Trivia: Long or unusual route numbers

Darklord8899

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Lothian night routes start with N, even they mostly follow the exact day route, but Lothian night routes have separate fares, although you can use Lothian Late ticket & network ticket on the Lothian night routes
And Ridacards :D

Stagecoach West Scotland have a few 4 character routes:
X25A
X76B
101A
 
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Statto

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And Ridacards :D

Stagecoach West Scotland have a few 4 character routes:
X25A
X76B
101A

Speaking of 4 track numbers, Stagecoach Merseyside have a 217A Kirkby to Halewood.

I don't know if they still have them after all the network revisions & renumbering's, West Midlands had 4 track numbers too, i do remember 247A & 248A Stourbridge Circulars, via Halesowen & Dudley
 

Deerfold

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West Yorkshire has far more 4-tracks than I realised - but most around Wakefield, used by Arriva to designate short journeys:

118A
118S
120A
140A
147A
148A
195A
201A
232S
230A
249A
254A
283A
327A
283A
425A
563A
901A
DASH

We used to have a 900X which became the 901.
 

Strathclyder

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For a few months in 2016, First Glasgow ran the CQ1, which ran (mostly) non-stop between Clydebank Bus Station and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital via the Clyde Tunnel. Not a four-track number, but a strange-looking one nonetheless (attached image is my own).

49567555566_3d7f69e162_c.jpg

The only four-track numbered routes I'm aware of First Glasgow running in the past 10-15 years are the X81A and the 118A, but there have been other examples no doubt.
 

tbtc

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I know that this doesn't fit the OP's category but I miss the lazy days of the Eastern Scottish services to East Lothian where the three character roller blinds would mean that the "express" version of the 106 was the "X06" (rather than just "X6", because it would have taken the driver too long to change the blinds from 106 to just X6) - tell that to today's kids with their easily programmable electronic destination screens and they won't believe you, tsk...

However we did have "Bus Zero" in Sheffield, back in those heady 1990s days between Mainline being under the dead hand of the PTE and being under the dead hand of First Group HQ, when we had an innovative bus company in these parts

Bus Zero ran an anti-clockwise loop from the city centre past the two main university areas (City - West Street - University of Sheffield Union - Hallamshire - Hunters Bar - Ecclesall Road - City Centre), gunmetal grey branded minibuses (F-reg Metroriders) every ten minutes on Thursday/ Friday/ Saturday nights, condom machines on board, the only marketing material I ever say just listed the pubs/nightclubs that it served rather than anything "square" like the actual streets you needed to stand on to wait for it - it was great for pub crawls, flat fares, an attempt to try to make the bus more attractive than the various rogue taxi operators who were a bit of a scourge back then

Lothian night routes start with N, even they mostly follow the exact day route, but Lothian night routes have separate fares, although you can use Lothian Late ticket & network ticket on the Lothian night routes

(again, not in the OP's definitions - apologies - but since we are talking about weird and wonderful service numbers) The Lothian (LRT) Night Buses used to have the quirk that they had a different number on Friday/Saturday nights to the Night Buses on rest of the week (e.g. your late night journey might be a 102 some nights and a 202 on others)

I know that it's not unusual for night buses to have a different number to the daytime service, but I'm talking about the Friday/Saturday night services having a different number to the Sunday to Thursday night services (both of which bore no relation to the daytime services)

I don't have the details to hand to remember whether there was much difference between some of these routes or they were identical in some cases (I think that there were certainly some journeys that only operated on Friday/Saturday nights, possibly some routes that only operated on those evenings but I can't remember now whether the "102" served exactly the same stops as the "202" or if there were route variations
 

TheGrandWazoo

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However we did have "Bus Zero" in Sheffield, back in those heady 1990s days between Mainline being under the dead hand of the PTE and being under the dead hand of First Group HQ, when we had an innovative bus company in these parts
Seem to recall Portsmouth had a bus 0 a few years ago doing some sort of circular route

Another oddity was the renumbering of various First services in North Somerset; incidentally, it irked the late @carlberry but only as the continual renumbering of services was for no real reason and he had a point! Nonetheless, as part of the Excel scheme, they received an X prefix (that naturally attracted foam flecked outrage from some enthusiasts as X must mean Express as it's enshrined in the Magna Carta) so you had the X1, X2 etc.

