Locomotive numbering system of the Czech railways and Railways of Slovak republic
The old numbering was officially used up to 31.December 1987 and
invented in 1921 by Mr.Kryspin, chief-engineer of locomotive
factory Prvni Ceskomoravska Praha (todays CKD Praha).
It was rather clever, included lot of characteristics
of the loco, although sometimes the characteristics had to be
round or it wasn't possible to express exactly too high or too low datas.
The old numbering had the form such as T 478 3049,
the narrow gauge units numbering hadn't the second number - for
example TU 47 009 - the second number (here 7) take as the third
number of this numbering system. The old numbers are very rarely
seen on present used locomotives, but still used for steam and
another museum units, although they have officially also the new
- E: Electric locomotives DC
- M: Diesel motor coaches
- N: Middle cars in EMUs
- R: Steering coaches of EMUs
- S: Electric locomotives AC
- T: Diesel locomotives
- U: Narrow gauge unit, connected with another letter(s), such
as TU, EMU or alone, if it's steam loco
- EM: Electric-motor coaches of DC EMUs
- SM: Electric-motor coaches of AC EMUs
- ES: Electric locomotives two-current
- without the letter : Steam locomotives
The number plus 3, ten times = maximal speed of the unit.
For example : 387 043 - second digit is 8 : (8+3)x10=110
On the narrow gauge units - with letter U - this number was
- Normal gauge and wide gauge units : The number plus 10 = weight per one axle (including
- Narrow gauge units : The number means weight per
- 8 : wide gauge unit
- 9 : earlier private loco, later not used
- the others - differing of various locos with the same
5th, 6th and 7th digit
Serial number, starting with 001 for Czech railways units,
starting with 501 for private (mostly industrial) units, starting
with 901 for private (also mostly industrial) units, with access
to Czech railways' network. Some not so numerous classes (mostly
steam) used only two digits.
Numbering of tenders
Number plus 3 = capacity of coal reservoir in cubic meters.
2nd and 3rd digit
Both digits together = capacity of water reservoir in cubic meters.
Differing of various tenders with the same 1.-3.number
5th,6th and 7th digit
Serial number, starting with 001
Effective 1.January 1988 the Czechoslovak railways use a common
numbering system of type 000 000-0 for their locomotives and
railcars, while the same serial numbers are used.
Opposite to the old numbering, only the 1st number determines
some technical characteristic of the unit.
Since 1996 this numbering is used also for cars with independent heating,
which are mostly pulled by diesel motor coaches, but connected by ordinary
couples, while these cars were removed to locomotives depots.
After Czechoslovakia separating this numbering were taken over
both by Czech railways and Railways of Slovak republic.
The numbers can be extended to international numbers later, by
adding a sequence such as 90 85 0 at the left, by this time it's
already used on electric class 372, but only by small writing,
on the side of the body.
- 0: Middle cars in EMUs and cars with independent heating,
- 1: Electric locomotives DC
- 2: Electric locomotives AC
- 3: Electric locomotives two-current
- 4: Electric-motor coaches of DC EMUs
- 5: Electric-motor coaches of AC EMUs
- 6: Electric-motor coaches of two-current EMUs
- 7: Diesel locomotives
- 8: Diesel motor coaches
- 9: Steering coaches, except series 990-999 (steam locos, see later)
Officially doesn't mean any characteristic, only the generation or construction
group of the loco. For example loco classes 163, 263, 363 are very similar
construction, only for different current systems. Or 943 is steering coach and 043 middle coach
of similar construction as motor coach 843, determined to used together.
According to its real use, it's possible to divide it such as this (with some exceptions) :
- if 1st digit = 1,2,3,7 : 0,1 : leight weight locos used
for shunting or local trains service, 2,3 : 4 axles locos for freight trains,
4,5,6 : 4 axles universal or fast trains locos, 7,8 : 6 axles freight locos
- if 1st digit = 0,4,5,6,8,9 : 0--8 : generation of the unit, possible to say -
higher number = larger unit (longer, faster, stronger,...),
if 1st digit = 0,4,5,6,8 : 9 : maintenance units,
but now renumbered, while they have been assigned to another part of Czech railways
(for example 892 013 is now MVTV 2 013).
The 3rd digit only differs locos of similar generation or
construction. Sometimes it's the same as 4th number in old
numbering of the same unit, for example E 669 1 = 181, E 669 2 =
182, E 669 3 = 183.
4th, 5th and 6th digit
- 001--599 : serial number, starting with 001. Some numerous
classes where is need of serial number higher than 599 use also
higher serial numbers (781 600, 810 up to 810 678).
- 401--599 : used for private (mostly industrial) locos, which
have access to Czech railways' network. What I know, series
401--499 it's used only for class 740, which isn't owned by Czech
railways, series 501--599 is used also for another classes, which
are not so numerous and theirs highest serial number on Czech
railways isn't higher
than 499 (mostly classes 730, 742).
- 601--699 : units owned by another parts of Czech railways (such as
maintenance, infrastructure division)
- 801-899 : wide-gauge loco (used only on Slovakia)
- 901-949 : 760 mm narrow-gauge loco
- 951-999 : 1000 mm narrow-gauge loco
The new numbering is used for steam locos only in service
documentation in normal traffic, but all museum locos - all steam
included - are marked and presented by the old numbering.
1st and 2nd digits = 99
- 0 : 2 or 3 driving axles locos without tender, owned by Czech railways
- 1 : 4 driving axles locos without tender, owned by Czech railways
- 2 : 5 driving axles locos without tender, owned by Czech railways
- 3 : 3 driving axles locos with tender, owned by Czech railways
- 4 : 4 driving axles locos with tender, owned by Czech railways
- 5 : 5 driving axles locos with tender, owned by Czech railways
- 6 : probably 6 driving axles locos with tender, owned by Czech
railways. Not used.
- 7 : locos not owned by Czech railways, but with right
to dispose of this loco
- 8 : locos not owned by Czech railways, the owner has
right to dispose of this loco
- 9 : locos hired by Czech railways
4th, 5th and 6th digit
Mostly serial number, except some special cases:
- 6 : ?
- 7 : normal gauge loco with oil heating
- 8 : normal gauge rack loco
- 9 : narrow gauge loco
Valid both for typical and steam locos.
Multiply the digits 6th to 1st alternately by 2 and 1. If some
result number has two digits, take them separately. Add the
digits of the results. Subtract the resulting number
from the nearest higher multiple of 10 : this is the control digit.
Example : motor coach class 820 116
| 1x8 ||2x2 || 1x0 || || 2x1
|| 1x1 || 2x6|
| 8 || 4 || 0 || || 2 || 1 ||12|
| 8 +|| 4 + ||0 + ||2 + ||1 +|| 1 +2||=18|
20 - 18 = 2 = control digit =>> 820 116-2