If Class 444s can have a 25kv AC pantograph fitted, why are they not in the 3xx series?

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PTR 444

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There is a lot I have learnt about my local trains, class 444s, since joining this forum, and one of those things is that they can be retrofitted with pantographs to enable running on 25kv AC lines. It’s a good idea but surely if it’s designed for dual voltage, they should have a 3xx TOPS classification, not 4xx. The 377s which operate Southern routes also predominantly run on third rail and are designed for dual voltage so why is it that functionally similar SWR Desiros get allocated 4xx?

I notice that nearly every 3xx designation has been used while there are still plenty of 4xx spare, so maybe this could be the reason. In fact, the only 4xx units in service that don’t appear to be on their way out are the 444s, 450s, 465s, 466s and Island Line 484s. It’s not like there aren’t any numbers spare, and if that is the case, why are the third rail only Arterios designated as Class 701 instead of another Class 4xx?
 
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swt_passenger

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Because when the 444s and 450s were ordered there was never any reasonable possibility of them needing to be dual fitted. It’s been asked numerous times, but basically it just doesn’t matter. You might as well ask why so many 377s are not 477s...
 

PTR 444

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In retrospect, I suppose it would have made more sense for 4xx numbers to be allocated to all dual voltage units since new third rail only stock is less common than that with 25kv AC traction only. That way we wouldn’t be running out of 3xx so quickly and having to resort to 7xx for a whole range of different modes.
 

AM9

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Because when the 444s and 450s were ordered there was never any reasonable possibility of them needing to be dual fitted. It’s been asked numerous times, but basically it just doesn’t matter. You might as well ask why so many 377s are not 477s...
... and 375/3 /7 /8/ /9s, 376s and 378/1s. Numbers are cheap (free?).
 

AM9

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In retrospect, I suppose it would have made more sense for 4xx numbers to be allocated to all dual voltage units since new third rail stock is less common than that with 25kv AC traction only. That way we wouldn’t be running out of 3xx so quickly and having to resort to 7xx for a whole range of different modes.

but numbers don't cost anything really, and despite the current diverse shopping spree introducing many new numbers, I doubt there will be any 'shortage' for the next 50 years.
 

Neptune

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In retrospect, I suppose it would have made more sense for 4xx numbers to be allocated to all dual voltage units since new third rail only stock is less common than that with 25kv AC traction only. That way we wouldn’t be running out of 3xx so quickly and having to resort to 7xx for a whole range of different modes.
Are we running out of 3xx class numbers? Below is the unused class numbers.

324, 326 - 330, 335 - 344, 346 - 349, 351- 356, 358 - 359, 361 - 364, 366 - 369, 371 - 372, 381 - 384, 386, 388 - 389, 391 - 394, 396, 398 - 399

Thats 52 unused classes I believe. Less than half the range used.
 

AM9

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Are we running out of 3xx class numbers? Below is the unused class numbers.

324, 326 - 330, 335 - 344, 346 - 349, 351- 356, 358 - 359, 361 - 364, 366 - 369, 371 - 372, 381 - 384, 386, 388 - 389, 391 - 394, 396, 398 - 399

Thats 52 unused classes I believe. Less than half the range used.
Precisely. One thing that I would point out is the haphazard way that new blocks of numbers are raised by TOCs seemingly for commercial/vanity reasons, e.g. why should the incoming Aventura fleets be numbered 701, then 710, 720 and then 730. The Desiro City classes number 700, 707 and 717. That doesn't address either the Trains' role, nor their relationships with each other.
The choice of 777 for the new Merseyrail stock is even more bizzarre as classes numbered 750-799 are supposed to be mixed traction types! They should either be numbered sequentially from 700 onwards, (as broadly happened from 301 up to 323), or some serious control applied categorising trains in some logical groups, e.g. manufacturer, service type, (metro/suburban/regional/long distance etc.).
 

