Locomotives of India - The Classification Syntaxes

The Classification Syntaxes

The first letter (gauge)

  • W-Indian broad gauge (The "W" Stands for Wide Gauge - 5 Feet 6 inches)
  • Y-metre gauge (The "Y" stands for Yard Gauge - 3 Feet or 1000mm)
  • Z-narrow gauge(2 ft 6 in)
  • N-narrow gauge (2 ft)

The second letter (motive power)

  • D-Diesel
  • C-DC electric (can run under DC traction only)
  • A-AC electric (can run under AC traction only)
  • CA-Both DC and AC (can run under both AC and DC tractions), 'CA' is considered a single letter
  • B-Battery electric locomotive (rare)

The third letter (job type)

  • G-goods
  • P-passenger
  • M-mixed; both goods and passenger
  • S-Used for shunting (Also known as switching engines or switchers in United states and some other countries)
  • U-Electric multiple units (used as commuters in city suburbs)
  • R-Railcars

For example, in "WDM 3A":

  • "W" means broad gauge
  • "D" means diesel motive power
  • "M" means suitable for mixed(for both goods and passenger)service
  • "3A" means the locomotive's power is 3,100 hp ('3' stands for 3000 hp, 'A' denotes 100 hp more)

Or, in "WAP 5":

  • "W" means broad gauge
  • "A" mean AC electric traction motive power
  • "P" means suitable for Passenger service
  • "5" denotes that this locomotive is chronologically the fifth electric locomotive model used by the railways for passenger service.

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