Headcodes

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by crispy1978, 21 Aug 2015.

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  1. crispy1978

    crispy1978 Member

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    I was wondering if there is a certain way in which headcodes (i.e. 1J25) work?

    For example, looking at http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/YRK/2015/08/20/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt there are various numbers (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for example) - 1 and 2 seem to be passenger services, 3, 4 and 5 empty coaching stock - not sure if 1 and 2 are different.

    I can't work out the letters but the second set of numbers seem to increase per service (so an early service 1E03, a later service 1E23 for example).


    Purely for my own curiosity!!
     
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  3. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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  4. HarleyDavidson

    HarleyDavidson Established Member

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    Class 1 is meant to be for a an express.
    Class 2 is meant to be for a normal train, semi fast or stopping.

    Class 3 is on our patch for priority empties or empties of 10 coaches.
    Class 5 is on our patch normal empties.

    Class 9 is on our patch is for suburban trains (mainline) formed of 10 coaches, so the signaller doesn't try and put them into a low numbered platform at Waterloo (1-6), as they won't fit.
     
  5. crispy1978

    crispy1978 Member

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    Brilliant - thank you! Didn't think Wikipedia would have anything, but obviously it does!
     
  6. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Indeed - and it actually seems to be quite accurate!
     
  7. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Take for example a Scottish headcode; these are the easiest to use as an example.

    The 1000 Kings Cross to Aberdeen has the headcode 1S11. It is '1', as this is an express train (a local GN service out of KGX would be 2xxx). 'S' is the location, so Scotland. '11' is because it's relatively early in the day. In about twenty minutes the 1630 to Edinburgh will be leaving, which has the headcode 1S26 as it leaves later in the day.

    There are some exceptions to this rule. Short branch lines do have headcodes going back on each other (such as the Cardiff Bay and Stourbridge Town branch).
     
  8. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    One key thing is that the letters appear more than once across the network. Indeed, from St Pancras a 1F might be headed for Sheffield, or it might be headed for Ramsgate- as the MML and HS1 are handled by completely separate signalling centres, this is not a problem.

    And on the same line, it is possible for a headcode to repeat with the operational day.
     
  9. swills

    swills Established Member

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    Then some TOCs have theor own version ! on the GE.. (not Inter City) the Class 1's are simply fast Romford, and Class 2's call at Romford.
     
  10. HarleyDavidson

    HarleyDavidson Established Member

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    Yes. We have some oddities where you can & cannot have a class 1 headcode or TRN (Train Reporting/Running Number), also certain routes you can only have high numbers & others low numbers!

    I'll see if I can find them.
     
  11. Elecman

    Elecman Established Member

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    On the WCML a leading 9 indicates a Scotland service VIA Birmingham rather than the Trent Valley
     
  12. crispy1978

    crispy1978 Member

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    The codes aren't unique to a particular train either are they?

    Can't you have a 2J14 in two different areas?
     
  13. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Most assuredly. I believe you can even have them in the same area sometimes! That being said trains do have their own unique number but those aren't the same as headcodes.
     
  14. HarleyDavidson

    HarleyDavidson Established Member

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    I believe as long as it's not in the same "Division" or "Zone", so you could have one out of Waterloo, but you couldn't have one out of say Bournemouth, but you could have one at say Eastbourne (just as tentative examples!).
     
  15. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Some codes are used twice a day over the same route.
     
  16. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    For example 1A01 today could mean any of

    1A01 0505 Leeds - Kings Cross
    1A01 1219 Brighton - Victoria
    1A01 1227 Kilmarnock - Glasgow Central
    1A01 1828 Kilmarnock - Glasgow Central
    1A01 1927 Brighton - Victoria
     
  17. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    ...at the same time.
     
  18. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    Some slip through the net though. If the driver of 2F04 contacts Southern control just before 8am there might be some confusion!

    2F04 0532 Victoria - Ore arr 0800
    2F04 0749 Victoria - London Bridge arr 0840
     
  19. HarleyDavidson

    HarleyDavidson Established Member

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    But they won't be in the same area or zone at the same time and one will be in the London/Sussex zone, the other will be in the Kent zone (Yes I know Ore is in East Sussex!), over 70 miles away, so the chances of a miscommunication are zero.
     
  20. Tom

    Tom Member

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    2H81 on a weekday is a good one.
     
  21. Michael.Y

    Michael.Y Established Member

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    One thing to remember is that 1 and 2 relate to the class of the train, rather than the type of train. Sprinters can run as class 1s, and HSTs can run as class 2s.
     