Neptune

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Precisely. One thing that I would point out is the haphazard way that new blocks of numbers are raised by TOCs seemingly for commercial/vanity reasons, e.g. why should the incoming Aventura fleets be numbered 701, then 710, 720 and then 730. The Desiro City classes number 700, 707 and 717. That doesn't address either the Trains' role, nor their relationships with each other.
The choice of 777 for the new Merseyrail stock is even more bizzarre as classes numbered 750-799 are supposed to be mixed traction types! They should either be numbered sequentially from 700 onwards, (as broadly happened from 301 up to 323), or some serious control applied categorising trains in some logical groups, e.g. manufacturer, service type, (metro/suburban/regional/long distance etc.).
I agree wholeheartedly. The classification of new classes defies belief these days. Everyone wants there own designation even with identical builds. I was surprised that at Northern we were blessed with a sensible classification of 331 neatly backfilling the 332-334 range rather than something random.
 

43096

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Are we running out of 3xx class numbers? Below is the unused class numbers.

324, 326 - 330, 335 - 344, 346 - 349, 351- 356, 358 - 359, 361 - 364, 366 - 369, 371 - 372, 381 - 384, 386, 388 - 389, 391 - 394, 396, 398 - 399

Thats 52 unused classes I believe. Less than half the range used.
Class 398 is being used for the new Valley lines units and 399 is used for the Sheffield tram-trains.
 

themiller

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Precisely. One thing that I would point out is the haphazard way that new blocks of numbers are raised by TOCs seemingly for commercial/vanity reasons, e.g. why should the incoming Aventura fleets be numbered 701, then 710, 720 and then 730. The Desiro City classes number 700, 707 and 717. That doesn't address either the Trains' role, nor their relationships with each other.
The choice of 777 for the new Merseyrail stock is even more bizzarre as classes numbered 750-799 are supposed to be mixed traction types! They should either be numbered sequentially from 700 onwards, (as broadly happened from 301 up to 323), or some serious control applied categorising trains in some logical groups, e.g. manufacturer, service type, (metro/suburban/regional/long distance etc.).
Weren’t the Merseyrail 777s not originally intended to be capable of being fitted with a pantograph to enable running beyond the third rail toward Manchester?
 

AM9

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Weren’t the Merseyrail 777s not originally intended to be capable of being fitted with a pantograph to enable running beyond the third rail toward Manchester?
I'd heard that but that would mean they should be numbered in the 700-749 series, like the Desiro Citys and Aventras.

I'd heard that but that would mean they should be numbered in the 700-749 series, like the Desiro Citys and Aventras.
Whoever controls the numbering of new train classes is as bad as OFCOM with phone numbers, and what a mess that is! (OT rant over).
 

norbitonflyer

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Given that bi-modes and diesels are both "go anywhere" and it is only straight electrics which are constrained to stay under the wires/on the juice, it would in my view have been more logical to classify bimodes in with diesels rather than with electrics, probably in the 2xx or the all-but-vacant 6xx series whose only member so far is the proposed hydrogen-powered "Breeze" project)
 

JonathanH

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Wasn't there a suggestion that the gaps in the 3xx series translated to clashes with freight wagon numbering?

However, we have both a unit and a carriage numbered 444001 so I'm not so sure how that is now an issue.
 
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themiller

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Are we running out of 3xx class numbers? Below is the unused class numbers.

324, 326 - 330, 335 - 344, 346 - 349, 351- 356, 358 - 359, 361 - 364, 366 - 369, 371 - 372, 381 - 384, 386, 388 - 389, 391 - 394, 396, 398 - 399

Thats 52 unused classes I believe. Less than half the range used.
I believe that the current Tyne & Wear Metro trains are class 394.
 

XAM2175

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The choice of 777 for the new Merseyrail stock is even more bizzarre as classes numbered 750-799 are supposed to be mixed traction types!
Weren’t the Merseyrail 777s not originally intended to be capable of being fitted with a pantograph to enable running beyond the third rail toward Manchester?

