Engineer's Line Reference
Location designator painted on a railway bridge, showing miles and chains
ELRs are usually made up of three letters, identifying the route. Any
place on that route can then be referred to by using a combination of
the ELR and the mileage of the place, e.g. EJM 13m 16c refers to
Plessey Road Level Crossing on the Earsdon Junction (EJ) to Morpeth
North Junction (M). The crossing is 13 miles and 16 chains from the
origin point of 0miles 0 chains.
Where a route is long or made up of a combination of several
pre-existing routes, the ELR is suffixed with a number that refers to
a particular section of the route - e.g. the East Coast Main Line
route (with a reference of ECM) has sections ECM1 (King's Cross to
Shaftholme Junction) through to ECM9 (Edinburgh Waverley Station.)
ELRs are generally abbreviated forms of the names of the primary
locations they connect. For example XTD is the line which runs from
Charing Cross to Dover or VTB for the line from Victoria to Brighton.
Sometimes the ELRs are less obvious - NKL, for example, runs from
North Kent East junction to Dartford junction but is known as the
North Kent line, hence its ELR.
ELRs differ from LORs (lines of route), not only in their use and
format, but also in what they demarcate. Lines of route refer to
strategic rail routes, and can be made up of several ELRs. For
example, SBJ is the ELR for the line between