Train Numbering Systems

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Hi All

Not sure where this goes, but the Operators forum seems best.

Im wondering if anyone knows the origin of the train numbering systems?  Each operating area (e.g. John Holland/NSW Country, ARTC, Sydney Metro, Melbourne Metro, Queensland etc etc etc) has a different one, but they all seem to have a common thread of a letter or number for origin and destination, and then some other numbers for different things (e.g. operator, or day of the week, or departure of the day etc).  Why have train numbering systems here developed like this?  Its nice to be able to tell certain things about the train from its number, but what other advantages does it give over say the system used by airlines (i.e. QF107 which used to be the flight number from Sydney to New York)?  What systems are used in the UK and US (google hasn't helped me all that well here, sorry).  Have there been any attempts to 'standardise' the system so that the same system works on all networks (at least on the east coast anyway).  Are there limitations from using a zone system for the origin and destination instead of an actual point system?

Feel free to throw in any other comments you think might be interesting related to this topic too.

Thanks in advance.

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
It's a shambles.........
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Some information on the Queensland system can be found here.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Yep, and here is the NSW Country Rail Network Numbering System (refer to third file)

http://www.jhrcrn.com.au/Documents.asp?ID=67&Title=Standard+Working+Timetable+%28SWTT%29

And the ARTC one.

http://www.artc.com.au/library/Train_Numbering.pdf

Im sure others know of other jurisdictions.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I always though trains were numbered by putting all the numbers in a box and throwing it out the window and sweeping up the mess and going from there.
For many years Number 1&2 ran from Wallerawang to Oberon and return 6 days a week but when the Indian Pacific was introduced, it too was Number 1&2 but running from Sydney to Perth.  
Oddly enough there was never an instance where either Train was misrouted at the junctions.

There was a shunting trip that ran out as 101 and returned as 102 which was simple and if it was diesel hauled, it became 401/402, easy peasy.

After the opening of the Coal Loader at Austen and Butta's site, 4 numbers became the norm with XX01 arriving empty from Sydney, it left loaded as XX02.
Most times the empties might stop in Lithgow for some time before the Lift began but that didnt cause problems when the details were compiled manually.
But as time progressed and from I heard, the old numbering system caused headaches when the train changed direction when coming from either Port Kembla or Newcastle.

Sydney Suburban had some sort of Route/Run numbering system which I only looked at once and left it at that.
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

Victorian train numbering (non artc) is 4 numbers.

First number denotes train type: passenger, freight, suburban, light engine etc

Second number is for the track it will be traveling on/destination

Third and fourth numbers are used in order begining from the first up or down service. Even numbers for up and odd for down.

8100 for example is the first up passenger service on the Ararat corridor.
  ab123 Chief Train Controller
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
So, I rolled up my sleeves and did a bit of wikipedia coding to collate what you sent me and what id found on this.  Its useful to have it out there i think.  Perhaps it will show how varied and inconsistent a system we have.  Refer to:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_reporting_number_(Australia)

Its pretty basic for now but if there are any additions you'd like to make, feel free to go in and make them.  Wikipedia is pretty easy to use once you've got the hang of the basics.  

If you're not so inclined, I'm happy to make the edits if you send them to me via PM.
  EMBaldwin Chief Commissioner

Location: Amongst the Cane Fields
There have been changes to the Qld system to that which is described on the QRIG.org site as posted by Graham.  Examples being first digit of 2 now also covering Aurizon coal services on the Newlands system.  M for PN services on the Newlands system.  J for BMA electric coal trains in the Goonyella system.  There have been changes to the 2 digit (destinations) also for newer mines.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Thanks @EMBaldwin  Do you know where these changes are recorded (by QR/Aurizon preferably)?  Ill update from the source if I can.
  EMBaldwin Chief Commissioner

Location: Amongst the Cane Fields
I haven't seen anything on documents that are available outside of Aurizon unfortunately.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I haven't seen anything on documents that are available outside of Aurizon unfortunately.
EMBaldwin
Can you update the QRIG listing accordingly? You used to be one of the admins there, not sure if that still applies. I actually think I have rights to do so, but I've never used them and don't know how to! Smile
  NSWGR8022 Chief Train Controller

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Where does one find ARTC train numbering details please?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Check out the new Wikipedia page mentioned up thread!
  EMBaldwin Chief Commissioner

Location: Amongst the Cane Fields
Graham, I don't think i have access in the current version of QRIG.org to make changes, but will have to check. At worst i can make a list of changes and send to Dean.

No need to rush though, as I hear that there will he network-wise changes for the CQCN in a few weeks in regards to numbering.

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