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I am curious to know about the theroy of the numbers chosen on the train number boards for the DRG. I have many photos of K series locos with and without number boards on the smokebox. Some are the same as the engine number some are other engine numbers but some are 4 digit and dont match. Is there a reasoning behind that the numbers mean?
 

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I don't know anything specific about DRG, but RRs, in general, originally used the engine number to identify trains... probably only had one or two engines anyway. Later, with more routes or more than one train per day on the same route, the routes and times were numbered and the trains that ran on them bore those numbers on the number boards, any of a dozen or more engines could be assigned to pull the train so the engine number became an internal control designation for the RR. The number boards were applied so the "train" could be identified by the passengers to know which train to board. Today, if an engine has number boards it usually will have the same number displayed there as what the engine number is. For the RRs internal control, if the train is a regular route and not run as an "extra" then it is sometimes identified by a 4 or 6 letter designation representing the locations of the start and end for that train route.
 
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