What is are the numbers on Class 455 destination blinds?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by ccityplanner12, 15 Aug 2019.

  1. ccityplanner12

    ccityplanner12 Member

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    Class 455s have blinds at the front indicating the route of the train (although this is rarely correct). These display a number at the end, e.g.:
    "Guildford via Epsom 16"
    "Chessington Sth via Wimbledon 18"
    "Kingston via Richmond 21"
    "Hampton Court via Surbiton 30"
    "Waterloo via Kingston 24"
    "Waterloo via Kingston 32"
    "Guildford via Cobham 42"
    It is not present on the Southern units, which have had their gangway replaced with an air conditioning unit.
    It is also not present on Class 456s (the later, smaller version of the 455s with different traction equipment & bodywork), which suggests that the system was no longer in use by the time they were built. They have a dot-matrix which only displays the destination (unlike the 455 blinds it is usually correct).
    It doesn't look like a headcode, which usually has at least one letter.
    I thought it may have been a timetable number, but according to Timetable World the aforementioned services would all have been in tables 77 & 78, & the numbers I have seen on class 455 displays don't go up that high.
     
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  3. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    They are a legacy from the "old Southern Region" that ran slam door trains where units carried numerical headcodes on the front to indicate where the train was going, and usually, its route, rather than using destination blinds
     
  4. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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  5. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    The Southern Electric Group used to publish a booklet titled "Southern Region Two Character Headcodes" which you might be able to pick up from eBay if you are interested
     
  6. big all

    big all On Moderation

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    a point off interest on the central division at least
    with london suburban services using a single set off stencils from 0-9 the only services with double same digit would be diesel services with roller blinds hence uckfield oxted to london and reading to tonbridge[44/55/66/77/88]
    the only exception that comes to mind was when they recast the head codes for lower numbers for main line head codes the south london line went from i think a 1 to a 22 but was always a 2 car epb so roller blinds

    also even numbers victoria odd numbers london bridge
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2019
  7. Caleb2010

    Caleb2010 Member

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    It stayed through to the 377 era, when the 377's were introduced on the coastway services they would display the headcode and destination - 42 Seaford for example!
     
  8. ccityplanner12

    ccityplanner12 Member

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    They seem to resemble those codes. I'm thinking I might do a map with them.
     
  9. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    Just a few examples that come to mind...

    "2" Victoria - Littlehampton (via Hove and Worthing)
    "4" Victoria - Brighton express, or limited stop
    "18" Ore - Brighton
    "43" Brighton - Eastbourne

    "4" Charing Cross - Ramsgate/Margate via Dover
    "22" Charing Cross - Hastings via Tonbridge
    "24" Charing Cross - Hayes
    "16" Charing Cross - Sevenoaks
    "17" Cannon Street - Sevenoaks

    "01" Waterloo - Clapham Yard (Windsor lines)
    "38" Waterloo - Reading
    "81" Waterloo - Portsmouth Harbour (Direct)
    "91" Waterloo - Weymouth fast
     
  10. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    I always found them quite useful. Regular commuters would quickly remember them and they were easier to read from a distance than the full destination blinds
     
  11. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    At least they worked and were easily readable. Dot matix or digital displays are often difficult to read and often don't work
     
  12. nickw1

    nickw1 Member

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    One or two omissions with the 1981 list (assuming that the pattern in 1981 prevailed throughout the 80s), e.g. 75 was used for both Waterloo-Woking-Guildford (slow) and Portsmouth and Southsea to Southampton.

    Actually I've never understood why they duplicated some headcodes. In addition to the two '75's, above, there are two '87's and two '89's, yet plenty of unused numbers. 87 and 89 don't seem 'right' for the Hounslow loop in any case, most headcodes on the suburban network are below 60.

    There was a systematic pattern for some, e.g. on the Waterloo main lines, 5x meant the Alton Line, 6x Basingstoke/Salisbury, 7x Portsmouth Direct (terminating between Haslemere and Portsmouth and Southsea inclusive - there was also a 71 fast), 8x Portsmouth Direct to Portsmouth Harbour, and 9x Weymouth line (anywhere beyond Basingstoke). Then x1 was fast, x2 semi-fast and x3 stopping. Likewise on the Reading lines 2x meant Camberley line, 3x Reading line and x6, x7, x8 and x9 indicated stopping frequency and route.

