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European Railroad Discussion > A Question for Our UK Contributers


Date: 02/11/21 16:41
A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: gbmott

Regarding the current, and I think pretty long-standing, system of train symbols, is there a code?  In other words, by looking at a particular symbol should I immediately know something about that train -- type of train, origin/destination, speed or route restriction, etc,?  To me 5K74 or something similar means nothing.

Thanks,
Gordon



Date: 02/11/21 18:59
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: SOO6617

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Regarding the current, and I think pretty
> long-standing, system of train symbols, is there a
> code?  In other words, by looking at a particular
> symbol should I immediately know something about
> that train -- type of train, origin/destination,
> speed or route restriction, etc,?  To me 5K74 or
> something similar means nothing.
> Thanks,
> Gordon
Sure the first numeral tells you the type of service or the speed if freight

1  Long Distance or Priority passenger train
2  Regional Passenger train
3  Formerly used for Mail or Express train now used for closely monitored for schedule train of any type. Was briefly used for 90-mph freight.
4  Freight train allowed 75-mph
5  Empty Coaching Stock
6  Freight train allowed 60-mph, also some MOW equipment allowed the same speed.
7  Freight train allowed 45-mph speed. also some MOW equipment
8  Freight train allowed 35-mph speed.
9  All High-speed passenger trains. Formerly used for freight trains not fitted with either vacuum or air brakes(Dependant on loco and brake van braking).

Next comes a letter which usually signifies the BR region of its destination, but for intra-regional services will use a letter determined by the region to not cause confusion.

A  for London area
L  for East Anglia
M for Midland, but could be considered as West Midlands
E  for Eastern Region (Doncaster, Leeds, Teeside, Tayside, etc.)
V  for Western Region including Wales
O for Southern Region( not the numeral but the letter)
S for Scotland
All or most other letters are used for Intra-regional services
Z  was used for special trains but with so many trains running now, some long-standing freights still run with a "Z" headcode.

Normally numbers start low in the morning and increase throughout the day but that rule isn't closely followed. Also some services that start late may run into the morning.

With so many trains now running having a 1M01, 2M01, 4M01, 6M01 all running at the same time is possible.

Worse is that I regularly got confused by having two different 4M07 Intermodal trains running at the same time. This has the potential to confuse the computerized train control systems. Both trains start from different locations but their destinations are close.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/21 19:07 by SOO6617.



Date: 02/12/21 03:42
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: gbmott

Thank you VERY much.  I wish I had asked this question years ago!

Gordon



Date: 02/13/21 00:15
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: cricketer8for9

Isn't class 9 also used for some types on non-high speed services such as Thameslink which have very tightly controlled slots though the central London core?



Date: 02/13/21 08:12
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: Hexagon789

cricketer8for9 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Isn't class 9 also used for some types on non-high
> speed services such as Thameslink which have very
> tightly controlled slots though the central London
> core?

"9" used to be purely for Eurostar services, however certain routings/services have been using "9" class codes for various reasons. Presently these are:

- All Eurostar services including empty coaching stock workings

- London Overground services from Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction and New Cross, and Highbury & Islington to Crystal Palace and West Croydon

- Transport for London (TfL) Rail services from London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington

- All Thameslink services

- TransPennine Express services from Liverpool to Newcastle

- Avanti West Coast services from London Euston to Edinburgh and Glasgow running via Birmingham

Posted from Android



Date: 02/13/21 08:25
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: exhaustED

Excellent answers above.

Just to add a tiny bit of info, light engine movements start with the numeral 0 (zero). E.g. 0C23 



Date: 02/13/21 08:54
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: Hexagon789

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Excellent answers above.
>
> Just to add a tiny bit of info, light engine
> movements start with the numeral 0 (zero). E.g.
> 0C23 

I'd forgotten about 0! 1 can also apply to light movements if the locomotive is going to provide assistance.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/13/21 08:55
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: exhaustED

Hexagon789 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> exhaustED Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Excellent answers above.
> >
> > Just to add a tiny bit of info, light engine
> > movements start with the numeral 0 (zero). E.g.
> > 0C23 
>
> I'd forgotten about 0! 1 can also apply to light
> movements if the locomotive is going to provide
> assistance.
>

Ah yes, 1Z99 is favourite for rescue locos I think...?



