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European Railroad Discussion > Thank You, UK Contributors, Now the Next Question (GWR)


Date: 02/16/21 05:23
Thank You, UK Contributors, Now the Next Question (GWR)
Author: gbmott

Thanks to all of you who contributed to the discussion on headcodes.  Now a bit of a follow-on -- the GWR used a system of signal lamps on the front of a locomotive, both on the buffer beam and up on the smokebox front.  I assume they represent class of train, but would someone please decode this for us?  While on the GWR, a limited number of trains carried a very large 3-digit number on the smokebox front.  Did this identify the train or the route or something else?  Finally, did any of the other grouped companies do anything similar?

Sorry for all the questions, but it is fun to learn more about practices we here are not so familiar with -- also makes looking at photos more interesting.

Gordon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/21 05:25 by gbmott.



Date: 02/16/21 06:00
Re: Thank You, UK Contributors, Now the Next Question (GWR)
Author: Hexagon789

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks to all of you who contributed to the
> discussion on headcodes.  Now a bit of a
> follow-on -- the GWR used a system of signal lamps
> on the front of a locomotive, both on the buffer
> beam and up on the smokebox front.  I assume they
> represent class of train, but would someone please
> decode this for us?  While on the GWR, a limited
> number of trains carried a very large 3-digit
> number on the smokebox front.  Did this identify
> the train or the route or something else? 
> Finally, did any of the other grouped companies do
> anything similar?
>
> Sorry for all the questions, but it is fun to
> learn more about practices we here are not so
> familiar with -- also makes looking at photos more
> interesting.
>
> Gordon

The lamps designated train class, and other companies did use them. On the GWR one lamp over each buffer meant Class 1 Express passenger, one lamp on the bracket on the smokebox designated Class 2 Ordinary passenger.

The 3 digit numbers are effectively headcodes from an older system predating the Digit-Letter-Digit-Digit system dating from the 1960s still used today

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Date: 02/16/21 10:45
Re: Thank You, UK Contributors, Now the Next Question (GWR)
Author: Farningham

All the answers to both parts of the query are here in great detail  ... https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/misc/headcodes.htm
In addition to what's stated there, the royal train uniquely carries four lights, three on the buffer beam and one on the smokebox.



Date: 02/16/21 12:33
Re: Thank You, UK Contributors, Now the Next Question (GWR)
Author: 86235

My favourite pre-grouping railway, the London, Brighton & South Coast used a complex system of discs with symbols and coloured lights. As a signalman you would need to be on your toes to ensure the right train went in the right direction.

https://sremg.org.uk/headcodes/sheadcodes/11.html



Date: 02/16/21 13:06
Re: Thank You, UK Contributors, Now the Next Question (GWR)
Author: gbmott

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My favourite pre-grouping railway, the London,
> Brighton & South Coast used a complex system of
> discs with symbols and coloured lights.

Thank you.  The site also led me to the Southern Railway/Region post-1944 headcodes which I had forgotten show prominently in A. E. Brown's photos.  I don't even want to think about needing to have these in my head in order to properly route an oncoming train!

Gordon



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