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Friday, 8 April 2011

ACE Reporting Number

This came about after I watched Jim Clemens 'The Withered Arm' for the fourth time. The narrator (his son Michael) made the briefest of comments that the ACE loco in view was showing the number 6, the reporting number allocated to the 'down' ACE. His comment from earlier viewings did not register with me so armed with this new information, well new to me, I browsed my railway books that I have scoured many times before and there in the ACE photos was the number 6, which had also previously escaped me. On another photo I discovered the 'up' ACE used the reporting number 7.

Now, I knew about reporting numbers, (They were read by signallers in particular to identify a specific train service and route the train correctly, mostly used on busy or congested routes) but I had not considered their use on the ACE, which with its massive name board could not be easily mistaken.

The number for the model was printed on a sticky label using 'Arial Narrow' font size 8, a close approximation to the prototype.


Roger Merry-Price said...

You are confusing Duty Numbers with Headboard Numbers. The 6 and 7 on the discs are Nine Elms Shed Duty Numbers and show exactly what duties the locomotive will undertake on a particular day. It will show, for example, what time the loco will leave Nine Elms, when it will arrive at Waterloo, what time it will depart with its train, what time it will arrive at Exeter Central, what time it go to Exmouth Junction depot etc.
The headboard numbers were only used on Summer Saturdays and were numbers on white paper affixed to wooden boards and fitted or tied to the front of the locomotive. It was these that were used to assist signalmen in identifying trains especially if they were running of out sequence. A list of the trains and their allocated numbers normally appeared in the first supplement to the Summer Working Timetable. Boat trains on the South Eastern Section normally also had a D or F with their number to indicate Folkestone or Dover.

David Smith said...

Thanks for the clarificaton

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