However, you then had express versions or other variations so you had the X1X or the X1A..... surely the X1X is really the 19?? :lol:
 

Roger1973

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they received an X prefix (that naturally attracted foam flecked outrage from some enthusiasts as X must mean Express as it's enshrined in the Magna Carta)

At a tangent, Reading Buses X4 (Reading - Bracknell) is 'all stops' although it takes a more direct route between Wokingham and Bracknell than the 4, which takes in some of the South Bracknell estates (although not as many as it used to) so is a longer journey, although it does have a non-stop section along the A329. (When First did it, both variants were the 90)
 

miklcct

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Yellow Buses 727 and 737 which have nothing to do with schools. Also, morebus 898 as the former ASDA shuttle now operated commercially. In general, 7xx routes in the region are school services. The above three and 125 (which still retains the former Wilts & Dorset numbering as a low-frequency rural route) are the only public 3-digit routes in Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole. The former Wilts & Dorset network, except the 125 and a few others in the New Forest area, has been completely dismantled for two decades already.
 

Alex365Dash

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Also i think the UB2 has been withdrawn so only the UB1 still operates. It is basically an hourly free service for staff and students that duplicates the public 25 bus which runs at least every five minutes.
The frequency for the UB1 isn’t actually every hour - it’s every 70 minutes! Helpful for remembering the timetable :)

It’s more of an express duplicate of the N25 given it only stops at Brighton University locations (campuses and halls of residence), although like the N25, takes a detour off Lewes Road to serve Varley Park Halls of Residence (unlike the N25, in both directions).
 

Statto

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I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned the joys of the Translink Ulsterbus numbering system - the introduction of LEDs means that these can now be displayed

View attachment 115334

Not only Ulsterbus, but sister company Translink Metro (Belfast) have the same number system, & most of the numbers finish with a letter

2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 2H, 2J, 2K, 2M

Metro (Belfast) even have weirder numbers EB1 TO EB7, EB13, EB15, EB16, EB17, & there is a U2 as well.:E
 

JRT

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In Germany, four-digit route numbers are used for bus routes that have replaced closed railway lines eg via Colditz. (I think railway tickets are valid on these routes)

As mentioned in another thread, 1934–1959 Barrow Corporation had coloured blinds to assist the many foreign workers working in the local shipyard. The scheme was declared a failure as a route number was easier to remember and indeed numbers are recognisable in most languages!
 
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Ken H

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Not only Ulsterbus, but sister company Translink Metro (Belfast) have the same number system, & most of the numbers finish with a letter

2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 2H, 2J, 2K, 2M

Metro (Belfast) even have weirder numbers EB1 TO EB7, EB13, EB15, EB16, EB17, & there is a U2 as well.:E
Is there any commonality between the various 2's?
Harrogate & District have a 1A, 1B and 1C. They run the same route Harrogate to Knaresborough. But after Knaresborough Bus Stn they toddle off to serve different estates. A sensible arrangement.
But then there are the conexions buses X1A and X1B.....
 

341o2

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Preston had route letters until deregulation such as FP Farringdon Park and PL Queens Drive

Woodcocks Buses on the Isles of Scilly operate a single route (they have to, there is only one road which can be used by buses) plus the airport bus, and crews used to have fun with the three track blinds, one displayed "007"

Harlow town services in London Transport days being numbered in the 800's
 
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Statto

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Is there any commonality between the various 2's?
Harrogate & District have a 1A, 1B and 1C. They run the same route Harrogate to Knaresborough. But after Knaresborough Bus Stn they toddle off to serve different estates. A sensible arrangement.
But then there are the conexions buses X1A and X1B.....

Just found a Tanslink Metro map (bloomin heck Translink Metro map is hard to find, Translink don't have one published on there site) all the 2s for instance, operate down the same route from the City Centre to a point a few miles away, then split off to the outer terminuses, same with all the others.

 

SCH117X

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Is there any commonality between the various 2's?
Harrogate & District have a 1A, 1B and 1C.
and a 1D now, a housing developer funded extension of the 1C which ran for short while as a separate service.
Similarly they use 2 numbers for the core route to the north eastern suburbs, actually 2A and 2B but once five services which back in the 1990s were maketed as 'Buzz aroind on a Bilton Bee" - the B1 and B1A running in opposite directions around the loop followed in the majority by the 2A, the B2 was a short working along part of the loop route, and the B3 and B4 were combined into what is the 2B; directly opposite to the Knaresborough services where a single service was split up to form what is the 1A and 1B although both have expanded since to serve retail developments. The 3 to the north western suburbs is expected to be split into two services (3A and 3B ?) once a bus gate opens to serve a new housing development as it will be impractical to extend the existing loop.
 

