I wondered which passenger train has the largest capacity while travelling in a busy double decker double traction Ouigo train (low cost French high speed train), which according to Wikipedia offer 1260 seats.

I guess you can get different answers for inter city trains with compulsory reservation and commuter ones, and for the latter, the official max capacity and the actual one. EDIT : to make this question more answerable, I now ask only about seat capacity on a train with compulsory reservation (or at least with an enforced limit in the number of passenger). And I like to limit to regularly scheduled service, not in records like these.

This forum post about Indian trains give higher figures, counting "unreserved seats". Are there enforced limits on theses coaches ?

I believe that technical limitations (especially regarding platform length) should make this question answerable.

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    @O.R.Mapper Even if sounds trivial to simply attach an extra waggon to a traditional train to increase capacity, the way railway networks (tracks and stations) are built, you will soon run into practical limits due to the length of platforms and passing loops. In West European countries, passenger trains are usually limited to about 14 waggons. Jan 9, 2017 at 13:13
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    Article that gives 3500 in India: dnaindia.com/mumbai/… But I have no idea if that is a big train according to their norms. Jan 9, 2017 at 15:27
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    @O.R.Mapper: I presume we should limit it to trains which have been actually operated, i.e. the largest total passenger capacity of a set of rolling stock that has actually operated as a unit in passenger service. Jan 9, 2017 at 15:37
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    @NateEldredge: Given that even those can be spontaneously modified on a daily basis, I am not convinced this is practically answerable. For instance, German railway even offers charter trains. They state "Depending on the number of travelers, the length of the train can be individually adjusted - depending on resources and train type, a train can take up to 800 persons. If you are a larger group, contact us." Jan 9, 2017 at 15:43
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    @O.R.Mapper Spontaneously? Are you sure you understand the meaning of that word? As explained before, there are multiple constraints (from available traction and rolling stock to block length and platform size) on how a train can be assembled, this is not something a random mechanic decides when showing up at work. The fact trains are modular is neither here nor there.
    – Relaxed
    Jan 9, 2017 at 16:14

3 Answers 3


For The Netherlands there is evidence of a driven combination for 1411 seats for passengers, found on the forum of the Dutch Railways. The train contained 2 times a VIRM4 (391 + 16 seats) and one time a VIRM 6 (571 + 26 seats), where the second number is the number of folding seats. That combination is not common, though. Two times a VIRM 6 containing 1194 seats is driven daily throughout The Netherlands.

There were two records on longest train with passengers coaches in The Netherlands and Belgium. The first one contained 60 carriages, the second one 70 carriages (of which 5 without seats). I'm not completely sure how much seats there were, but it should be roughly 60 per carriage, giving roughly 3900 seats.

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    Even if this is slightly more than the train mentioned in the question, I would guess that you are still way behind the actual 'highest capacity train' and that you are more likely to find candidates in the most densely populated areas of Asia. Jan 9, 2017 at 13:55
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo: Not anymore I guess, as the question has been restated to seats of an actual driven train.
    – Renzeee
    Jan 10, 2017 at 9:12

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According to this poster, it's the E4 shinkansen in Japan. It's a double-decker high speed train that carries up to 1634 passengers.


Z 8100 operating on Paris RER-B has a capacity of 850 passengers, or 1700 passengers when 2 units are coupled.

MI 09 operating on RER-A has a capacity of 1300 (single unit) / 2600 (double unit) passengers.

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    Those numbers are both including pitches. The number of people being able to sit is much lower: 948 for Z 8100. I can't find the number of MI 09.
    – Renzeee
    Jan 11, 2017 at 7:15
  • @renzeee: 948 in the MI 09 according to this wiki article.
    – corentin
    Jan 11, 2017 at 18:03
  • @corentin: which article?
    – Renzeee
    Jan 12, 2017 at 8:09

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