Great Western Railway Lamps Codes

Whilst reading “The Railwayman’s Pocket-Book” which had the fabulous castle class locomotive 7007 “Great Western” on the cover I found a great diagram on the Great Western Railway head lamp codes thought I would do a post on them. The head lamps arrangement was a method of classifying trains so they could easily by identified by ground and signal staff.


 So sticking to the theme of 7007 I have created my own version of the diagram with an addition using my Hornby model of 7007 Great Western, some lamps and a little bit of bluetac.

headlamps (1)

1) Express passenger train or break down train going to clear the line
2) Ordinary passenger train or break down train not going to clear the line
3) Fish, meat, fruit, horse, cattle, or perishables trains composed of coaching stock
4) Empty coaching stock train
5) Fish, meat, or fruit train, composed of goods, stock, express castle, or Express goods train, Class A.
6) Express cattle or Express goods, Class B
7) Light engine, or light engines coupled together, or engine and break.
8) Through goods, Mineral, or ballast train
9) Ordinary goods, or Mineral train, stopping at intermediate stations
10) Royal train

(Information taken from locomotive management from cleaning to driving 1909)

Thats all for now thanks for reading

7 thoughts on “Great Western Railway Lamps Codes

  1. Hi there,
    I have a 00 gauge model railway but have been looking for a set of headboards for my locos, very similar to your ‘Bristolian’ one. Can you please tell me where you got this one from and where I can find others like it?
    Many Thanks,
    George Sadler.


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  3. Always good useful information. Have you any info on the arrangement of head lamps for the Southern Railway ??

    Cheers, Gary.


    • Hi Gary

      I unfortunately dont have any information on the Southern Railway head lamps/disks but its something I was planning to look into over the next couple of weeks. Depending on how popular the Great Western lamp codes post was I was going to one on the Southern, LMS, LNER and BR.

      For the Southern Railway information I use the Southern E-Group which has done several post on the Southern Region lamp codes (link below) but they arent as simple as the GWRs system.

      Hope thats of some help.



    • It is a good read. Not one of my favourites but its a good introductory book to all things railway. There is a good chance we bought both our books from the same place.


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