Roger1973

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As mentioned in another thread, 1934–1959 Barrow Corporation had coloured blinds to assist the many foreign workers working in the local shipyard. The scheme was declared a failure as a route number was easier to remember and indeed numbers are recognisable in most languages!

Bournemouth Corporation buses had different coloured 'via point' blinds until not that long ago (photo not mine)

London County Council trams had 3 lights above the destination box in the early years of electric trams - different routes would have a different combination of lights and colours (photo, also not mine) - they introduced service numbers before the 1914 war.

and Amsterdam trams still have a colour code for each route (photo - again not mine)

Harlow town services in London Transport days being numbered in the 800's

there were a few batches of 800+ numbers on LT country buses, as with the new towns, they ran out of 300+ numbers - Stevenage, Harlow and the Welwyn / Hatfield patch all had some.

There were also a few 851+ numbers on the south side, not as many as on the north side (from memory, 851 - 853 at Crawley and 854 for Orpington - Ramsden Estate) - and they managed to replace them with recycled 400+ numbers relatively early on (the 854 became 493) as infrequent routes were withdrawn in the 60s.
 

Ken H

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Bournemouth Corporation buses had different coloured 'via point' blinds until not that long ago (photo not mine)

London County Council trams had 3 lights above the destination box in the early years of electric trams - different routes would have a different combination of lights and colours (photo, also not mine) - they introduced service numbers before the 1914 war.

and Amsterdam trams still have a colour code for each route (photo - again not mine)



there were a few batches of 800+ numbers on LT country buses, as with the new towns, they ran out of 300+ numbers - Stevenage, Harlow and the Welwyn / Hatfield patch all had some.

There were also a few 851+ numbers on the south side, not as many as on the north side (from memory, 851 - 853 at Crawley and 854 for Orpington - Ramsden Estate) - and they managed to replace them with recycled 400+ numbers relatively early on (the 854 became 493) as infrequent routes were withdrawn in the 60s.
West Yorkshire renumbering made for some very high numbers. Many old routes had a suffix to make route numbers unique in the county. So the Leeds - Ilkley became the 734. Leeds - Scarborough changed from 43 to 843 which it still is today. Many of these number survive which is why many first routes in Bradford are still in the 600's.
 
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West Yorkshire renumbering made for some very high numbers. Many old routes had a suffix to make route numbers unique in the county. So the Leeds - Ilkley became the 734. Leeds - Scarborough changed from 43 to 843 which it still is today. Many of these number survive which is why many first routes in Bradford are still in the 600's.
This happened across West Yorkshire
800s into North Yorkshire and beyond
700s Wharfedale
600 Bradford
500 Halifax
400 Pontefract
300 Huddersfield
200 Dewsbury
100 Wakefield
0-99 Leeds (every other area had its 0-99 prefixed and still exists)

An interesting one is the Kingfisher Hanley to Uttoxeter route - previously 32, some blinds still show 32 (and D&G Hanley to Cheadle is 32x)
 
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Mal

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Bournemouth Corporation buses had different coloured 'via point' blinds until not that long ago (photo not mine)

London County Council trams had 3 lights above the destination box in the early years of electric trams - different routes would have a different combination of lights and colours (photo, also not mine) - they introduced service numbers before the 1914 war.

and Amsterdam trams still have a colour code for each route (photo - again not mine)



there were a few batches of 800+ numbers on LT country buses, as with the new towns, they ran out of 300+ numbers - Stevenage, Harlow and the Welwyn / Hatfield patch all had some.

There were also a few 851+ numbers on the south side, not as many as on the north side (from memory, 851 - 853 at Crawley and 854 for Orpington - Ramsden Estate) - and they managed to replace them with recycled 400+ numbers relatively early on (the 854 became 493) as infrequent routes were withdrawn in the 60s.
When Edinburgh had trams until 1956 there were two lights beside the route number box, eg red over yellow, yellow over blue. There were six different colours and each combination matched the route number.
 

