This page tries to make the summary of the rolling stock identification in use at the SNCB/NMBS. It has mainly been created by Stefan Nicolaï, with the collaboration of Kees Smilde, Jacques Peeters and Tobias Köhler. Your corrections and remarks are welcome by writing to David De Neef.
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Today, each motorized unit is identified by four digits, except for the emu's. This numbering comes from the former numbering that was changed in 1971.
Before January 1st, 1971, different machines were identified by the "type" only. All motorized stock had a six digit number, the first three giving the type, the last three giving the number of that unit in the whole series. After the type number, a dot was placed, followed by the number of that particular engine, so unit 204.003 was the 3rd locomotive of the type 204 locomotives.
After January 1st, 1971, the categorisation "series" and "class" were introduced. At this moment, the "type" identification is no longer in use, and it is replaced by the "series" identification using only four digits. The first digit gives the "class" of locomotive (shunters - diesel engines - traction locomotives - ...). The combination of the two first digits gives the "series", while the last two digits give the number of that particular engine, so 5505 is the 5th locomotive of the class 5 diesels, series 55.
During the years, several locomotives, previously used for passenger duty (that needed a steamgenerator for the heating system of the cars) were rebuilt for goods service only. These engines, that no longer have an (active) steamgenerator, got a leading dot in front of their number. eg ".5113". It is clear to see that these engines still can be used for passenger trains during the summertime.
EMU's have a completely different numbering scheme. The numbering doesn't really reflect a 'type' information. It only reflects the building year of the first units of that type. The numbers on the units just are the series number of that particular unit. Here, you really need a table to know what type a certain EMU is.
The DMU's that survived after 1971 received a four digits numerotation, like the locomotives.
Steam locomotives got a number, consisting of a type number, followed by a dot, and the number of that locomotive, so loc 13.029 is loc 29 of type 13. Loc 1.002 is the second loc of type 1.
The following tables give for each "series" the corresponding "type". Since some locomotives were rebuilt and categorized in other types or series, the real numbering sometimes doesn't correspond to theory.
Class |
Description |
1 |
Multicurrent electrical locomotives |
2 |
Monocurrent electrical locomotives |
5 |
Heavy line diesel locomotives |
6 |
Light line diesel locomotives |
7 |
Heavy shunters |
8 |
Light shunters |
9 |
Locotractors |
Sole exception to this list are the Type 25.5 bicurrent electrical locomotives.
SERIES |
TYPE |
51 |
200 |
52 |
202 and a few 203 |
53 |
203 and a few 202 |
54 |
four 202 rebuilt to 204 and four real 204 |
55 |
205 |
59 |
201 |
60 |
210 |
61 |
one 210 rebuilt (210.067 -> 210.201) |
62 |
212.001-003 (prototypes) |
62 |
210.101-233 |
64 |
211 |
65 |
213 (later renumbered to shunter 75) |
66 |
222 (later renumbered to shunter 71 (second series 71)) |
SERIES |
TYPE |
70 |
270 |
71 |
271 (old series) |
71 |
222 (new series, to replace the old series) |
72 |
272 |
73 |
273 |
74 |
built after 1971 -> never existent as "type" |
75 |
213 |
80 |
260 |
81 |
261 |
82 |
262 (55 units) |
83 |
253 |
84 |
250 and a few 252 |
85 |
252 |
90 |
230 (later renumbered to series 91) |
91 |
230 |
92 |
232 |
Class 2 locomotives are single voltage engines, so they can be used only on the Belgian railroad system, while class 1 engines can be used for international traffic to Netherlands, France and Germany (because these countries have other power systems for traction).
SERIES |
TYPE |
11 |
built after 1971 |
12 |
built after 1971 |
15 |
150 |
16 |
160 |
18 |
built after 1971 |
20 |
built after 1971 |
21 |
built after 1971 |
22 |
122 |
23 |
123 |
25 |
125 |
25.5 |
140, rebuilt from type 125 |
26 |
126 |
27 |
built after 1971 |
28 |
120, later 2000 |
29 |
101 |
TYPE |
UNIT NUMBERS |
AM 35 |
213.001-213.012, withdrawn in 1964, except 8 rebuilt postal units, withdrawn in 1986 |
AM 39 |
001-009, withdrawn in 1977 |
AM 50 |
010-049, withdrawn in 1995 |
AM 54 |
051-128, formerly series 228, withdrawn in 1995, except 15 rebuilt postal units (961-975) |
AM 54 |
501-539, formerly series 228, withdrawn in 1993 |
AM 56 |
129-150 |
AM 62 |
151-210 (1962) |
AM 66 |
601-640 (1966) |
AM 70 |
665-676 |
AM 73 |
677-706 (1973) |
AM 75 |
801-844 |
AM 80 |
301-335 (1980) |
AM 86 |
901-952 |
AM 96 |
441-490 dual voltage |
AM APT 35 |
former mail EMU (8 units) |
AM APT 54 |
961-975 mail EMU |
Thalys |
high speed train numbered in the 4300 series (PBKA) and 4500 series (PBA) |
Benelux 57 |
220.901-220.904, withdrawn en 1987 |
(only those remaining after 1971 are mentioned.)
SERIES |
TYPE |
40 |
630 |
42 |
602 (later renumérotés to series 43) |
43 |
603 (4301-4330), 602 (4331-4336) |
44 |
604 |
45 |
605 |
46 |
554 |
47 |
Two units, temporarily renumbered to series 46 |
49 |
553.01-553.25 |
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Belgian stock has two numbers: the international UIC numbering, and the Belgian 5 digit numbering. Both are printed on the cars, but the Belgian number is striked out.
The 12 digit UIC numbers on passenger cars look as follows:
52 20 70-80 476-3
For explaining these numbers, we refer to Tobias Köhler's pages on the European Railway Server.
Counted from 000 or 001 up to 999. If there are more than 1000 cars of one type, the 8th digit is changed too (note that some speed/heating configurations take up several numbers).
Multiply the digits 1 to 11 alternately by 2 and 1 and add the digits of the results. Subtract the last digit of the resulting number from 10 and take the last digit of what comes out: this is the control digit.
Example with 51 88 19-80 401:
5 1 8 8 1 9 - 8 0 4 0 1 multiplied by 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 -------------------------------------------------------------- is 10 1 16 8 2 9 16 8 8 0 2 add digits: 1+0 +1 +1+6 +8 +2 +9 +1+6 +8 +8 +0 +2 = 46
substract the last digit of the result from 10: 10 - 6 = 4
4 is the control digit.
note: if, when adding the digits, you obtain of number ending by zero, the control digit is then 0
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The numbers on freight cars look like this:
To explain these numbers, we refer to Tobias Köhler's page on the European Railway Server.
Counted from 0 000 or 0 001 up to 9 999. Sometimes the 8th digit is used to identify sub-types.
Multiply the digits 1 to 11 alternately by 2 and 1 and add the digits of the results. Subtract the last digit of the resulting number from 10 and take the last digit of what comes out: this is the control digit. (see example in the passenger coaches section).
Next to the UIC-nummer, besides digit 1 and 2 (when written vertically) there is an additional lettercode. Possible are:
Next to the country code, in case of vertical annotation, also the 'lettercode' for the railway company is mentioned (for the NMBS/SNCB the 'B' logo is used).
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These datas are provided by Stefan Nicolaï, with Kees Smilde and Jacques Peeters' help for corrections and additions. This page is maintained by David De Neef.