Classification of Railway Locomotives and multiple units in Malaysia.

               The current classification system was adopted by the then Malayan Railway in the 1940s and was originally as follows:

10-14 Diesel railcar trailers.
15-19 Diesel shunting locomotives.
20-24 Diesel main line locomotives.
25-29 Steam & Diesel railcars (motor cars).
30-39 Steam shunting locomotives.
40-49 Steam tank locomotives for main line work.
50-99 Steam tender locomotives.

 Note that numbers 1-9 were not used.

                Due to the phasing out of steam and introduction of electric traction the above system has altered over time. The original steam railcars were classes 25 and 26, while the diesel railcars were classes 27 and 28. Classes 25 and 26 are now used for main line diesel locomotives while the electric multiple units are all in class 8.

               All the above classes have sub-classes for different manufacturers or batches of locomotives/units. These use the numbers 1-9. Finally each locomotive or car is assigned an individual running number of 2 digits.

               As an example, there are 2 batches of the class 25 locomotive. The first batch of 12 is numbered 25101 to 25112 and the second batch is 25201 to 25205. There were 3 batches of EMU delivered in the 1990s for the KTM Komuter system all were classified as 8 with sub-classes of 1, 2 & 3. The cars with driving cabs have a prefix C while the trailer cars have a prefix T. The numbers of the individual cars are thus C8101-C8136, T8101-T8118, C8201-C8244, T8201-T8222, C8301-C8344 & T8301-T8322. These numbers are carried on either side of the cars. In addition each multiple unit has a unique number on each end, the class 8/1 being EMU01-EMU18, class 8/2 EMU41-EMU62 & class 8/3 EMU19-EMU40.

                Multiple units are made up of individual motor cars and trailer cars. In general steam railcars had a motor car with a steam engine in a compartment at one end and they were able to haul extra trailer cars or goods wagons if required. Diesel multiple units tended to have a motorised car at either end with trailer cars in between. Electric multiple units tend to have powered axles or bogies on some or all the cars that make up the unit, as do modern diesel multiple units. Multiple units normally run in fixed formations of 2 or more cars with a driving cab at either end of the formation. If longer trains are required 2 or more multiple units can be joined together.

               The electric multiple units of the Malaysian Komuter system are 3-car fixed formation units that normally run in pairs, making a total of 6 cars. This would give a total train length of around 400 feet.