The 777s have provision for taking traction power from batteries, in addition to DC third-rail and AC OHLE - that is why they can be correctly classed as multi-mode units.
 

43096

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Wasn't there a suggestion that the gaps in the 3xx series translated to clashes with freight wagon numbering?
Set numbers are a different sequence to vehicle numbers, so there’s no clash.
 

Energy

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Weren’t the Merseyrail 777s not originally intended to be capable of being fitted with a pantograph to enable running beyond the third rail toward Manchester?
The 777s got the number before the 750-799 being multimode rule was put in place. They were told they could have any number in the 7xx range so they picked the nice number of 777, no other reasoning.
 

AM9

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The 777s got the number before the 750-799 being multimode rule was put in place. They were told they could have any number in the 7xx range so they picked the nice number of 777, no other reasoning.
So as I said, train class numbers are being selected on commercial or vanity reasons. The number system in the '700s has been trashed already. Who is in charge of the numbering of rolling stock?
 

JonathanH

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So as I said, train class numbers are being selected on commercial or vanity reasons. The number system in the '700s has been trashed already. Who is in charge of the numbering of rolling stock?
Who is to say that the people in charge have to have an orderly structure? So long as there isn't duplication, I'm not sure it is their worry at all if there isn't a logical structure.

458, 450 and 444 should probably have been 453, 443 and 441 to follow the old SR system but they aren't and we are now totally comfortable with what they ended up as.
 
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Energy

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So as I said, train class numbers are being selected on commercial or vanity reasons. The number system in the '700s has been trashed already. Who is in charge of the numbering of rolling stock?
A structure would be nice but I can't really blame Merseyrail for the choice of 777, they were given completely free choice of any number they wanted, so they picked the nicest number.
 

AM9

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Who is to say that the people in charge have to have an orderly structure? So long as there isn't duplication, I'm not sure it is their worry at all if there isn't a logical structure.

458, 450 and 444 should probably have been 453, 443 and 441 to follow the old SR system but they aren't and we are now totally comfortable with what they ended up as.
Clearly some aren't - or this thread wouldn't exist.
 

jopsuk

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Who is to say that the people in charge have to have an orderly structure? So long as there isn't duplication, I'm not sure it is their worry at all if there isn't a logical structure.

458, 450 and 444 should probably have been 453, 443 and 441 to follow the old SR system but they aren't and we are now totally comfortable with what they ended up as.
I'd argue that they should have been 47x (next range after 46x) - potentially 458 (in original configuration), 450, 375 and 377 should all have been sub classes of 473, with 444 as 471 or 472

Alternatively, 47x could have been allocated to Siemens, 49x to Bombardier and roll back round to 40x for Alstom
 

Mikey C

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Class 398 is being used for the new Valley lines units and 399 is used for the Sheffield tram-trains.
The use of 398 and 399 for tram trains is bizarre too, considering that the 390, 395 and 397 are all high speed express trains!
 

43096

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The use of 398 and 399 for tram trains is bizarre too, considering that the 390, 395 and 397 are all high speed express trains!
The whole thing is riddled with inconsistencies. With the APT being Class 370 and Eurostars as 373 and 374, wouldn't 37x make more sense for high speed EMUs than Electrostars? Working 399 downwards for tram trains has some logic.
 

DB

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So as I said, train class numbers are being selected on commercial or vanity reasons. The number system in the '700s has been trashed already. Who is in charge of the numbering of rolling stock?

The same can happen with locos - thinking particualrly of he 66s where, where some operators use a particular sub-class for all their locos despite them having several variants, resulting in some locos being renumbered several times.

e.g. /7 - GBRF and /8 - Colas.
 

Tynwald

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I would expect that these units do not have transformers or rectifiers etc. fitted. So the conversion would not be that straight forward.
 
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