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Letters after unit numbers?

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py_megapixel

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Just watching some old videos on YouTube and noticed a unit with a number on the front as follows:

150129 P

What does the P mean in this case, and can any other letters appear in this position?

screenshot (shows the front of a unit displaying the number "150 129 P")




Screenshot_20210109-215414.png
 
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CyrusWuff

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I stand for correction on this, but could it signify the end where the Parcels area was?
 

Journeyman

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I stand for correction on this, but could it signify the end where the Parcels area was?
Indeed, and therefore you'll only find it on one end of the unit. Similar markings and identifiers have been used for years - the black triangle on the front of 2- and 3-car Southern EMUs and DEMUs for many years being a good example.
 

TheEdge

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Indeed, and therefore you'll only find it on one end of the unit. Similar markings and identifiers have been used for years - the black triangle on the front of 2- and 3-car Southern EMUs and DEMUs for many years being a good example.

Even the 755s and 745s have a black triangle at the end accessible seating end.
 

dk1

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I was always under the impression it meant 'Prototype' for some unusual reason.
 

Energy

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"A" is a subset of 387s which have ETCS fitted, not sure if it is put physically on the unit though
 

xotGD

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Us northerners never had a clue what the black triangle was all about. And still don't!
 

Fincra5

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Us northerners never had a clue what the black triangle was all about. And still don't!
DWi0hqAWsAAa0bd.jpg



The Black Triangle of DEMUs indicated which end the Guards "Van" was.
 

Journeyman

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DWi0hqAWsAAa0bd.jpg



The Black Triangle of DEMUs indicated which end the Guards "Van" was.
It was on 2-car EMUs as well - basically any Southern units with a guards van at one end. Four car units for a long time had vans at both ends, until the CIGs and BIGs had them in the middle.
 

43096

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It was on 2-car EMUs as well - basically any Southern units with a guards van at one end. Four car units for a long time had vans at both ends, until the CIGs and BIGs had them in the middle.
There is a piece about the origins of it on the excellent "Blood and Custard" website. Pre yellow warning ends, it was an orange 'v'. (BloodandCustard.com - 2H, 3H & 3T units)

During 1960 the Hampshire diesel units started to have a large luminous Orange ‘Vee’ painted on the cab ends, unit 1102 being the first done. These only ever adorned the 2/3-car Hampshire /Hastings diesel units with one unit reported sporting an orange Vee into 1967. Certainly the following units were still carrying them (albeit fading to yellow) as follows - units 1113 & 1116 October 1965, unit 1114 October 1966, unit 1118 November 1966.

The imperative for the Orange ‘Vee’ is believed to come from mail pick-ups at Winchester City following the introduction of 2H /3H units on the Alton to Southampton services. These units only had a small brake van at one end (the motor coach) whereas the steam hauled carriage sets had large brake vans at each end of the set with the guard riding in the rear.

Postal staff would traditionally be waiting to load /unload mail at the rear of the train, but with a 2H/3H unit the only brake van might arrive at the front of the unit. As a consequence, this could cause service delays as postal staff had to move along the platform to the front of the train.

Accordingly, on an approaching train the Orange ‘Vee’ would provide an early indication to staff that there was

NO BRAKE VAN AT THE OTHER END OF THE UNIT
 

43096

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Certainly on the West they had them up to the Silverlink days, I believe it may have ended with London Midland.
Didn't the London Midland liveried versions have a black triangle on one end - was this for the same purpose?
 

Darandio

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Didn't the London Midland liveried versions have a black triangle on one end - was this for the same purpose?

I always thought that was for first class to be honest, happy to be proven otherwise!
 

Ken H

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Tube trains used to have A and B ends. they changed that to be A and D ends. Clearly marked on the ends of the trains. Something to do with restrictions on coupling. You can see the B in the pic. I think 1938 was the last to need this as later trains had identical driving vehicles.
 

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northernbelle

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'P' was also carried by the Wales and West 150/2s - I believe it was retained because it also showed where the wheelchair/bike spaces were on the unit.

In addition to those already mentioned, other modern day equivalents I can think of:
  • GWR IETs - have a white stripe around the centre marker light to denote the First Class end
  • Class 379s - small black triangle on one end
  • Pendolinos - yellow stripe across the top of the windscreen at First Class end
  • EMT 158s carried '52' or '57' at the relevant end
 

jopsuk

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317s have a triangle at one end, depending on subclass:
/1 (numbered 3xx/5xx) and /8, it's the ex parcels area
/6, it's (what was) the first class end
 

43055

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'P' was also carried by the Wales and West 150/2s - I believe it was retained because it also showed where the wheelchair/bike spaces were on the unit.

In addition to those already mentioned, other modern day equivalents I can think of:
  • GWR IETs - have a white stripe around the centre marker light to denote the First Class end
  • Class 379s - small black triangle on one end
  • Pendolinos - yellow stripe across the top of the windscreen at First Class end
  • EMT 158s carried '52' or '57' at the relevant end
I think the LNER Azuma's also have a white stripe around the center maker light as well.
EMR 156's also have a '2' or '7' to denote the '52' or '57' car.
The 185's have a yellow Electrical connector cover at the First Class / Disabled end.View attachment 88447
220, 221 and 222's also have this on the first class end.
 

_toommm_

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Did the 319s ever have a parcels area? I noticed on a Northern 319 on the last set of passenger doors there was an 'Area Out Of Use' (or something to that effect) illuminating sign on the outside of the train.
 

astock5000

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Class 700s and 717s also have a white line around the top of the upper marker light at one end.
Tube trains used to have A and B ends. they changed that to be A and D ends. Clearly marked on the ends of the trains. Something to do with restrictions on coupling. You can see the B in the pic. I think 1938 was the last to need this as later trains had identical driving vehicles.
To add to this, the coupling restrictions were due to wiring not being duplicated symmetrically across the couplers on some types of stock, meaning an A end would have to couple to a D end. The reason for the change from B to D in the late 1930s was to identify each axle and wheel using the same system, and therefore even stock that is "reversible" will still have A and D ends and number 1 and 2 sides. Some more modern stock such as the 1973s on the Piccadilly are not reversible, while the A60/A62 stock no longer was after its conversion to one person operation in the 1980s.

Another marking that can appear after a car number on LU stock is a dot, which indicates that the unit has de-icing equipment. Some types have / had this on the side only, but if carried on the ends this would be on both ends of the unit unlike the other examples of letters and symbols in this thread.
 

big all

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Did the 319s ever have a parcels area? I noticed on a Northern 319 on the last set of passenger doors there was an 'Area Out Of Use' (or something to that effect) illuminating sign on the outside of the train.
Yes the section behind the driver had sliding locking doors at that end also outside on the far end off the same vehicle was a carriage key operated rotary switch from memory [training late 80s]??
 

SteveyBee131

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For a time, when the eco-modifications were being trialled on the 185s, the units with said mods had EM on the unit ends. These were removed when the eco-modifications were rolled out on all the fleet.
 

FGW_DID

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"A" is a subset of 387s which have ETCS fitted, not sure if it is put physically on the unit though

If you are on about the 387 units used for the HEX services, no they don’t. A is for Air as in 387/Air.
 

py_megapixel

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If you are on about the 387 units used for the HEX services, no they don’t. A is for Air as in 387/Air.
It's pretty easy to tell them apart from the front anyway by the big HEx logo they've put on the end gangway door - it's not like a little 'A' next to the unit number would make the distinction much more obvious than that!
 
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