How Much Does A Train Weigh? Freight, Engine, Locomotive, Car

How Much Does a Train Weigh?

Short Answer: A train weight can range anywhere between 4,000 tons (8,818,490 lbs) and 20,000 tons (44,092,452 lbs) or even more under some particular instances.

I am sure you have noticed the extremes of the above mentioned range, of how heavy a train is, that's mainly attributed to how many cars the locomotive is pulling.
Scroll down for the detailed study case.

How much does a train car weigh?

A train car weighs between 30-80 tons, with the passenger cars like sleepers, coaches being heavier than an empty freight car, read below for a more detailed answer.

how much does a train car weigh
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How did I calculate the average train weight?

A train consists of locomotives and cars, in some situations there can be up to 6-8 locomotives for one train, depending on the load and number of cars.

A train made out of 4 locomotives GE ES44AC, and 140 empty grain hopper cars would weigh about 5,188 tons or about 11,500,000 lbs. Where one GE ES44AC locomotive weights approximately 212 tons (468,000 lbs) and one empty grain hopper car about 31 tons (68,380 lbs).

The newer grain hopper cars can haul up to 100 tons (220,000 lbs) of wheat fully loaded, almost the same as for the coal cars, which would translate to approximately 130 tons (286,600 lbs) per car.

how much does a train weigh
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how much does a locomotive weigh
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So how much does a freight train weigh?

This train would weigh approximately 19,188 tons (42,328,754 lbs), out of which 848 tons (1,869,519 lbs) would be the total weight of the locomotives and 18,340 tons (40,432,778 lbs) the total weight of the loaded grain hopper cars.

How much does a train engine/locomotive weigh?

The average locomotive weights around 210-220 tons (465,000 - 480,000 lbs). Of course there are many types/models each with different weight, so let’s take some examples.

Above we mentioned that the GE ES44AC weighs 212 tons, but how much does the AC6000CW weigh? Answer between 212-216 tons.

What about the GE C44-9W engine? Answer: GE C44-9W weight about 198 tons.

You probably noticed a pattern, where most of the GE freight locomotives weigh around 200 tons, so you’re probably asking which are the lightest locomotives out there?

how much does a passenger train weigh
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Which are the lightest trains? How much does a passenger train weigh?

By reading the questions above, you’ve got the answer. The lightest trains are the passenger ones.

Why? Because of the load, and the train length.

Passenger trains are only around 10-25 cars long, where one empty car weighs between 68-72 tons and loaded not too much heavier, since carrying around 60 people, averaging 200lbs each (baggage included) would translate into 12,000 lbs or 5.5 tons (quite a difference comparing it with a carload of wheat, 100 tons).

As an example, AmTrak’s P32AC-DM weighs 274,400 lbs or approximately 124 tons. One Superliner Coach II car weighs 151,235 pounds (68 tons), the Superliner Sleeper II weighs 160,275 which is 72 tons.

So how much does a passenger train weigh?

Following the above mentioned specifications, assuming that the train has two locomotives and 14 cars, out of which half are Superliner Sleepers II (7 cars) and half Superliner Coach II(7) we reach the total weight of 1,228 tons empty and 1278 tons loaded with, 420 passenger in 7 Superliner Coach II and 140 passengers in Superliner Sleeper II.[source]

Of course we can add or subtract cars/locomotives, this should give you a general idea of how much a train weighs.

How much does a passenger locomotive/engine weigh?

As mentioned above, the Siemens P32AC-DM weighs 124 tons (274,400 lbs), the EMD F40PH used for passenger short-hauls routes by AmTrak weighs 117-127 tons, Siemens Charger weighs 120 lbs.

So a locomotive/engine used to haul passenger cars weighs between 115-125 tons.

How much does a train wheel weigh?

Since I started answering the question regarding the locomotive weight, I was thinking that I should answer these related questions. I am sure many of you guys are wondering how much does a train wheel weigh?
A train wheel also known as a rail wheel is a rolling component mounted directly on a railway carriage, most of them are cast or forged under heat for a specific toughness, made out of steel. The newest train wheels, used on most of the last generation locomotives/engines or cars are trued to a specific profile before pressed onto an axle.

So how much does it weigh? The answer is between 2425 - 2650 lbs, which would be about 1.1- 1.2 tons.

I hope this covered all your questions regarding the weight of a train, if you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask me in the comments section.

I also suggest you to read How much do locomotives cost? and How much torque does a train have?.

How much does a train weigh in kg?
A train weight in kgs (kilograms) is between 3,628,739 kg and 18,143,695 kg.
How much a train engine weight in kg?

A train engine also called locomotive, weighs between 190,509 to 200,000 kg.

How much does a steam locomotive weigh?

A steam locomotive can weigh anywhere between 165,800 lb or 75.5 tons and 1,200,000 lbs or 600 tons.

The first example is the Great Western Railway 6800 Class and the heaviest steam locomotive in the example is the Big Boy 4014 with the astonishing 1.2 million lbs weight.

Are you interested in becoming a railroad worker? Curious about a train conductor salary? We try to cover all the topics you might be interested in. Let us know in the comments section if we missed something.