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Route Availability and ER (Great Eastern) Working Timetables



This section is still under development.


During the 1940s the LNER developed a system of classifying both its routes and locomotives to identify what could run where.   This was called Route Availability (RA) and was in general use on the LNER by late 1947.

In general terms the system was based on the maximum axle loading and the bending moments on bridge spans starting at 10 feet and incrementing by 5feet.   RA1 was the most restrictive and RA8 the least and so suitable for the heaviest locomotives, later the range was expanded to RA9.   Part 1 of the RCTS Green Bible has a section explaining it and is recommended for anyone who wishes to get a fuller description.   Various aspects of a line such as sharp curves or lack of bridges could influence the RA allocated to the line.   Similarly for locomotives the wheelbase could result in it being in a different group than suggested by the maximum axle loading.   Additionally the dimensions of a locomotive class could result in it being excluded from a route.

Towards the end of the 1950s the Section Working Timetables (WTT) for the Great Eastern part of the Eastern Region [ER(GE)] included a list of the lines in that section showing the RA of the lines plus any other restrictions or admissions and a listing of locomotives with their RA.   Part of this were a set of General Instructions, that from the Section L Passenger WTT for the period 15 September 1958 to 14 June 1959 is shown below.

RA information
From an original document in my collection.