    The South Central also had a systematic pattern, e.g:
    x2 Littlehampton
    x4 Brighton
    x6 Bognor
    x8 Portsmouth
    x0 Redhill/Reigate/Gatwick

    with "x" varying depending on how fast the train was, and the route. For example, to Brighton:

    4 - fast
    14 - semi fast via Quarry
    34 - semi fast via Redhill
    44 - stopping via Redhill

    Even numbers were Victoria; add one for London Bridge (the SE division did the same for Charing Cross vs. Cannon Street). The only exception was the ex-DEMU services to East Grinstead and Uckfield, which as discussed above were always double digit, e.g. 66 and 77 to East Grinstead. This patter persisted even after electrification!

    The lower numbers, i.e. 2 to 9, seemed to indicate the most common route rather than a specific route. For example, 2 was Littlehampton via Hove but 6 was Bognor via the Arun Valley and 8 was Portsmouth via the Arun Valley - and conversely 32 was Littlehampton via Redhill and the Arun Valley, but 38 was Portsmouth via Hove. Not sure if 36 was Bognor via Hove though! (EDIT: looking at the South Central headcodes, no - it was Bognor via the Arun Valley and Littlehampton).

    Eastbourne line trains didn't conform to this though, presumably because they'd run out of destinations! There were, IIRC, 50, or 52 for the Newhaven line.
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2019
  13. Southern

    Southern Member

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    Regarding the 456, they had two-digit codes when introduced, i.e. 94 was Victoria - West Croydon via Crystal Palace. That was pre-introduction of the fluorescent yellow blinds (that also made it on to the Selhurst based 455's) which did away with the codes. When they were refurbed by Southern, and certainly in their final few months with that TOC, did notice them make a comeback as had 006 displaying 92, which was the code for Victoria - Epsom Downs via Norbury & West Croydon. 84 was still occasionally used on the Southern 455 refurbs as well, route Victoria - Dorking/Horsham via Mitcham Junction. Unfortunately, there isn't a great deal of photographic evidence of the Southern blinds, a shame considering the units have been pretty much been the backbone of the South London Metro scene for what must be coming up to 40 years.

    Indeed, still occasionally see the roller blind in use on the Southern 455's :rolleyes:
     
  14. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    I seem to recall that for a time in the late 1980s and early '90s (when I lived in Putney and went to secondary school in Richmond, usually travelling by train) the pre-recorded announcements for Waterloo stopping trains at Richmond used to say "Platform 2 for the Waterloo service, route code 21".
     
  15. Cricketer8for9

    Cricketer8for9 Member

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    And on the diesel front 22 Charing Cross to Hastings and 33 Cannon St to Hastings.
     
  16. Helvellyn

    Helvellyn Established Member

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    Some Drivers and Guards manually enter the two digit codes on Desiro stock. They also appear on schedule cards for Drivers and Guards.
     
  17. Controller1701

    Controller1701 Member

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    Eastbourne line codes were as follows
    16 - Brighton to Ore
    18 - Ore to Brighton
    43 - Eastbourne to Brighton
    50 - Victoria to Eastbourne
    51 - London Bridge to Eastbourne
    72 - Victoria to Ore (only carried between Eastbourne and Ore)
    75 - London Bridge to Ore (only carried between Eastbourne and Ore)

    A train from Victoria to Ore would actually carry two headcodes, 50 from Victoria to Eastbourne and then 72

    Paul
     
  18. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    A couple I can recall (god knows why):

    24 - Charing + - Hayes via Lewisham

    25 - Cannon St - Hayes

    34 - Charing + - Hayes (fast London Bridge to
    Ladywell)

    They were displayed on the networkers up until the mid 2000s until the upgraded PIS system (with audible announcements) was introduced.
     
  19. Glorious_NSE

    Glorious_NSE New Member

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    As a long term lurker on the forum, I couldn't let this subject pass without comment. The blinds on the SW 455s were replaced with the current white on blue ones in the mid '90s when there was a need for additional destinations to be shown. To make the displays more useful we went for destination on the left (as you looked at the train) and route, with the two digit route code, on the right - previously there had only been a list of destinations. This was before electronic displays had really come into use, but the fact that they are still in use today shows that they work. We had a bit of fun with some spare lines, the original plan was for 'The Meaning' and 'Of Life 42' until the train planners told us that we had to include 'Kensington' and "Olympia 20' as 455s were going to work the 'Kenny Belle' from the next timetable change.

    I have long since moved away from professional involvement with South Western although I travel in and out of Waterloo frequently, still seeing the blinds in use and usually correct. As a driver said to me many years ago 'I'm sitting under the destination blind and if it's wrong someone is going to bang on the window and ask me where the train is going - getting it right makes my life easier'. Again, this was before the days of Customer Information Screens on every platform but the principle still applies.

    M
     

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