Urbis ZX1 (1998)

Lantern acquired in February 2004.

This lantern came from Bob Cookson, and has actually been used! The lantern is believed to have been installed on a railway platform; the ZX1 becoming British Rail's (and its successors) specified choice for platform lighting after changing from the twin 40 Watt fluorescent Z8260 lantern made by GEC Aside from a short stretch of the A511 in Woodville, the ZX1 is not a lantern that can be seen on Derbyshire's streets.

The lantern is the standard dark/light grey version. There is no photocell socket fitted, but the space for one can be seen on the canopy.

The optic employed was specifically engineered for use on railways - the patterning on the reflector being suited to platforms.

The 'SealSafe' protection of the lamp compartment itself can be seen here. The lampholder is surrounded by rubber and a substance that resembles Blu-Tac, although it isn't! Even the cable entry is sealed! No wonder this lantern can boast high IP ratings!

Although the ignitor and ballast carry Urbis branding, they were in fact made by Parmar at the company's Victoria Mills site in Draycott, Derbyshire.


The identification label contains considerably more information than was present on the 1986 version of this lantern in my collection. Notice that within the lengthy part code, there is mention of a 'Dog Clip'. I assume that this relates to the restraint cable that is located towards the rear of the lantern and provides additional coupling between its plastic canopy and the aluminium chassis.


The lantern appears to be very bright due to the optical system, but only being 70 Watt, it isn't blindingly bright.

Even switching on the flash does nothing to mar the brightness of this beast!

The lantern was mounted to an AC Ford AC872 wall bracket on Tuesday, 16th August 2005.

Lantern warm-up video:

Testing with my energy monitoring device revealed the following results:

Test Voltage (V) Current being drawn at full power (A) Measured wattage (W) Apparent Power (VA) Frequency (Hz) Power Factor True Power (W) Difference to rated wattage Percentage Difference
240 0.45 89 108 49.9 0.83 89.64 19.64 28%

 I acquired another ZX1 on Thursday, 10th May 2007. Click here for information on that lantern.

The following couple of pictures show a ZX1 in situ - this is at Attenborough railway station.

Urbis ZX1 Lanterns in the Collection



2008 (ZXU1)

Thorn Alpha 4 | Thorn Alpha 5




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