Date: 02/13/21 09:06
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: Hexagon789

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hexagon789 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > exhaustED Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Excellent answers above.
> > >
> > > Just to add a tiny bit of info, light engine
> > > movements start with the numeral 0 (zero).
> E.g.
> > > 0C23 
> >
> > I'd forgotten about 0! 1 can also apply to
> light
> > movements if the locomotive is going to provide
> > assistance.
> >
>
> Ah yes, 1Z99 is favourite for rescue locos I
> think...?

Yes, seems to be provided for that purpose. The so-called 'Thunderbird' workings often get a 1Z99 headcode, when they sent out the likes of a 67 to rescue an InterCity 225 set on occasion.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/15/21 11:33
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: Hartington

I'm not sure if this is true everywhere but on the Western Region (within the Western Region) the letter indicates a route. For instance "C" indicates trains for the West of England using the direct route via  Newbury and Westbury.

This is the listing for London to Exeter St Davids.Realtimetrains  As you can see they are all 1Cnn. As others have said the number increases as the day progresses. With one exception - the last train of the day, the sleeper, is 1C50, the lowest numbered. I suspect this is to do with the fact that after midnight, as it progresses down the line, it becomes the first train of the day.

If you then look at the opposite direction it gets a bit more complicated. Two of the trains trains are 1Hnn instead on 1Ann because they go round via Bristol. If you then look at Bristol Temple Meads you'll find some 1Ann and some 1Hnn because there are two routes between Bristol and Swindon. H goes via Bristol Parkway and A via Bath Spa.

In the early days of headcodes they appeared on the front of the train so that the signallers could see them as the train passed the signal box. These days they show on the electronic track diagram.

These days, as well as the headcode, trains now have other codes which seem to do two things - identify the services available on board and may also have something to do with the fares and seat reservations. There's probably more in those codes but I have yet to work it out!



Date: 02/15/21 13:59
Re: A Question for Our UK Contributers
Author: Hexagon789

Hartington Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm not sure if this is true everywhere but on the
> Western Region (within the Western Region) the
> letter indicates a route. For instance "C"
> indicates trains for the West of England using the
> direct route via  Newbury and Westbury.
>
> This is the listing for London to Exeter St
> Davids.Realtimetrains  As you can see they are
> all 1Cnn. As others have said the number increases
> as the day progresses. With one exception - the
> last train of the day, the sleeper, is 1C50, the
> lowest numbered. I suspect this is to do with the
> fact that after midnight, as it progresses down
> the line, it becomes the first train of the day.
>
> If you then look at the opposite direction it gets
> a bit more complicated. Two of the trains trains
> are 1Hnn instead on 1Ann because they go round via
> Bristol. If you then look at Bristol Temple Meads
> you'll find some 1Ann and some 1Hnn because there
> are two routes between Bristol and Swindon. H goes
> via Bristol Parkway and A via Bath Spa.
>
> In the early days of headcodes they appeared on
> the front of the train so that the signallers
> could see them as the train passed the signal box.
> These days they show on the electronic track
> diagram.
>
> These days, as well as the headcode, trains now
> have other codes which seem to do two things -
> identify the services available on board and may
> also have something to do with the fares and seat
> reservations. There's probably more in those codes
> but I have yet to work it out!

The letter indicates either a route, routes or destination within a region. On the Western your example of "C" means 'Bristol or west of Bristol' so Exeter/Plymouth/Penzance way.

On the London Midland, "C" means 'Cumbrian coast or Windermere', while in Scotland "C" designates "Cumbria", "Ravenstruther", "Edinburgh from Glasgow Central via Carstairs" or Dalmuir-Motherwell via Glasgow Central Low Level and vice-versa" depending on the route traversed.

The other codes are retail service numbers (couple of letters followed by a few numbers) which, partly because you may have multiple train services using the same headcode over any one day, are unique to a single service and are as you say used for fares and reservations and there are also Unique IDs (UIDs) which are used for scheduling purposes, these are a single letter and 5 numbers.

Posted from Android



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