Anonymous New Units

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Deepgreen

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The 'Railway Centre' web site's 'Picture of the Day' today (5th March) shows WM's 730002 on the main line at Kidsgrove bearing not only no unit number, but no coach numbers either - i.e. completely anonymous. I had thought this was strictly forbidden, and previous new stock has been prevented from running without any form of identification being carried. What is the consensus about the 'legality' of this? It certainly seems pointless not numbering the coaches even if unit numbers might be a later addition. As an aside, the units seem to have pathetically small destination indicators. It can't even fit 'Not in Service' on one line of the display, showing 'Not in Servi...ce' over two lines! What is the point of these almost illegible displays?


 
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Domh245

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The coach numbers are posted on printed labels in the windows on each coach, which presumably suffices. You can see such a label in the video of the unit at Liverpool Lime street in this post (around 15 seconds in)

I'm not quite sure what you suggest as an alternative to the small frontal destination display (though I would have expected scrolling displays rather than awkwardly breaking it across the two lines like that - perhaps just early version of the software)
 

superjohn

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I have seen mainline registered heritage locos that have a plate carrying their Network Rail registered number on the inside of the cab (usually numbered 99XXX) so perhaps that is the requirement.

Some locos have carried ‘false’ numbers externally. For example 37424 running as 37558 and 55022 as 55018 so what is painted on the outside may not be important.
 

43096

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I have seen mainline registered heritage locos that have a plate carrying their Network Rail registered number on the inside of the cab (usually numbered 99XXX) so perhaps that is the requirement.

Some locos have carried ‘false’ numbers externally. For example 37424 running as 37558 and 55022 as 55018 so what is painted on the outside may not be important.
RSSB document RIS-2453-RST covers vehicle numbering and has this to say about numbering of heritage vehicles:

4.3 Heritage rail vehicle identification numbers

4.3.1 For heritage rail vehicles intending to operate on the GB mainline network, the GB
Operational Number (TOPS) shall be displayed on the rail vehicle so that it is visible to
authorised personnel, for example in the driver’s cab.

Rationale
G 4.3.2 The display of the GB operational number (TOPS) is necessary to maintain
compatibility with GB operational systems.

Guidance

G 4.3.3 It is also permissible for heritage rail vehicles to externally display their former or
original numbers for historical reasons.
G 4.3.4 The display of the EVN and VKM is on a voluntary basis for heritage vehicles. Where
the EVN and VKM are chosen to be displayed, they are displayed in accordance with
the requirements of the OPE TSI.
G 4.3.5 It is permissible for heritage vehicles that only transit on the GB mainline network to
display their own vehicle identification numbers
So it is permissible for heritage vehicles to carry alternative IDs externally, but the real number must be carried internally. I'm not sure where 37424 fits into this, as it is used in normal mainline service and other than because of its age, wouldn't be classified as a heritage vehicle.
 

Wyrleybart

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I have seen mainline registered heritage locos that have a plate carrying their Network Rail registered number on the inside of the cab (usually numbered 99XXX) so perhaps that is the requirement.

Some locos have carried ‘false’ numbers externally. For example 37424 running as 37558 and 55022 as 55018 so what is painted on the outside may not be important.
Isn't there at least GBRf 66/7 with a strange number - something like T31 or 231 ?

Also 50007 Hercules with 50014 Warspite on the other side.
 
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Deepgreen

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The coach numbers are posted on printed labels in the windows on each coach, which presumably suffices. You can see such a label in the video of the unit at Liverpool Lime street in this post (around 15 seconds in)

I'm not quite sure what you suggest as an alternative to the small frontal destination display (though I would have expected scrolling displays rather than awkwardly breaking it across the two lines like that - perhaps just early version of the software)
Thanks. It's just very strange not have the vehicle numbers properly applied at the outset - they won't change, so why wait to apply them later?

For the DMIs, I would suggest a design of display from the outset which is fit for purpose - i.e. that is large enough to be read properly by passengers at a sensible distance. The 730s have a very small display which isn't even anywhere near the full width of one cab window! It seems to be beyond the wit of designers nowadays to provide a display that works for passengers - the 700 series has the useless dim DMIs which can't be read in anything brighter than dusk, now we have these miniscule efforts.
 

Geeves

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To be fair having a unit number inside the cab these days would likely be enough, most modern (and some older) stock is monitored by GPS anyway so control can see exactly where it is, what speed its doing and more, not to mention they know the diagrams and headcodes etc. There could be a time in the future where trains dont need a number on the outside at all.
 

Domh245

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Thanks. It's just very strange not have the vehicle numbers properly applied at the outset - they won't change, so why wait to apply them later?

The numbers themselves won't change, but where they put them very likely will! They'll likely be applied at the same time as the rest of the vinyl details in their final position, and so rather than the expense of printing vinyl numbers, applying and removing them, the cheaper and sensible option is the bit of paper in the window.

For the DMIs, I would suggest a design of display from the outset which is fit for purpose - i.e. that is large enough to be read properly by passengers at a sensible distance. The 730s have a very small display which isn't even anywhere near the full width of one cab window! It seems to be beyond the wit of designers nowadays to provide a display that works for passengers - the 700 series has the useless dim DMIs which can't be read in anything brighter than dusk, now we have these miniscule efforts.

The problem with 'fit for purpose' is that you've got to make it work with the rest of the train. There's obviously some reason why they've not gone full width (the other small aperture next to the display is related to the Forward Facing CCTV I would think), although interestingly I think the display on these looks about the same size as those on the "gen 2" electrostars (379, 377/6-7, 387) which a quick measurement of the widths/heights relative to the coupler face would seem to support. It'd be nice to have a huge, easily readable display but any gangwayed stock will be a compromise (either shove it in a window and have scrolling or abbreviated text as Bombardier and Siemens did, or stick it above the gangway making it completely invisible as on the 458s).
 

Watershed

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To be fair having a unit number inside the cab these days would likely be enough, most modern (and some older) stock is monitored by GPS anyway so control can see exactly where it is, what speed its doing and more, not to mention they know the diagrams and headcodes etc. There could be a time in the future where trains dont need a number on the outside at all.
There will always be a need for some form of identification, if nothing else for maintenance tracking and to ensure traincrew pick up the right train. GPS doesn't work great in a carriage shed...
 

Domh245

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Why might a unit / loco ever have a 'false' number, as mentioned upthread by @superjohn ?

In most cases, to tie in with whatever the loco is "promoting" - for example 37424 which carries number 37558 to tie in with it's name "Avro Vulcan XH558", and 66775 which carries the penant number (F231) of it's namesake HMS Argyll

Some others are just 'vanity' - ISTR that the 'double identity' class 50 is such because a member of management had a soft spot for a now scrapped loco
 

43096

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In most cases, to tie in with whatever the loco is "promoting" - for example 37424 which carries number 37558 to tie in with it's name "Avro Vulcan XH558", and 66775 which carries the penant number (F231) of it's namesake HMS Argyll
it should be noted that 66775 carries its correct number externally. The F231 is in place of the normal large size GBRf numbers. The 66775 is carried in much small numbers on the cab side.

Some others are just 'vanity' - ISTR that the 'double identity' class 50 is such because a member of management had a soft spot for a now scrapped loco
It's also a way of raising funds - we'll renumber/rename for a period of time to whatever loco you want in return for a nice donation.
 

Geeves

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There will always be a need for some form of identification, if nothing else for maintenance tracking and to ensure traincrew pick up the right train. GPS doesn't work great in a carriage shed...

Yes true but even with 5ft long numbers on the front the wrong unit comes off anyway! haha
 
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