logoRailway Codes and other data

A (hopefully) comprehensive listing

Last update 29 June 2017

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.


The British railway is, for a variety of reasons, awash with acronyms and codes of various kinds. This web site sets out to explain some of these related to the infrastructure and to operational issues. Not included in this site are abbreviations of company names, or information about trains themselves: this information is available elsewhere, and my main interest lies in infrastructure.

Taking Aspley Guise as an example, the codes BBM and MD140 apply to the route on which Aspley Guise station sits, and APG, 138000, ASPLEYG, and 62051 (ASPLY GSE) apply to the station itself.  All of these codes mean different things, and are used in different ways.  This site helps to explain these codes.

Most of the information contained in this site has taken many hours and letters to different companies to compile: it is hoped that you, the reader, will find it helpful to shed light on some of the codes found in railway documents.  The records contained in this site are as complete as possible.  If you are able to add to the data, please contact the editor.

Also on this site are lists of pseudo-legal data.  The first is a list of British railway services introduced under special legislation.  This legislation allows operators to consider certain services as "experimental", and withdraw them if considered necessary without going through full closure procedures.  The second is a list of licences and licence exemptions issued by the Office of the Rail Regulator.  There is a list of routes designated as community rail partnerships, and finally a table of franchises with associated dates.

Information about other assets such as signal box prefix codes, electrification mast codes, stations, depots and tunnel lengths is also available here.

For more information about day to day changes with Britain's railway infrastructure, please refer to the infrastructure section of the Railway Observer.

Please feel free to quote this site.  However, please credit it as your source.  Feel free to add a link on your website to here.

Note that this site was formerly at http://deaves47.zxq.net.  If you stumbled across this new host via a search engine, please update your links.  Thank you.
The use of a reliable host and dedicated domain name is courtesy of a generous supporter, to whom the editor is indebted.



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These pages are used by (in alphabetical order):

Now over 80 corporate users!  (Click to expand +)

Does your company use these pages?  Let the editor know to be added to the list!


... and something else (last update 26 June 2017):

You will find a small collection of railway photographs here and on this second page.  It is hoped that you find them enjoyable and a little different to the usual "front three quarters in countryside" views.  Being a little self-indulgent, the editor admires the new GWR branding; this Flickr album showcases it 'in action':

GWR brand