Deerfold

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This happened across West Yorkshire
800s into North Yorkshire and beyond
700s Wharfedale
600 Bradford
500 Halifax
400 Pontefract
300 Huddersfield
200 Dewsbury
100 Wakefield
0-99 Leeds (every other area had its 0-99 prefixed and still exists)
Also 800s for minibus routes, 900s and Nxx for night routes (later, 900s were used for rural routes). 700s were also used for Keighley local routes until very recently. Then there were a selection of lettered routes for local routes in small towns and A-E for market day services in Holmfirth.

A lot of this system remains but locally to me it's completely disappeared.
The 666(/7/8) has become the 66, the 712, 762 and 765 have become the 62, the 669 became the 25 them the 21/2 them the M4. The 713 became the 903 (though it is now a tendered meandering route). Most of the nearby 7xx and Mx routes are now Kx or Kxx routes.
 

MotCO

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The Inter-Station bus link in London was unnumbered - they used to show a circle of arrows on the blind, although some did display 555 or 556 depending on direction, which matched the numbers used internally.

(not my photo)

I've also found Routemasters operated this route with Inter Station Link in the number box
(not my photo)

Slightly further afield, Go Ahead Oxford run their coaches to Gatwick as LGW, and to Oxford as OXF.
 

Roilshead

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West Yorkshire renumbering made for some very high numbers. Many old routes had a suffix to make route numbers unique in the county. So the Leeds - Ilkley became the 734. Leeds - Scarborough changed from 43 to 843 which it still is today. Many of these number survive which is why many first routes in Bradford are still in the 600's.

This happened across West Yorkshire
800s into North Yorkshire and beyond
700s Wharfedale
600 Bradford
500 Halifax
400 Pontefract
300 Huddersfield
200 Dewsbury
100 Wakefield
0-99 Leeds (every other area had its 0-99 prefixed and still exists)

Also 800s for minibus routes, 900s and Nxx for night routes (later, 900s were used for rural routes). 700s were also used for Keighley local routes until very recently. Then there were a selection of lettered routes for local routes in small towns and A-E for market day services in Holmfirth.

There's a bit of confusion creeping in here. West Yorkshire PTE introduced new service numbers on 23 May 1976. Most Metro Leeds services kept numbers within the 0-99 range (with some renumbering in that range), though some to the Garforth area joint with West Riding moved into the 1xx series, and Fastaway limited stop services were renumbered from 2xx to Xxx.

The Central Leeds Shoppers Service was renumbered from 401 to 100. Four Metro Bradford services, joint with West Yorkshire or Yorkshire were numbered in the 6xx series to be adopted for Bradford-area services. Five Metro Calderdale services were numbered in the 5xx series to be adopted for Calderdale-area services. Yorkshire services were largely renumbered in the 2xx series, which was also used for Yorkshire Traction services (which ensured commonality with South Yorkshire PTE's renumbering for those services crossing the WYPTE-SYPTE boundary).

Those West Riding services not already numbered within the 1xx or 4xx series - which predated the PTE - were renumbered, although the distinction between 1xx for Wakefield and 4xx for Pontefract/Castleford/Featherstone never existed (due to the overlap/complexity of the West Riding network around these areas) and some West Riding routes that went nowhere near Pontefract/Castleford/Featherstone were renumbered in the 4xx series.

West Yorkshire routes from Bradford were renumbered in the 6xx series, whilst those from Leeds and Keighley (so not "Wharfedale") were renumbered into a 7xx series. Renumbering of further Metro Calderdale and Metro Bradford routes into the 5xx and 6xx series, and the renumbering of Metro Kirklees services into the 3xx series took place subsequently - and there was also the renumbering of the Metro Leeds night/hospital/schools/industrial services from their numeric series into alpha-numeric series.

The use of 8xx series numbers for Dales Bus and coastal services, the 9xx series, alpha-numeric numbers or letters for local networks, etc came much later, and in many cases after deregulation.
 

