A (hopefully) comprehensive listing

Last update 29 October 2014

Additional information is always gratefully received, whether entirely new records (particularly historical records), or information to fill in gaps or correct errors, via the contact link under the Miscellaneous entry in the navigation bar above.  Thank you.

This page links to a four-way listing of railway codes thus:

  1. Computer reservation system (CRS) codes [also referred to as national reservation system (NRS) codes]
  2. National location codes (NLCs)
  3. Timing point locations (TIPLOCs)
  4. Station number names (STANME)
  5. Station numbers (STANOX)

CRS codes are one way of identifying places, usually stations (though some junctions and depots have codes).  They were created to enable the booking of seat reservations by (station-based) computers.  Thus, one place where the codes can be seen in everyday use is at the base of seat reservation labels, showing the start and end stations for that particular service.  In this listing, CRS codes are presented in two ways.  Codes listed in normal text are from reliable official sources, whereas the few codes in italic text are additional codes found in a list of TIPLOCs, where these do not duplicate known codes.  Codes in both sources are, of course, shown in normal type.  The discerning reader will treat italic codes with caution; they are presented here for the sake of completeness.

NLCs are used in an accounting context to identify individual assets, and were first used from 1 January 1968.  They are entirely separate to ELRs and PRIDE numbers (shown elsewhere on this site).  Additionally, these codes are also used by booking offices, albeit in a slightly truncated form.  Those locations which are stations generally have NLCs ending "00" (for example, Swindon is 333300).  Booking clerks drop the final two zeroes, and refer to Swindon as 3333.

TIPLOCs are used by train planners to identify what time trains should arrive at, depart or pass a particular point.  They are limited to seven characters.

The railway also uses STANOX codes.  These are used in the Total Operations Processing System (TOPS), and apparently are unique siding location numbers.  However, a quick glance at the list of STANOX codes will reveal many places sharing the same code, thus removing the uniqueness.  There also exist STANOX codes modified by adding an asterisk (*) after the number, thus making it very hard to identify any hard-and-fast "rules"!  The asterisk denotes a "pseudo-STANOX" where a separate STANOX has yet to be issued.  Locations are listed broadly geographically from north to south, with overseas sites using the lowest numbers.

To describe each STANOX code is the STANME.  This is mostly limited to nine characters but occasionally could be a couple more.  The character limitation means that the names are not particularly descriptive but they are often quoted in preference to the STANOX itself.  STANMEs are not unique; many STANOX codes have the same STANME (e.g. some Cardiff and Tunstead codes).

Until recently, STANOX locations must be on the railway network (a recent list includes Whitehall and various head quarters), whilst TIPLOCs and CRS locations do not necessarily have to be served by rail (for example, some ports and bus stops come in this category).  One can see that there is little, if any, correlation between the different code systems, as they were designed by different people to fulfil different purposes.

Live departure boards can be obtained by putting
in your browser, followed by the appropriate CRS code in CAPITAL letters.

Which page contains which locations?

Locations are mostly listed on each page according to first letter of the TIPLOC (where a location has one).  STANOX codes are mapped to the corresponding TIPLOC, and STANME to the corresponding STANOX.

For example, Dereham Market Place will be found on page "P" under "Peterborough" as the TIPLOC is PBRODMP.  This can lead to some anomalies as, in this case, Dereham UKF appears in its own right on page "D" with TIPLOC "DERMUKF".  In the case where the TIPLOC bears no relation to the place (e.g. CATZ, TIPLOC for Ardrahan), these are shown on the relevant location page (in this case, page "A"), with a note on what would otherwise be the correct page ("C").  STANME can appear on an apparently-odd page because its first letter is not necessarily the same as it corresponding TIPLOC.

Other notes

These pages attempt to list all known locations/codes, whether or not they are still current.  On occasion it has not been possible to determine a proper plain English description of a location.  In such cases the relevant unknown part is shown in quotes (e.g. Toton Up Yard "PPM") or if an educated guess has been made then a question mark is added (e.g. Wellingborough Sidings (?)); if you can help interpret the part in quotes or clarify the question marks please let me know!

Please select a location list from the links below:

Introduction A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

For a variety of other railway topics, you may like Joyce's World of Transport Eclectia, which includes a spreadsheet of station NLCs, and Underground equivalents.

With thanks to...

David Biddulph, Hil, Charlie Hulme and Sam Wilson for helpful comments with regard to presentation and "web" issues; Dysgraphyk and Mark Townend for explanations about STANOX; Jon Collins, Dysgraphyk, Andrew Weeks, Andrew Laing, Alistair McIndoe, Teorin Kurg, Steven A Horne, Darren ("dogo"), Peter Kazmierczak, Gareth ("Gaz"), David Potter, Don Brayford, Graham Pether, Dave Wilson, Ben Sturgess, Barry Doe, Laurie Still, simon_on_wnxx, Gordon Mackley, Rowan Dixon, Peter Nichols, Graeme Martin, Paul Ebbens, Richard Grice, Matt Carlson, Simon Barnes, Len Reilly, Martin Fuller, Mike Stephens, Ian Delgado, Neil Worthington, Lars Elmvang, Tim Ali and John Armstrong for additional data and corrections.


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