  22. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    The main problem with a duplicate headcode in the same area is the setting up of the GSM-R as duplicated headcodes are not permitted.
     
  23. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Headcodes in the Southern area often take their letters from the first unique point on the diverging route served:

    1Exx : Uckfield service - first unique stop after divergence is Edenbridge Town
    2Lxx : East Grinstead stopper - first unique stop Lingfield
    2Cxx : Horsham stopper - Crawley
    Etc.
     
  24. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

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    Couple of comments:-

    1) The assignment of headcodes seems to be more varied, flexible and specific to individual trains today than was the case in the BR era.

    Class 1 inter-city trains almost always had their own individual train numbers, but for many years Class 2 trains usually had the same headcode assigned to every train on a particular route, and often the same headcode in the opposite direction too, a bit like a bus route.
    For example, on Merseyrail every all-stations train between Liverpool & Southport and vice-versa used to be headcode 2F88. All Ormskirk trains were 2F90 and Kirkby line 2F55 - in either direction.

    Today Southport trains are headcode 2S-something, starting in the morning with 2S01, then 2S02 etc. Ormskirk are 2Oxx, 2Kxx for Kirkby, 2Uxx Hunts Cross and 2Gxx Liverpool Central, each train having its own sequential 2-digit number. Much more useful!


    2) For many years there was potential for confusion on the Warrington PSB panel in the Wigan area (and Wigan No. 1 box which preceded it), when every hourly Wigan NW/Liverpool Lime St DMU (in either direction) was headcode 2F50 and there was a completely different set of 2F50 DMUs running between Manchester and Wigan Wallgate or Southport via Bolton. The two 2F50s did not cross paths but did run alongside each other at Wigan Station Junction (since all Lime St DMUs used the bay platforms), and were supervised by the same signaller.

    There are still a couple of 2F50s per day running all-stations Lime St / Wigan NW, but all the 2Fxx DMUs running into Wallgate are now assigned a different number series. Probably more potential for confusion nowadays with increasingly large control areas & electronic communication systems than when a small group of signallers were supervising the same area day-in-day-out and train crews were mostly incommunicado.
     
  25. gimmea50anyday

    gimmea50anyday Established Member

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    1E is used for eastern region terminating stations. The high E's being from liverpool transpennine, while the low E's from London typically.
    1P is portsmouth, also used for Pennine, odd pennines heading westbound towards manchester while eastbound towards york are even numbered.
    1F usually indicates Liverpool with again the low F's from Euston, 1F61-80 from Newcastle while 1F81 onwards from Scarborough
    1L is usually used for Liverpool-Norwich workings, also used for Waterloo-Exeter workings

    2C is also used for Crewe workings


    9x headcodes are utilised on anglo scottish services, particularly headline services that need special regulation. VTEC usually dont use code 9's but they are used on a few VWC and AXC services. They are also used by eurostar services.

    Tyne and wear metro internally use a 3 number headcode starting at 101. Once the train leaves the internal system and start running on NR metals the service the 1 becomes an I converting the headcode to 2Ixx. This usually results in a headcode being repeated later in the day.
     
  26. Safety365

    Safety365 Member

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    Not restricted to Scotland trains. 9S** = Euston - Scotland via Birmingham, 9G** = Euston - Birmingham/Wolverhampton, 9J** = Euston - Shrewsbury via Birmingham.

    The common factor in the use of class 9 services on VTWC is Birmingham rather than the destination.
     
  27. Elecman

    Elecman Established Member

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    That's what I meant, the 9 indicating to the signaller to route the train via Brum rather than via the Trent Valley at a Rugby and Stafford.
     
  28. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    But what does the class of a passenger train relate to? A class 1 pacer is just as comfortable as a class 2 one, after all.

    I suppose the distinction is more useful in areas where there's a frequent service and ample opportunity for one train to overtake another.
     
  29. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    There is a significant error - class 5 trains can be passenger as well as ecs.

    At the moment we've got quite a few down my way, due to the electrification works diversions we've got some unusual services running.
    Take a look at Chippenham on RTT, at the moment almost everything is a class 5.
     
  30. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    As far as headcodes go, generally the fewer stops it makes = class 1, the more stops it makes = class 2.

    That's an over-simplification, but it gives the general idea. It's more the stopping pattern and overall relative speed of the service than the type of rolling stock used.
     
  31. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    A passenger train absolutely should not be running as a class 5 - the Rule Book is quite clear on that one.
     
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