Ken H

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150249

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Don't know if it has been mentioned but stagecoach south west has MS1-MS5 (M&S shuttles) with different numbers depending on the day of the week
 

tbtc

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Amsterdam trams still have a colour code for each route (photo - again not mine)

Sheffield Supertram used colours instead of numbers/ letters - starting out with a wider variety (given that initially Meadowhall was just a shuttle to the City Centre with the Halfway and Herdings Park providing all of the trams on the Hillsborough corridor, but the Sunday services saw direct Halfway to Meadowhall services) - before settling down on Yellow (Middlewood to Meadowhall), Blue (Malin Bridge to Halfway) and Purple (City Centre to Herdings Park)

However this has changed to actually showing "Y", "B" and "P", with the TramTrain service being "TT" rather than just a simple coloured blind (the maps etc still show the colours)

This happened across West Yorkshire
800s into North Yorkshire and beyond
700s Wharfedale
600 Bradford
500 Halifax
400 Pontefract
300 Huddersfield
200 Dewsbury
100 Wakefield
0-99 Leeds (every other area had its 0-99 prefixed and still exists)

Similar in South Yorkshire

0-99 - Sheffield
100-149 - Rotherham
150-199 - Doncaster locals
200-299 - Regional (including cross border into Derbyshire, but also routes in the "Dearne Valley" area between Rotherham/ Doncaster/ Barnsley)
300-399 - Barnsley
400-499 - Doncaster longer distance (generally to fit in with the West Yorkshire routes mentioned by @onlinespotting but not all of the 4XX routes crossed the border)
500 - City Clipper in Sheffield
600-699 - Works Services
700-799 - Early Bird services
800-899 - Schools
900-999 - Night Buses

(obviously there were some exceptions to the above, especially when things went "cross border", but that seemed to be the gist)

Unsurprisingly most Rotherham/ Doncaster/ Rotherham services became single/double digit routes after deregulation to make things simpler for local route networks

HOWEVER, when First closed the massive Midland Road depot in Rotherham that meant all Rotherham routes were operated by Olive Grove (Sheffield) or Leger Way (Doncaster). So, to keep things simpler for drivers (at the cost of confusing passengers?), the local area Rotherham services generally went back to being in the one hundred range - e.g. some of the Kimberworth circles were the 141 in PTE days, it became the 41 in Mainline days but has gone back to 141 now to avoid any confusion with a two digit number in Sheffield (41 from Dyke Vale Road into the city centre) or Doncaster, (41 from Scawsby into the town centre) since the Sheffield/ Doncaster buses now have all Rotherham services on the electronic blinds, so you don't want someone putting the "wrong" 41 on the destination screen (I say 41 as an example, there are lots of other Rotherham routes that went from being the "1xx" to the "xx")
 

JRT

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West Yorkshire renumbering made for some very high numbers. Many old routes had a suffix to make route numbers unique in the county. So the Leeds - Ilkley became the 734. Leeds - Scarborough changed from 43 to 843 which it still is today. Many of these number survive which is why many first routes in Bradford are still in the 600's.
Leeds – Scarborough (all stops) became 743 as part of the general renumbering, with a limited stop version 843 starting afterwards, eventually it became just the 843 and an all stops service.

Leeds retained the two-digit numbers as many ex LCT buses had only two-digit roller blinds. Bradford's trolleybuses also had two-digit displays but of course they had finished by then.
 

Ken H

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Leeds – Scarborough (all stops) became 743 as part of the general renumbering, with a limited stop version 843 starting afterwards, eventually it became just the 843 and an all stops service.

Leeds retained the two-digit numbers as many ex LCT buses had only two-digit roller blinds. Bradford's trolleybuses also had two-digit displays but of course they had finished by then.
Leeds had many 1 track number blinds. Long wind from 1 to the 100 series for specials.
 

pemma

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Cheshire Cat, used for the routes run beyond Warrington borough boundary into Cheshire, as Warrington borough area is a Unitary Authority

Not quite. Cheshire Cat is the brand for Warrington to Stockton Heath services. The different routes were supposed to combine to give a 10 minute clock face frequency. It's also intended as a premium brand with the usual allocation of vehicles having WiFi, USB charging points and a 'sofa' at the back. The hourly CAT9 runs to Northwich but apart from that the other CAT routes either terminate within the Warrington borough or go to Greater Manchester. Their one service that runs in to Cheshire East is not a CAT branded service and does not run via Stockton Heath.

Pre-1974 when there was no Greater Manchester or Merseyside. The town of Warrington was in Lancashire, while virtually every town and village south of it was in Cheshire so if you drew the current CAT bus routes on a council boundary map from the early 70s then all the routes would go in to Cheshire.

The Northwich service gives very unusual route numbers as a 2 hourly Warrington to Northwich via Wincham service combines with a 2 hourly Warrington to Northwich via Anderton service. To distinguish between the two they use CAT9 and CAT9A. But on bus stops in Cheshire West they appear as CC9 and CC9A!
 

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