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Public-images-osm logo.svg loading_gauge
Osm element key.svg
Used to show what freight wagons can go on a track. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Railways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: de facto

Loading gauge information taken from NESA.

Loading Gauge is a description of what freight can go on a track. The maximum height and width for railway vehicles and their loads to ensure safe passage through bridges, tunnels and other structures

More information can be found [1] and [2]. To save space it's best to separate the different types by commas: "loading_gauge"="W6A", "loading_gauge"="W8, W10", "loading_guage"="W8, W12" or "loading_guage"="W8, W10, W12".

NOTE: W7 supersedes W6A and W8 supersedes W7. However, grades can be confusing after W8.

W6a: Available over the majority of the British rail network.

W8: Allows standard 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) high shipping containers to be carried on standard wagons.

W9: Allows 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in) high Hi-Cube shipping containers to be carried on "Megafret" wagons which have lower deck height with reduced capacity. At 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) wide it allows for 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) wide Euro shipping containers which are designed to carry Euro-pallets efficiently

W10: Allows 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in) high Hi-Cube shipping containers to be carried on standard wagons and also allows 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) wide Euro shipping containers.[19] Larger than UIC A.

W11: Little used but larger than UIC B.

W12: Slightly wider than W10 at 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) to accommodate refrigerated containers. Recommended clearance for new structures, such as bridges and tunnels.

UIC GC: Channel Tunnel and Channel Tunnel Rail Link to London; with proposals to enable GB+ northwards from London via an upgraded Midland Main Line.

A strategy was adopted in 2004 to guide enhancements of loading gauges and in 2007 the freight route utilisation strategy was published which identified a number of key routes where the loading gauge should be cleared to W10 standard and that where structures are being renewed that W12 is the preferred standard.

Height and width of containers that can be carried on GB gauges (Height by width). Units as per source material.

Special Circumstances (Asterisk)

Loading gauges with a star (*) after it indicates that only certain matching that gauge, and within specified dimensions are permitted on that route. loading_gauge:maxheight and loading_gauge:maxwidth are used to specify the restrictions (in mm).

For example, a way rated "W6A, W7, W8*" means all W6A and W7 trains are allowed by only W8 trains that fit within maxheight and maxwidth.