An armoured train is a train protected with armour. Usually they are equipped with railroad cars armed with artillery and machine guns. They were mostly used during the late 19th and early 20th century, when they offered an innovative way to quickly move large amounts of firepower into position. Their use was discontinued in most countries because modern road vehicles became much more powerful and offered more flexibility, and because armoured trains were too vulnerable to track sabotage as well as attacks from the air. However, Russian Federation uses improvised armored trains in the Second Chechen War.
* Artillery – fielding mixture of guns and machine guns.
* Infantry – designed to carry infantry units, may also mount machine guns.
* Machine gun – dedicated to machine guns.
* Anti-aircraft – equipped with anti-aircraft guns.
* Command – similar to infantry wagons, but designed to be a train command centre.
* Anti-tank – equipped with anti-tank guns, usually in a tank gun turret.
* Platform – unarmoured, with purposes ranging from transport of ammunition or vehicles, through track repair or derailing protection to railroad ploughs for track destruction.
* Troop sleepers
* The German Wehrmacht would sometimes put a ‘Fremdgerät’, such as captured French Somua S-35 or Czech Pzkw 38-t light tank or Panzer II on a flatbed car which could be quickly offloaded by means of a ramp and used away from the range of the main railway line to chase down enemy partisans.
* Missile transport – the USSR had railway-based ICBMs by the late 1980s (to reduce the chances of a first strike succeeding in destroying the launchers for a retaliatory strike); no such systems are known to remain in operation today, although there may be some such trains in storage. The US at one time planned to have a railway-based system for the MX Missile program but this never got past the planning stages.