What can I find the oldest train in the UK still operating regularly, and the train(s) is/are operated for common service but not solely for tourist attraction?

And which route(s) are they serving?

  • 3
    @gmauch i mean trains used for normal service, not designated for tourist spot.
    – Him
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:34
  • 11
    I'm pretty sure they aren't actually the oldest, but travelling by Northern Rail often makes you feel like you're in a historic artefact.
    – CMaster
    Jul 8, 2015 at 12:04
  • 4
    @CMaster I think those are escaped buses... They apparently date from the 80s, they're just well past their initial lifespan :/
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 8, 2015 at 12:56
  • 3
    @gmauch. Makes sense to me. If you're interested in trains (many people are!) and want a "real" experience, you want to know which old trains are running standard scheduled services, not tourist trails.
    – TRiG
    Jul 8, 2015 at 15:41
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it needs to be word-smithed better to show a connection to travel
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 8, 2015 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


Note that this answer was perfectly correct when written but the trains to which it refers have been replaced with the 484 series built in the mid-1970s. The link to the Wikipedia entry to which this answer refers has now been updated to reflect that.


I believe that the oldest ones in service right now are on the Island Line on the Isle of Wight, which is part of the South West Trains franchise. Not to be confused with the Isle of Wight Stream Railway, the Island Line is a regular part of the UK rail network run as normal services.

Because of the low ceiling of the Ryde Tunnel, the Island Line has a much smaller loading gauge than the rest of the UK mainline rail network, so has to use different trains. Today, those are the class 483, which are refurbished 1938 London Underground trains!

As explained in the wikipedia article on the trains

The stock is around 75 years old, making it the oldest type in Great Britain to remain in regular service

And they look like this, in their current (returned to historic) colour scheme:

cc-by photo from widnes_road from www.flickr.com/photos/widnes_road/16569159135

  • Why didn't you mention the Bakerloo Line?
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 8, 2015 at 15:25
  • 1
    The Bakerloo Line is all run with 1972 stock though, isn't it, so 40 years newer newer than the Island line trains?
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 8, 2015 at 15:28
  • 5
    The Bakerloo line just seems like it's 70 years old ;)
    – Calchas
    Jul 8, 2015 at 18:05
  • Those trains are spring chickens! They're only 43 years old... And older than the northern pacers which CMaster is such a fan of ;-)
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 8, 2015 at 21:36

It may be touristy, but has regular scheduled operation: the Snaefell Mountain Railway on the Isle of Man.

  • 2
    If that counts, then the Hythe Pier train may be the oldest. The locomotives were built in 1917 (the carriages may be older), and are primarily used by commuters using the ferry, though I'm sure the odd tourist uses it too. Jul 20, 2015 at 19:50

I was speaking to a guard at Brighton station about how stinky the coastal trains are, and he told me that Old Blue is the oldest train in the country in use today. I'm riding it to work today.

  • Does it look like this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_303?
    – Traveller
    Aug 26, 2022 at 6:01
  • If the wikipedia articles covering train lines around Brighton are up-to-date, it seems that the Class 313 is the oldest rolling stock in use there, built in 1976.
    – Chris H
    Aug 26, 2022 at 6:34
  • Wikipedia is a thoroughly unreliable source. Look up what happened to the Scottish Wikipedia -- and never use it again for anything again but as a starting point for research but be mindful of citogenesis.
    – user4188
    Aug 26, 2022 at 18:35
  • 1
    @chx it's right about the 313s here though. The 313s are now certainly the oldest trains in regular passenger service working National Rail or non-touristy open access services, since the 1938 stock was replaced on the Isle of Wight.
    – Muzer
    Aug 30, 2022 at 9:16

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