Train numbering is a dark magic with lots and lots of "gotchas" and bizzare conventions.
We're busy compiling some code which will determine the origin, destination and cargo of a train based on its running number. In fact, we've already got the ARTC interstate numbers sorted: simply type them into the search field above, and you'll find more information on it.
If you're after more detail on the specifics of the numbering schemas, read on!
The first number refers to the day of the week the train departs its origin. 1 = Sunday, 2 = Monday, 7 = Saturday.
The second digit (letter) is the origin and the third digit (letter) is the destination, viz:
|G||Goobang Junction (Parkes)|
|Q||Medway Quarry (NSW)|
|T||Tennant Creek/Taree (was: McIntyre Loop)|
The fourth digit was originally the sequential order of departure from the origin each day on that line, but may now indicate an operator. For example, the first train from Sydney to Melbourne on a Monday would be 2SM1. The second train from Sydney to Melbourne would be 2SM2. The first train from Sydney to Brisbane would be 2SB1.
However the fourth digit now refers to the type of train or the operator, and varies between corridors.
Passenger trains use the suffix 8 regardless of their order of departure, e.g. the Overland is AM8/MA8. The Indian Pacific is numbered as separate trains from Sydney to Adelaide and then from Adelaide to Perth, i.e. SA8/AP8 and PA8/AS8.
4AS6 - ARG intermodal from Adelaide to Sydney departing Adelaide on Wednesday.
1BM7 - QR National intermodal from Brisbane to Melbourne departing Brisbane on Sunday.
1AD8 - The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin departing Adelaide on Sunday.
6NY2 - Pacific National steel from Newcastle to Whyalla departing Newcastle on Friday.
ARTC have released a very detailed whitepaper on their train numbering schemas. You can view the whitepaper as a PDF at http://www.artc.com.au/library/Train_Numbering.pdf
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