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Diesel loco headcode discs-purpose in later years


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One class not mentioned so far is the class 312 EMUs, provided with 4 character headcode boxes but not delivered until around 1976/7 so they were never used as far as I know. 

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10 minutes ago, Andrea506 said:

One class not mentioned so far is the class 312 EMUs, provided with 4 character headcode boxes but not delivered until around 1976/7 so they were never used as far as I know. 

The GN and GE sub classes certainly were floating around the London suburban area carrying headcodes for the first year of service before being given white dots.

 

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The cl.313 (1976-7) and 315 (1980-1) carried small 4-character headcodes above the secondman's windscreen, with a dedtination blind above the driver's.

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1 hour ago, keefer said:

The cl.313 (1976-7) and 315 (1980-1) carried small 4-character headcodes above the secondman's windscreen, with a dedtination blind above the driver's.

The 313s on the GN were using their headcodes in 1976. Sure that continued into early summer 1977.

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Posted (edited)
On 24/05/2021 at 17:34, Andrea506 said:

All four open like in the picture denotes "The Royal Train".

 

Erm, not in Sept '90, the date of the photo, it didn't

 

When display of headcodes was discontinued from '76 the instruction for locos with discs was to display the bottom left and right discs only, and the position codes indicating train class were discontinued.

For locos with headcode boxes, although the 4 character headcodes remained in use as 'train reporting numbers' (and indeed still do) these were to be set at '0O00', and in most cases the operating handles were soon removed. Starting in late '77 I only came across about a couple of locos with the handles still fitted.

 

15 hours ago, HGR said:

No, not independently switched on any classes that I am aware of. There was only one 'train classification lights' switch in each cab.

 

The same duplication occurs with the red tail lights. One is fed by each of the two lighting circuits, but operated by the same one switch. So one circuit trip would allow the other tail lamp to still function.

 

As with a previous post, I don't recall any locos where lights for all the discs switched on together, always separately switched in my experience.

 

The tail lamps were most definitely not both switched on together, and with good reason. Until '81 or '82 the rule was for only one tail lamp to be displayed, only the Royal Train carried two. So, on most locos they had separate switches, and although 47s always had a single switch it was a 3-way, L/H-OFF-R/H so it wasn't even possible to have both switched on, until modified after the rule change.

 

7 hours ago, HGR said:

Where were the switches located - were they on the backs of the individual lamp casings (e.g. as on cl.08) or was there a panel for them on the secondman's side next to the boiler controls ? I'm wondering if what I remember had been modified since the disks were out-of-use by then ?

 

They were located on the lighting switch panel in the cab, on the drivers side though actual positions varied.

Many earlier classes had it in the roof above the cab door or side window, 47s, 56s R/H side of desk, HST L/H side of desk, 90 / 91 below cab side window, 67 above windscreen. One class, 31 I think, cab rear bulkhead.

One peculiarity with the switches, on EE classes the tail light switches operated the lights at the opposite end, on everything else it was same end.

Edited by Ken.W
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Posted (edited)

That really isn't one of my better photographic efforts. Why I didn't include the Swindon Cross Country unit standing next to the 20, I don't know. Like a lot of folks, I am regretting not paying more attention to DMU's back in the day.

Edit:- or is it a Gloucester cross country set? I don't know-there you go, that proves my point.

Edited by rodent279
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Pretty certain it's not a Cross Country of any sort, as neither the Swindons (more likely on this route) nor the Gloucesters had headcode boxes above the cab, though the later build of Swindons had them below the cab windows.  It's a Derby style cab with a headcode box, you can just see the corner of the driver's window, and is probably a 114, a rare combination of a low density set on 64' underframes.  This would be correct for the route.

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On 30/05/2021 at 01:10, Ken.W said:

 

One peculiarity with the switches, on EE classes the tail light switches operated the lights at the opposite end, on everything else it was same end.

 

Which was a right pain in the bum if you were running L/E with a pair of locos as you had to climb into all four cabs when changing ends.

In later years a few 37s were modified to switch them on/off at the same end - causing the wrong lights to be displayed at times! 

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On ‘normal’ classes, not EE, you had to climb into the trailing cab to turn the tail light off when you coupled to the train, a job sometime unofficially delegated to the guard, especially in inclement weather…

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 29/05/2021 at 18:09, HGR said:

Where were the switches located - were they on the backs of the individual lamp casings (e.g. as on cl.08) or was there a panel for them on the secondman's side next to the boiler controls ? I'm wondering if what I remember had been modified since the disks were out-of-use by then ?

 

 

The switches are in the cab. Tail lamps were either independently switched or a switch which selected either one. 47s had switches modified to show both about 1990

Prior to 82 the only train to show two reds was a Royal train

My pet hate with lightning on model locos is pre 82 ones showing two reds

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My time 'in the muck and bullets' was mid - late '80s and through the '90s on the engineering (the dark) side. The tail lamps rule change mentioned by earlier posters was thus just before I got my hands on the kit. Did notice though that of the 47s I've had the pleasure of clambering around under the desk the mod to the switch varies between a carefully / properly installed link wire of the correct size and type, to some what you would describe as 'local' mods done with any old bit of wire that happened to be to hand. I hadn't realised that the switch itself had been changed from a two-way, centre-off to a two pole on / off type as they didn't look that clean to have been recently changed.

 

Mind you, knowing the number of modifications made to the wiring over the years you can see how quickly the most recently altered stuff gets just as mucky as the rest of the wiring it's hiding amongst. Always amazing just how many permutations there were as to how the infamous 'wire 12' mod could be implemented, or the curious way some of the DSD / vigilance mods took a circular route across and around the loco to get from half-way down the side of the engine room, over the top via the control cubicle to the opposite bodyside thence to No.1 end cab, then all the way to No.2 end / cab down the bodyside (passing the original starting point on the way) to get to the SSF box under the desk where the headcode frame used to be. All that so as to use existing redundant wires without needing to have to break into any in mid-run. Some of the former boiler wiring was fair game for this, as was the leftovers from the original 'potted relay' DSD wiring. Still, never expect a loco to exactly match its alleged wiring drawings. 40+ year old EMUs provide the same variability between vehicles having been modified numerous times throughout their lifetime.

 

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Alphanumeric headcode displays were dropped in early 1976. It was announced in the March 1976 issue of Railway Magazine. I remember this as it was the first time I bought the magazine. I was never a regular buyer as I preferred Modern Railways.

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Posted (edited)
On 30/05/2021 at 08:13, Hal Nail said:

By my calculations that would be princess eugenie about to cop double headed 20s from her pram?

I seem to think I was on that train with 20105 to Skegness, something about its condition / number springs a memory.

 

Definitely no royal on my train, chicken royale maybe.

 

As for discs.. in the 1980’s, I saw anything / everything, inc some partially or fully removed, basically no one cared, I think some were paint sealed or rusted preventing change.

Edited by adb968008
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On 18/06/2021 at 16:29, russ p said:

 

Prior to 82 the only train to show two reds was a Royal train

My pet hate with lightning on model locos is pre 82 ones showing two reds

I  vaguely recall a story in RM about an early railcar (probably one of the four-wheel rail buses) on a  branchline (Seaton, perhaps?) which had two red tail lights on a single switch and so the junction signalman would stop it every time it passed. I can't remember whether the solution was a rule change or an extra switch.

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