On December 20, 2010 Indian Railways switched over from the previous four-digit numbering system for Passenger trains with the existing five-digit numbering according to the decision of Indian Ministry of Railways. The details of train numbering as follows:
Example Train: 12014 - Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express
The first digit of the 5 digit train number indicates the type of the Passenger trains:
0 - for special trains (e.g., summer specials, holiday specials, etc.)
1 - for all long-distance trains, including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Sampark Kranti, Garib Rath, Duronto, etc.
2 - for long-distance trains; it is to be used when train numbers starting with 1 are exhausted in any series.
3 - for Kolkata suburban trains.
4 - for suburban trains in Chennai, New Delhi, Secunderabad, and other metropolitan areas.
5 - for passenger trains with Conventional coaches.
6 - for MEMU trains.
7 - for DMU (DEMU) and railcar services.
8 - for currently reserved.
9 - for Mumbai area suburban trains.
The significance of the second and later digits depends on what the first digit is. Below, the different number series are explained, based on the first digit.
If the first digit is 0, 1, 2:
In the case of special trains and long-distance express trains, i.e., trains starting with digits '0', '1', or '2', the remaining 4 digits signify the railway zone and division exactly as in the pre-2011 4-digit scheme. In fact, most 5-digit numbers for long-distance trains are created simply by prefixing '1' to the former 4-digit codes. The zonal codes (second digit) are as shown:
0 - for Konkan Railway.
1 - for CR (Central Railway), WCR (West Central Railway) and NCR (North Central Railway).
2 - for Superfasts, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, and some other classes of trains regardless of zones. For these, the next digit is usually the zone code.
3 - for ER (Eastern Railway )and ECR (East Central Railway).
4 - for NR (Northern Railway), NCR (North Central Railway) and NWR (North Western Railway).
5 - for NER (North Eastern Railway) and NFR (Northeast Frontier Railway).
6 - for SR (Southern Railway )and SWR (South Western Railway).
7 - for SCR (South Central Railway) and SWR (South Western Railway).
8 - for SER (South Eastern Railway) and ECoR (East Coast Railway).
9 - for WR (Western Railway), NWR (North Western Railway) and WCR (West Central Railway).
For other classes of trains, the remaining digits are used in a few different ways.
If the first digit is 3:
For Kolkata suburban trains starting with digit '3', there are two sets of numbers, depending on the zone that operates the services.
30xxx through 37xxx : trains run by ER
38xxx through 39xxx : trains run by SER
If the first digit is 4:
For suburban trains other than in Mumbai and Kolkata, the following conventions apply.
40xxx through 44xxx : Chennai area suburban trains
45xxx through 46xxx : Delhi area suburban trains
47xxx : Secunderabad suburban trains
48xxx through 49xxx : reserved
If the first digit is 5, 6, 7:
For trains starting with '5', '6', and '7', i.e., passenger trains, the second digit determines the zone as for long-distance trains and the third digit determines the division (see above for zones, or see below for a more detaild list with zone and division codes).
If the first digit is 8:
The second digit shall be Two(2).
If the first digit is 9:
Mumbai suburban trains use the following system. Up and down directions are generally reflected in the use of odd and even numbers, respectively.
90xxx: WR locals originating from Virar
91xxx: WR locals originating from Vasai Road / Bhayander
92xxx: WR locals originating from Borivali
93xxx: WR locals originating from Malad / Goregaon
94xxx: WR locals originating from Andheri / Bandra / Mumbai Central
95xxx: CR fast locals
96xxx: CR locals going north of Kalyan
97xxx: CR locals on the Harbour line
98xxx: CR locals on the trans-Harbour line
99xxx: CR locals going south of Kalyan
If the first digit is 0, 1, 2:
The third digit refers to the Railway Zone where the rake is maintained (exception for 0).
Fourth and Fifth Digit:
Random numbers for all types of trains which makes the 5-digit train number as unique. But for Delhi Suburban Railway train with a number 4NXPX, the fourth digit P indicates the following.
0 to 2 - for a MEMU
3 to 5 - for an EMU
6 and 7 - for a conventional passenger coaching stock
8 - for a DEMU
9 - for other types of stock