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Author Topic: Understanding headcodes  (Read 344 times)

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Offline Newportnobby

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Understanding headcodes
« on: December 05, 2019, 03:49:14 PM »
I'd like to gain some knowledge of diesel (and some steam) headcodes please.

Examples 1A 01 would have been euston bound
1M02 would have been an interregional london midland bound. 1E 09 eastern bound, 1V 88 bound the western. Depends what region. On the WR 1Axx would have been apaddington service, 1B xx south wales bound, 1C xx plymouth ,penzance. Think 1 is express, 2 a local  the letterdonated the region, its destination,  its working, the numbers the service train at the time of day

Apart from the last 2 numbers of the code I understand to a certain extent But...........


It depends on the region the train is on. See the review of the Class 50 in the Journal to give some examples, i.e.,
 These are, specifically, 1A35 at the A-end and 1B65 at the B-end. While working on the LMR these would be fast passenger or parcel trains headed for Scotland, while on the Western these would be headed for London or South Wales respectively."


Couldn't the regions have standardized?

Trains to the LMR were 'M', to the WR, 'V' ('W' would not fit in the head code boxes I understand!), to  the ER and NER were 'E' and to the ScR were 'S'.  For instance, 1S25 was the 1630 (SX) KX to Waverley - maybe still is.


If 1S25 was the 16.30 (SX) KX to Waverley as the Scottish Region is 'S' then why, in Nemo's example, do express trains to Scotland have no 'S' in their number? I know the WR did things differently in many cases but differences in headcode useage as well?
If, as I understand it, 'A' signifies London, does that'A' apply for both Up and Down trains?
If the first number denotes the type of train then what are the last 2 numbers for as there are not enough numbers to denote a time.
My brain cell hurts :dunce:

Online Train Waiting

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 04:27:35 PM »
Hello Mick

Firstly, an apology.  I forgot to include the regional code for the SR in my earlier post.  It is O (that's a letter O not a zero).

The first number is the class of train.
The letter is the destination code within the region or the regional code if an inter-regional working.
The last two numbers are the number of the train.

Here are two examples:

1M20: the up 'Royal Scot'.  Class 1 train going from the ScR to the LMR and train number 20.
And one I used to travel on as a boy - 1E31: the afternoon Glasgow Central to Sheffield.

As for the destination codes within regions, I understand that the LMR and WR both used 'A' for trains destined for London.  The ScR didn't go to London, but it had its own use for 'A' - Aberdeen, of course!

There were changes over time but the basics have remained the same since the early 1960s to the present day.

Please note that the above ramblings are from memory and may well be corrected by a better-informed ForumFriend.

Best wishes.

John

'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

The Table-Top Railway is an attempt to create, in British 'N' gauge,  a 'semi-scenic' railway in the old-fashioned style, reminiscent of the layouts of the 1920s to the 1950s.

For the made-up background to the railway and list of characters, please see here: https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=38281.msg607991#msg607991

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 04:41:15 PM »
1S25 is indeed the kings cross edinburgh. On the london midland the  A letter denotes the up service towards euston.K  towarrds crewe and stoke. There a re  other routes denoted by the letter. Will explain by phone

Online Shropshire Lad

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 04:51:38 PM »
Whilst also in the Midland region Birmingham to Leicester stopping services also have a K designation.

Offline RailGooner

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2019, 04:56:34 PM »
 :hmmm: What we need is someone to code a web app that, when one enters class of train, source, destination, etc. it produces a suitable headcode. And vice versa of course. I'm afraid my Java ain't up to it. :computerangry:
“We are indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said. “The welfare of our former service personnel is of the utmost importance.”

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2019, 05:00:21 PM »
Today 's headcodes are a nightmare. The cross country oxford service and say a kings cross  edinburgh or euston manchester service eg virgin etc use a long list of letters and numbers just to confuse , mark.

Offline RailGooner

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2019, 05:08:16 PM »
Chris, it doesn't need a long list, like Mick I'm confused easily enough with only four! :D
“We are indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said. “The welfare of our former service personnel is of the utmost importance.”

Per Ardua ad Astra | Mens Agitat Molem | Victoria Concordia Crescit | Utrinque Paratus | Caveat lector

Online crewearpley40

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 05:10:59 PM »
Next time we meet. will explain to you mark
 . Will pm in a bit

Offline martyn

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2019, 05:12:38 PM »
Mick/NPN;

Scroll down almost to the bottom of;

http://www.igg.org.uk/gansg/3-sigs/bellhead.htm

This will give basic details of the four character headcodes.

