**UIC (Union Internationale des Chemins de fer (International Union of Railways)) numbering comprises a collection of numbers on each wagon type (which is similar to locomotives and coaches), and it is known that if the 3rd & 4th digits are 74, then it is a Swedish wagon (not just SJ, but all Sweden). However, the first two numbers have a special meaning, and then so do the 5th to 8th. The 9th to 11th are the serial numbers for each wagon within the type, and the 12th is a “control” digit (that so many model manufacturers get wrong too often)! Our information is based, of course, on the Swedish railways, but much of it is international.**

We are going to use an imaginary (and completely wrong) number to illustrate this feature thus; 11 22 333 3 444-5. These numbers refer to the five sections that we are going to look at in this feature.

**11** oo ooo o ooo-o

The first two digits are the Exchange References (Utbytesbeteckningar); these give general operational information about the wagon that is important to the railways that they may operate upon, in terms of suitability. (Note that the translations here come from Google!) The first digit is defined thus:

0 – Non-bogie wagon that can be used jointly by the railways

1 – Bogie wagon that can be used jointly by the railways

2 – Non-bogie wagon that can NOT be used jointly by the railways

3 – Bogie wagon that can NOT be used jointly by the railways

4 – Non-bogie wagon, not RIV ((Regulation governing the reciprocal use of wagons in International Traffic))

8 – Bogie wagon, not RIV

The second digit (numbers 0-6), when joined to the first, then produces different information. However, here are some helpful notes:

– Odd numbers (1, 3, 5) have fixed gauge, the others can be changed.

– Numbers 01-06 and 11-16 are managed by Interfrigo (IF or EUR IF)

– Numbers 21-26 and 31-36 are all RIV

– For first digits beginning 4 and 8, odd second digits can go abroad by special agreement; evens can’t.

– 10, 40 & 80 are Service wagons!

oo **22** ooo o ooo-o

These two digits simply designate the country where the wagon is registered. Originally, this was the railway company with which the wagon was registered, but with privatisation around the world, numbers were running out, so it was changed to “country.” Therefore, 74 can apply to GreenCargo, SJ, TKAB, etc…!

10 Finland

20 Russia

21 Belarus

22 Ukraine

23 Moldova

24 Lithuania

25 Latvia

26 Estonia

27 Kazakhstan

28 Georgia

29 Uzbekistan

30 North Korea

31 Mongolia

32 Vietnam

33 China

40 Cuba

41 Albania

42 Japan

44 Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

50 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

51 Poland

52 Bulgaria

53 Romania

54 Czech Republic

55 Hungary

56 Slovakia

57 Azerbaijan

58 Armenia

59 Kyrgyzstan

60 Ireland

61 South Korea

62 Montenegro

65 Macedonia

66 Tajikistan

67 Turkmenistan

70 United Kingdom

71 Spain

72 Serbia

73 Greece

74 Sweden

75 Turkey

76 Norway

78 Croatia

79 Slovenia

80 Germany

81 Austria

82 Luxembourg

83 Italy

84 Netherlands

85 Switzerland

86 Denmark

87 France

88 Belgium

90 Egypt

91 Tunisia

92 Algeria

93 Morocco

94 Portugal

95 Israel

96 Iran

97 Syria

98 Lebanon

99 Iraq

oo oo **333 3** ooo-o

The gap between the 3rd & 4th digits (7th & 8th in the whole number), is because the 4th (8th) also forms part of the wagon’s serial number (see below). The first of these digits (here in section 3) confirms the basic wagon type, thus:

1 = G

2 = H

3 = K, O, R

4 = L, S

5 = E, T

6 = F

7 = Z

8 = I

9 = U

The second, third and fourth are the sub-category; second acting as a grouping number, third and fourth as final definition. Many are duplicated in order to cope with the number of wagons or to help identify further differences within each type! For example, 1022 through 1049 are all type “Glm” in the SJF 636.1 document that we have. All numbers 12– are Gs regardless of the last two digits within this section! Whilst we’re looking at the references to “G” wagons, an interesting note is that 1427 is “Gkklos” for the TGOJ!

oo oo ooo o **444**-o

The sub-categories so far have given us all sorts of details about the many different wagon types. There would of course, be several wagons of each type, and the fourth section (three digits) is the individual serial number of the wagon; 000-999. If there is more than 1000 of a particular type, then a second category in section three would be made available, and so on. (This would normally be the single digit at the end of section 3’s number!)

oo oo ooo o ooo-**5**

The check digit is a way of ensuring that the number is typed correctly into databases and operating systems. It is a complicated system, but with a little ingenuity, easy to follow. Each of the 11 individual numbers are multiplied alternately by 2 and 1. The numbers that make up the answers are then added together and the sum is deducted from the next 10. Simple, yes?

Take, for example, wagon 21 74 333 0 998-?

2 x 2 = 4

1 x 1 = 1

7 x 2 = 14

4 x 1 = 4

3 x 2 = 6

3 x 1 = 3

3 x 2 = 6

0 x 1 = 0

9 x 2 = 18

9 x 1 = 9

8 x 2 = 16

Add them together like this, 4+1+1+4+4+6+3+6+0+1+8+9+1+6 = 54.

The next 10 is 60, so 60-54 = 6

In order to divide the categories that make up the number, we created the number 11 22 333 3 444-5. As you will see from this example, the check digit is wrong, it should be a 3; but that would not have helped us ‘deliver’ this article!