Route Availability

London Midland Region
General Notes

The information contained in this publication, and the Freight Train Loads Book dated 5th May 1969, supersedes all details contained in BR29947/2 diesel and electric locomotive route availability booklet issued by Line Managers Derby, Crewe and Manchester dated June 1965.

The route availability grouping for locomotives is set out in the Freight Train Loads Book, or Section 6 of the Working Manual for Rail Staff BR30054/6, the appropriate route availability group being shown against each section of line in the tables for class 8 trains. Attention of all concerned is drawn to the contents of this route availability publication which lists, in the same order as the Freight Train Loads Book, the sections of line where additional prohibitions, speed restrictions or additional authorities exist for the movement of locomotives.

Appendix G of the Freight Train Loads Book preamble, lists all locomotives by class but for convenience this information is repeated in Table 1a and Table 1b of this publication. The classes of locomotives are also grouped together in Table 2 to give easy reference to types with common route availability. The classification consists of a series of route availability group numbers ranging from 1 to 10. All locomotives placed in a group, up to and including the route group in which a line is placed, may work over the section of line (e.g. if a section of line is shown in the Freight Train Loads Book as 5, all locomotives in groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are permitted to work over it subject to any prohibitions, speed restrictions or additional authorities shown herein).

Unless otherwise shown in this publication, or any other, the route availability permissions given in the Freight Train Loads Book apply to any number of locomotives up to a maximum of 5 coupled together.

The general route availability grouping given in the Freight Train Loads Book, together with the authorities and restrictions shown in this publication, applies to running lines only, except that in certain cases restrictions are included over sidings and bridges. All locomotives are prohibited from working over coal drops or tips, unless special permission has been given.

The working of locomotives to sidings, main platform lines, loading docks and cattle docks must continue to conform to past practice; in cases of doubt or difficulty, the question must be raised with the Movements Manager.

Where an instruction is shown between two points it applies in both directions. All entries refer to both right and wrong direction movements unless otherwise shown.

A locomotive fitted with Western Region type AWS apparatus may only travel with a shoe in the operative position over routes where this has been specially authorised.

All cases where locomotives have a pair of wheels removed or lifted and require to travel to the shops, or maintenance depots, are to be referred to the Chief Civil Engineer for consent and conditions of passage.


To ascertain the route availability of locomotives the following procedure must be observed on all occasions:

  1. Find route availability group and class of locomotive to be used.
  2. Ascertain route availability group number of route by reference to appropriate page in class 8 loads tables of Freight Trains Loads Book (or Extracts).
  3. Confirm from route availability publication, Section A, any restrictions applicable to ALL LOCOMOTIVES over the route to be used.
  4. If locomotive fitted with W.R. type A.W.S., with contact shoe in operative position, refer to appropriate instructions contained on page 5 to ascertain if route to be used has been cleared for passage of this equipment.
  5. Ascertain from Section B of route availability publication if any prohibitions, speed restrictions or additional authorities, are applicable to the class of locomotive to be used.