Mostly, reply #1 explains the broad picture. Unfortunately for  modellers, each region-and possibly parts of region-had different destinations for the destination code letter. It is also possible that the code letter changed over time for the destination. Eg On Liverpool St lines, 'F' indicated Harwich Parkeston Quay; but F in the Manchester area would have been a different destination, and in Cardiff would have been different again (I presume F headcodes existed in these places!). The Harwich-Manchester North Country Continental (so-called) was 1Mxx out and 1E returning to Harwich; indicating train to the Midland region outward and train to Eastern region returning. It would seem that a more 'local' code was not used after changing regional boundaries, but the trains kept the same headcode throughout the journey.

Post #4, Railgooner-rather you than me trying to tabulate all the possible combinations of train which you describe. And they changed with time......0:))
 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 05:18:36 PM by martyn, Reason: Spelling »

Offline class37025

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2019, 05:16:51 PM »
typed by fur box mechanic - dictated by brain on a chain

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2019, 05:23:49 PM »

Offline RailGooner

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2019, 05:24:16 PM »
..
 And they changed with time......0:))

 :'( Noooooooo!
“We are indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said. “The welfare of our former service personnel is of the utmost importance.”

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Offline RailGooner

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2019, 05:39:49 PM »
Thanks for the link Chris.

So, since I model post 2000 any of my 'heritage' locos/trains can display 00 or 0000 and be prototypically correct. Simples! I don't know what all the fuss was about. :D
“We are indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said. “The welfare of our former service personnel is of the utmost importance.”

Per Ardua ad Astra | Mens Agitat Molem | Victoria Concordia Crescit | Utrinque Paratus | Caveat lector

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2019, 09:26:52 PM »
Thanks for the link Chris.

So, since I model post 2000 any of my 'heritage' locos/trains can display 00 or 0000 and be prototypically correct. Simples! I don't know what all the fuss was about. :D

Lucky you. Simplest solution for you would be to plate everything over :D
Thanks everyone for the links which I'll look at tomorrow as weariness after being dragged round garden centres full of Christmas tat and thus hitting the Southern Comfort as a reward to myself doth not concentration help :no:

Offline MarshLane

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Re: Understanding headcodes
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2020, 08:15:01 PM »
Today 's headcodes are a nightmare. The cross country oxford service and say a kings cross  edinburgh or euston manchester service eg virgin etc use a long list of letters and numbers just to confuse , mark.

Hi Mark,
Sorry to pick up an old thread, but actually they dont.  Network Rail still uses the same priniciples, although there have been a couple of changes.

Something like LNER services from Edinburgh to King's Cross, still use the 1Exx principal - denoting a Class 1 Express Passenger, heading to the Eastern Region, while something heading the opposite direction would be 1Sxx. CrossCountry services use the same premise.

Virgin West Coast - sorry Avanti West Coast - equally are the same, although some of their's now run as Class 9.  In the old days that would have been an unfitted freight!  Today, it denotes a train that requires special attention.  Its used on the WCML to denote those services that operate via Birmingham, and was introduced in VT days to allow the signallers to tell apart London to Glasgow (via the Trent Valley) Class 1 services from London to Glasgow (via Birmingham) Class 1 - which was quite handy when they extended some London - Birmingham services through to Glasgow!

The area that causes a lot of people confusion is freight trains.  Freight companies (under the current system) must ask Network Rail to release the head codes of their trains in the data feeds that go out to websites like RealTimeTrains and OpenTrainTimes.  If they don't they are scrambled for security (although nobody in Network Rail at any level can yet explain to me why this happens).  Currently on GBRf have requested this, so all GBRf operated freights show the right head code.  All others (DBC, DRS, Colas, DCR) show a scrambled head code.  While this gives some information it is totally useless in the main! 

The scrambling works by keeping the initial digit, the classification, the same  - so a train with the head code 6Y10 for example will have a scrambled code that still starts with a 6, but the process then creates a random unofficial head code for THAT day, such as 694G.  This means nothing to nobody, it has no reference, cannot be linked back to anything and is purely given to the timetable path for that working on that day.  If the same 6Y10 path runs the next day, it will likely get a different scrambled code, perhaps 638Y.  Other than knowing it is a Class 6, and therefore a freight, it has no use to anyone, and shouldn't be quoted in a captions or references, as it literally is throw away info!

Hope that helps, rather than confuses.

Rich

 

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