Possible Radioactive wagon.

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38Cto15E

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I was just looking at one of my old freight trains worked books (1973) and noticed I had written on the bottom of the page Radioactive 210-414-0025-7 Chester-Harwich.
This was on 7F26 0045 hours from Cockshute Sidings, Stoke on Trent to Leicester, so I can only assume there was one Radioactive wagon in the consist making it's way to Harwich.
I don't know if anyone can add any more info?.
 
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38Cto15E

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HaHa, I am still glowing but that's from my Stella, no there were no problems, it was my one and only time I made a note like this, presumably it is a number I would have to quote if the train became derailed or whatever.
 

Gloster

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It could be the UIC wagon number, but if it is there is probably one digit missing. The UIC number is eleven digits followed by a dash: after the dash is a single check digit.

EDIT: If the first sentence above is correct the most likely answer is that a digit is missing after the first two (the 21). 70 was the country code for the UK and 80 for Germany. It is possible to find the formula for calculating the check digit and see which one fits, but I leave that to somebody with better maths than me.
 
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CyrusWuff

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It could be the UIC wagon number, but if it is there is probably one digit missing. The UIC number is eleven digits followed by a dash: after the dash is a single check digit.

EDIT: If the first sentence above is correct the most likely answer is that a digit is missing after the first two (the 21). 70 was the country code for the UK and 80 for Germany. It is possible to find the formula for calculating the check digit and see which one fits, but I leave that to somebody with better maths than me.
The short answer to that is "neither of the above". The check digit is calculated using Luhn's algorithm (multiply alternate digits, starting with the 2, by 2 - if the answer is more than 9, add the two digits together - add the new string of numbers together, then deduct the units digit of the result from 10 to get the check digit).

To get a check digit of 7, the missing number has to be 4, which tells us the wagon in question apparently came from Cuba. (A list can be found on Wikipedia).
 

XAM2175

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To get a check digit of 7, the missing number has to be 4, which tells us the wagon in question apparently came from Cuba. (A list can be found on Wikipedia).
The third and fourth digits have only been a country code since 2006. Before then it indicated the railway that was responsible for the vehicle (a function now performed by the Vehicle Keeper Marking). Consulting the April 1970 version of UIC Leaflet 438-2 Annexe II that was valid until 01 December 1975 shows that administration code 40 wasn't in use at the time.

It's also not the right format for a UIC number even if a missing digit is presumed - the standard format for displaying the number on vehicles used a dash only to separate the check digit; the other separators are spaces or line breaks (for example: 01 87 124 6 873-7)
 

Gloster

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It's also not the right format for a UIC number even if a missing digit is presumed - the standard format for displaying the number on vehicles used a dash only to separate the check digit; the other separators are spaces or line breaks (for example: 01 87 124 6 873-7)
I just wondered if it had been written down in a hurry. That could explain the odd spacing and the missing digit.
 

Dunfanaghy Rd

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Going back to first principles, so to speak, TOPS only shows 10 digits (the first 2 being omitted) Starting from the back there would be a) check digit, b) 3 figure number, c) 4 figure Type code, d) 2 figure Country code. I'm assuming (dangerous, I know) that 210 is a rushed 70. That gives 70 4140 002-5. 4140 is the code for type Lfs. So far, so good. The problem is the exchange code (which TOPS omits). It works out if it was 24, but that is a 4-wheeled, private owner, variable gauge wagon. Its the variable gauge that has me stumped. So, an enjoyable 5 minutes among my books, and I've wasted all your time!
Pat
 

38Cto15E

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Thanks for all the replies to my query.
I feel that the number 210 is correct even with probably writing it in the dark with help just by a Bardic lamp.
Don't forget that this was October 1973 so systems may have changed.
We had 19 wagons on equal to 31 standard length units with a weight of 511 tons including the Class 47 1828.
Harwich was the destination so perhaps for shipment to Hook of Holland.
 

DerekC

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The short answer to that is "neither of the above". The check digit is calculated using Luhn's algorithm (multiply alternate digits, starting with the 2, by 2 - if the answer is more than 9, add the two digits together - add the new string of numbers together, then deduct the units digit of the result from 10 to get the check digit).

To get a check digit of 7, the missing number has to be 4, which tells us the wagon in question apparently came from Cuba. (A list can be found on Wikipedia).
A radioactive wagon from Cuba in 1973 - now that must be the start of a Len Deighton novel!
 

randyrippley

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I was just looking at one of my old freight trains worked books (1973) and noticed I had written on the bottom of the page Radioactive 210-414-0025-7 Chester-Harwich.
This was on 7F26 0045 hours from Cockshute Sidings, Stoke on Trent to Leicester, so I can only assume there was one Radioactive wagon in the consist making it's way to Harwich.
I don't know if anyone can add any more info?.
Chester makes sense: BNFL Capenhurst was nearby.
Anything radioactive would have been under guard - I'm inclined to think this was an empty wagon going back.
Also inclined to to think whatever it had carried was relatively safe -e.g deuterated or tritiated solvents for biochemical research. The USSR had an export market in these. Would also explain th ewagon if it was variable gauge
 

Inversnecky

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Another industrial use is medical radionucleotides - but the amounts would be extremely small, well shielded and cased and I doubt very much they'd be hauled in a massive freight wagon!!
 

PG

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Radioactive 210-414-0025-7
A long shot but might the 210 refer to the radioactive isotope Polonium 210 ?
  • Polonium-210 is a rare radioactive metal discovered by Marie Curie in the late 19th century.
  • While radioactive, it emits a high-energy form of radiation, but the particles do not travel far and it decays relatively quickly.
  • If polonium-210 enters the body, through inhalation, swallowing, broken skin, the results can be fatal.
  • By mass, polonium-210 is one of the deadliest toxins, around 250 billion times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide.
 

randyrippley

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Thinking about it some more..........maybe an import of thorium dioxide?
Used commercially in ceramics and glass, among other things
 
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