Comet
Photo: NSW State Archives

BASIC RAIL MOTOR CODES

From 1937 all NSW Rail Motors carried a vehicle code, similar to that used on other passenger rolling stock. These were originally used for telegraphic purposes to identify vehicles in the consist of the train. The codes consisted of a two or three letter sequence identifying the basic characteristics (i.e. accommodation class, configuration, etc.) of the vehicle. There was a standard set of letter codes defining the various attributes and these are given in the table below:

Code

Description

B

First Class accommodation

C

Composite (First and Second Class) accommodation

F

Second (or Economy) Class accommodation

H

Guards Compartment (Handbrake)

P

Vehicle is powered

R

Dining or buffet facilities

T

Vehicle is a trailer (non-powered)

These codes were used in various combinations to differentiate between specific vehicle classes. For example, 42-foot Rail Motors carried the code "CPH" (Composite accommodation, powered and Guard's compartment). Rail Motor No.38 was of similar configuration, but was identified by the code "CHP". The later 400 Class were also similar and carried the code "HPC", while the again similarly configured 1200 Class were identified by the code "PCH".

ADDITIONAL CODES

As the numbers and types of rail motors proliferated in NSW, additional letter codes were used to group vehicles of a common build type or grouping and these often overlapped with the standard class codings. This was a common practice with loco-hauled rolling stock. For example, following their 1950's rebuild, the Comet power vans and trailers all carried the common code letter "D", while the five 1100 Class or Budd cars carried the common code letter "B" which also denoted First Class accommodation, even though four of the five cars had only Second Class seating. In later times, all XPT vehicles (including both power vans and trailers) carry the common code letter "X".

For a period, the 400 Class and the 600 Class both carried the same coding of "FPH". To avoid confusion, the 400 Class units were re-coded to "DPH" in 1963 and later to "HPC" when First Class accommodation was added in 1972.

Following the introduction of the 620 Class in 1961, additional codes indicating localities of operation were added to identify different vehicle layouts within the same class. For the 620 Class vehicles these were "N" for Newcastle, "G" for Goulburn and "M" for Murwillumbah. This was later extended when the 600 Class were employed on suburban working. The codes "S" for Sydney and "W" for Wollongong were applied to these vehicles.

XPT CODES

With the introduction of XPT, additional codes from the regular passenger car fleet became common amongst the trailer cars. The day-nighter seating code "D" (from the air-conditioned express cars) was added and with the advent of sleeping accommodation in 1993, the "A" and "M" codes appeared. A luxury seating standard was also instituted in 1993, resulting in the addition of the "L" code.

Code

Description

A

Sleeping accommodation

D

Day-nighter sitting accommodation

L

Luxury sitting accommodation

M

Mann type sleeper accommodation

CODES FOR NEWER ROLLING STOCK

The Endeavour and Xplorer cars do not generally conform with the standard rules. They are all identified with the common code letter "E" but the three Xplorer variants are simply sub-coded with the letters "A", "B" and "C" (i.e. "EA", "EB" and "EC"). The two Endeavour types are identified with the sub-code "L" for luggage and "T" for toilet (i.e. "LE" and "TE"). The Hunter rail cars followed suit being coded "HM" and "HMT", the "H" for Hunter, "M" for Motor, while the "T" again represented a toilet fitted to the car.