manchester-Bury line used 1200 V DC from a side contact third rail. The Manchester South Junction & Altrincham and "Woodhead" routes used 1500 V DC from overhead wires. Under the computer numbering, DC units were given a Class in the range 400-599.

AC EMUs and mixed-voltage EMUs

First generation

File:312718 and 312721 at Kirby Cross.JPG
First Great Eastern Class 312 units nos. 312718 and 312721 at Kirby Cross.

Second generation

File:357036 at Southend Central.jpg
c2c Class 357 no. 357036 at Southend Central.



Southern Region Units

The Southern Railway and its successor, the Southern Region of British Rail, used three letter codes to classify their DC EMU fleets, as shown after the TOPS class numbers.

TOPS Classes

Pre-TOPS classes

Other DC units

The 500 series classes were reserved for those DC EMUs not from the Southern Region. This included the DC lines in North London, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The DC electric network around Tyneside had been de-electrified by the time TOPS was introduced and the old stock withdrawn or transferred to the Southern Region.

TOPS classes

Pre-TOPS classes

Battery electric multiple unit

This was a one-off unit, withdrawn before the introduction of TOPS.

Departmental multiple units

The 900 series classes were reserved for multiple units in departmental stock, most of which were converted from old passenger units. In broad terms, classes 930-935 were allocated to Southern Region multiple units (ex-200 and 400 series), 936 & 937 to other EMUs (ex-300 and 500 series) and 960 to other DMUs (ex-100 series). In recent years, this has been less rigidly adhered to.

Diesel multiple units

Gas turbine multiple unit

Electric Multiple Units

The original use for the Southern Region (SR) classes are included in brackets; these designations have been less rigidly applied in recent years.

See also

External links