Loading Gauge intro

The loading gauge represents the maximum width and height to which a rolling stock, namely, a locomotive, coach, or wagon, can be built or loaded. Sometimes, a loading gauge is also used for testing loaded and empty vehicles as per the maximum moving dimensions prescribed for the section. In Indian Railways, the maximum height and width of rolling stock prescribed as per the loading gauge are given in Table 2.4.

Table 2.4 Maximum dimensions of rolling stock on Indian Railways


Maximum height of rolling stock

Maximum width of rolling stock


4140 mm (13' 7" )

3250 mm (10'8" )


3455 mm (11' 4" )

2745 mm (9'0")

In order to ensure that the wagons are not overloaded, a physical barrier is made by constructing a structure as per the profile of the loading gauge (see Fig. 2.2). This structure consists of a vertical post with an arm from which a steel arc is suspended from the top. The function of this structure is to ensure that the topmost and the widest portion of the load will clear all structures such as bridges and tunnels, etc. along the route.

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