On December 20, 2010, Indian railway Ministry changed
the system of previous 4-digit numbering to 5-digit numbering.
The first digit means the type of the passenger train:
0 is for special trains (e.g., summer specials, holiday specials, exam special etc.)
1 is for all long-distance trains, including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Sadharan.
2 is also for long-distance trains; it is to be used when train numbers
starting with 1 are exhausted in any series.
3 is for Kolkata suburban trains.
4 is for suburban trains in Chennai, New Delhi, Secunderabad, and
other metropolitan areas.
5 is for passenger trains with conventional coaches
6 is for MEMU trains
7 is for DMU (DEMU) and railcar services.
8 is currently reserved
9 is for Mumbai area suburban trains
The second digit meaning depends on what the first digit :
If the first digit is zero (0) or One (1) or Two (2)
then the second digit indicates the operator is the following Railway Zone
but if the second digit is 2, then it doesn’t indicate to any operator.
0 – for Konkan Railway.
1 – for Central Railway, West Central Railway and NCR.
2 – for Superfasts, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Rajdhani.
3 – for Eastern Railway and East Central Railway
4 – for Northern Railway, North Central Railway and
North Western Railway.
5 – for North Eastern Railway and Northeast Frontier Railway.
6 – for Southern Railway and South Western Railway.
7 – for South Central Railway and South Western Railway.
8 – for South Eastern Railway and East Coast Railway.
9 – for Western Railway, North Western Railway and
West Central Railway.
If the first digit is Three (3) then the 2nd digit
express the operator is the different Railway Zone:
If the first digit is Four (4) then the second digit indicates,
0 to 4 Southern Railway (SR) 5 to 6 for the Northern Railway
(NR) ,7 for the South Central Railway (SCR)
If the first digit is 5,6 or 7 then the second digit refers
to the Railway Zone where the train is operated or maintained
If the first digit is 0,1, or 2 and the second digit is 2, then the third
digit refers to the Railway Zone where the rake is maintained.
If the second digit is other than 2 then the 2nd and the 3rd
digits jointly provide the information of the Railway Division
where the train is operated/maintained.
As such there are many combinations of digits.
Fourth and Fifth digit
Random numbers for all types of trains which
makes the 5-digit train number as unique