Last update 2 August 2018
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This page links to a four-way listing of railway codes thus:
CRS codes are one way of identifying places, usually stations (though some junctions and depots have codes). The system began operation in 1979, initially for Sealink, soon extending to East Coast stations. It was created to enable the booking of seat reservations by (station-based) computers, though by the late 1980s travel centres also had access and the system was extended to track passengers requiring travel assistance. 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 small 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 as discrepancies are known with the official soutces; 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 LOR numbers (shown elsewhere on this site). NLCs were also the financial cost and profit centre codes used within BR's AXIS, IBIS and other financial computer systems together with a check letter such as 112766F (Birmingham New Street Admin) and 112767G (Birmingham New Street Retail Staff). The full number had to be used on financial inputs and on documents such as transfer vouchers.
Booking offices use NLCs 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.
Different accountancy codes appear in the business and sector code page.
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 are supposedly 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. Numbers run 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).
This book, BR catalogue number BR2334 (large file), is a guide to standardised terminology introduced to ensure clarity in describing locations.
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. In addition, one can see that in certain cases a location is no longer relevant and one code has been reused for a new location but the other codes have not.
Live departure boards can be obtained by putting http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/ldbboard/dep/ in your browser, followed by the appropriate CRS code in CAPITAL letters.
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.
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 contact the editor!
For a variety of other railway topics, you may like Joyce's World of Transport Eclectia (broken link), which includes a spreadsheet of station NLCs, and Underground equivalents.
These pages contain data from various sources, including from ATOC. ATOC data file attribution:
This Creative Commons England and Wales Public Licence enables You (all capitalised terms defined below) to view, edit, modify, translate and distribute Works worldwide, provided that You credit the Original Author. 'The Licensor' RSP Limited of 40 Bernard Street, London, WC1N 1BY as agent for and on behalf of the train operating companies ("TOCs").